My goal is to maximize my day so that I am productive and efficient, which in my world is 6 hours of work in an 8-hour day. Therefore I am always curious about ways to automate administrative tasks and reserve my focused time for income-generating activities. I am also an introvert and the invention of online scheduling was the next gift from On High from my consumer point of view. I eagerly incorporated it into my own website after testing many services.
When choosing a service like this, start by defining your goals. Mine were
1. the calendar must be embedded into my website
2. I must have full control over available dates and times, frequency and quantity
3. clients need to receive reminder notifications of appointments
4. the service be fully synced with my home and work calendars
I settled on www.acuityscheduling.com. It did exactly what I needed and it also has a number of other useful features like attaching the initial client intake form, syncing with credit card processors to collect appointment fees, and sending follow-up emails after an appointment. I started with a google search and then tried each on a trial basis.
Lest you think online scheduling is all for my benefit, remember where I said my introverted consumer self loves online scheduling? My clients report being very pleased with it also. Often, one spouse is making the phone calls to screen the attorney and I can chat a while, then direct the caller to look at my calendar that evening with spouse and choose a time that is convenient for them. They don’t have to take down my options, talk to each other, then call back, then see if their schedule matches with what I have to offer after we connect on the phone. When I get an email request for info, I answer their questions briefly before suggesting the online schedule. Here is my scheduling page and you can see how quickly a client can view and pick when we will meet.
I saw a drop in unbillable time when I added online scheduling, and when you’re doing most everything yourself, minutes are precious.