If you want to block time on your calendar to make yourself available to others, consider using appointment slots in Google Calendar. Then, share a link to your appointment page for others to reserve those times to meet with you.
Appointment blocks in Google Calendar are ideal for teachers or professors who hold office hours, supervisors during review or evaluation season, and anyone else who meets with others often. The only thing you need to set up appointment slots for yourself is a work or school Google Calendar account. So, if your company uses Gmail, for instance, you should see the feature available to you.
Create an Appointment Block in Google Calendar
Click on your calendar as you would to create a new event and pick “Appointment Slots” in the pop-up window.
Enter a title and select the total time for the block. You can then choose from “Single Slot” or “Slots with Duration” in the drop-down box. For Slots with Duration, add the amount of time for the slots. Click “Save.”
Once you save the appointment block, you’ll see it on your calendar as an event with a block icon in the top-left corner. Click this event to edit, delete, or go to the appointment page.
The link you’re directed to for the appointment page is the one you can share with others who can reverse their slots with you.
Reserve an Appointment Slot in Google Calendar
When you share the link to your appointment page, others can drop the URL into their web browser’s address bar. They’ll sign in to their Google Calendar account to see the slots you have available.
They can simply click the slot they want to reserve with you, optionally add a Description, and hit “Save.” This will add the event to their own Google Calendar.
If the person reserving the slot wants to include a file for your meeting, they can attach it to the event after it’s saved, just like with any other Google Calendar event.
View Your Reserved Spots in Google Calendar
After someone reserves one of your appointment slots, you’ll see it as an event on your Google Calendar. This displays side by side with the original appointment block you set up.
Click that particular event to view any information the person included when they saved the slot. You can also edit it with more details, like with any other Google Calendar event.
When you visit your appointment page, slots that others reserve and save will no longer display. This is a good way for you to see how many slots you have left in your block and for which times.
For example, we set up a block of 30-minute slots from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. You can see in the screenshot below that slots at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. have been reserved.
If someone who reserves one of your appointment slots cancels the event, that slot will reopen and show back up on your appointment page for another person to reserve.
Add a Guest to Your Appointment Blocks in Google Calendar
You can add guests to your appointment blocks to include them in the process. When you add a guest, that person is included in every appointment slot and receives a notification when someone reserves a slot. So, this would be appropriate for your assistant, secretary, or business partner.
To add a guest, double-click the appointment block on your Google Calendar to open the details page. On the right side, enter their name (if they’re in your Google contacts) or email address in the “Add Guests” box.
Click “Save” at the top of the event details page. You’ll be asked whether you would like to send an invitation email to your guest. Select “Send” or “Don’t Send” per your preference.
Remember, guests are those you want to include in your appointment block. For people who need to reserve slots, instruct them to visit your appointment page as described earlier.
Delete an Appointment Block or Slot in Google Calendar
Since appointment blocks and any reserved slots display on your Google Calendar like standard events, you can cancel them like standard events.
Click the event to display the pop-up window and click the trash can icon to delete it.
To cancel an individual reserved slot, click the trash can, then decide whether you’d like to send a cancellation email to that person.
Appointment blocks and slots in Google Calendar give you a terrific way to reserve time for others. Rather than sending individual event invitations, students, team members, and staff can simply choose a time that works for them.