Online Appointment Scheduling Best Practices: Which Calendar View is Best for Me?

Generally, once you've logged in to the online appointment scheduling application provided by TimeTap, you’ll notice that you have many options when it comes to viewing your appointments by calendar. You're able to view your appointments by location, staff, and or reason.

This post will give you some guidelines on the different views for your Calendar and also some helpful tips when trying to decide which view might be best for you.

Viewing Appointments By Day, Week, or Month

And this might be a personal preference for most people, but there can be positive and negative sides to your own preference. Personally, I enjoy seeing my schedule from a monthly view so that I can see what's coming up soon and what's further down the road, but what if I were running a studio that offers cooking lessons and I held 5 different private lessons on one Friday in the month? Does the monthly view sound like a great option right now?

Probably not, and now you can see why even our own preferences might not serve us well when it comes to viewing our calendar. In this case, viewing my appointments by day would be a better option so that I could see each of those lessons spaced out really clearly instead of seeing them stacked in the monthly view.

Here's what the monthly view might look with those 5 private lessons scheduled on Friday, August 26th, 2016:

 

And now here's what the daily view might look with those 5 private lessons:

The daily view allows me to see the full names of each private lesson and they're not stacked on top of each as in the monthly view. This just allows for a more comfortable view of my sessions. 

Let's say that I have a themed week coming up this month and I only plan to be holding the majority of my class sessions during that week. In this case, the weekly view would be a better option than the daily or monthly view because I am anticipating a higher volume of class attendees during a particular week.

Here's what the weekly view might look like with most of my class sessions falling between August 21st - August 27th.

And then finally, my preference:  the monthly view. If I plan to hold cooking classes twice per week this month and would like to see an overall snapshot of my schedule for the month, then this view would be good to use.

Here's what the monthly view might look like when I hold 2 class sessions each week in the month:

And those are just some basic scenarios for when the different views by time would be appropriate. The thing to remember is ease of use:  don't stress yourself out trying to view your appointments - choose the view that works best for you. And now that we've looked at those views, let's take a look at filtering and when certain filters might work best for viewing your calendar.

 

Filtering By Location

Better to do if:

  • Your business has multiple locations for which you accept appointments

Filtering by location can be a great option if your business has multiple locations and you tend to change locations on a regular basis. In the case of my cooking school example, we hold classes at 2 different locations:  Studio 8-B and Studio 8-C. By setting different colors for each location, I can easily identify where certain classes will be held without clicking on the appointment to see the details.

Using Friday, August 26th as my example, we can easily see that the majority of my classes will be held at Studio 8-B when filtering using a Light Blue color. I'll only be holding 2 of my classes, "Selections from Guyana With Adalyn" and "Fiesta Fanfare With Adalyn," at Studio 8-C as shown in the Orange color.

 

Filtering By Staff

Better to do if:

  • Your business has a number of staff members, but not so many that the colors become confusing

Filtering by staff can be helpful when you have several staff members, but could become a burden if your business has so many staff members that identifying them by color is more confusing than helpful. As an example, at my cooking school we have 4 staff members which doesn't make it difficult to identify each other by color. When looking at the week of August 14th - August 20th, I can easily see when my colleagues Johannes and Cassandra are having their class sessions as opposed to mine in the pink:

Take a minute and imagine having 15 staff members filtered by color and trying to identify their appointments - this might be more tricky, and therefore filtering by another option whether by reason or location might actually be more helpful.

 

Filtering By Reason

Better to do if:

  • Your business has multiple classes and or services

Filtering by reason would be a great option if your business has multiple classes and or services, and you'd like to be able to distinguish between those a lot easier. As an example, Johannes' offered 3 different classes:  "Soups and Stews With Johannes", "Rice Dishes With Johannes", and "Island Flavor With Johannes". Sorting his classes by color could actually be very helpful for him if per say he has several different classes scheduled for one day. 

Here's what filtering by reason for his classes scheduled on Tuesday, August 16th might look like:

Instead of having all of his classes appearing as the same color for that day, this might be helpful in indicating that each class scheduled for that day is different. And lastly we're going to look at how you can create and save your own filter that you can switch whenever you're ready for easier viewing.

 

Creating & Saving Your Own Filter

Creating and saving your own filter can be helpful whenever you have other colleagues, but only want to see information regarding your appointments. Let's say for example that I would like to view only my class sessions scheduled at Studio 8-B for the month of August. 

I filter my sessions by location and only opt to see sessions for Studio 8-B:

 

From here I can go up to the textbox beside "Save Filter" and enter in a phrase that would be helpful for me to remember the type of filter that I saved. I'm choosing "Adalyn's Studio 8-B Classes", and then I'll click the "Save" button next to the textbox.

My filter is now saved and I can now select that filter anytime I'd like to see those presets without having to manually go back and reset them.

 

Now It's Your Turn!

Maybe your calendar needs a little tweaking in order to easily see your appointments or classes. With these suggestions, you can make your workflow a little easier and simpler. Give them a try & for now, happy scheduling!

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