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Automate Appointments w/Google Calendar

Posted in "How To"

Not an elementary teacher, still keep reading! There is something here for you too!

Parent Conference Week is coming soon! Use Google Calendar Appointment Slots to automate the process of scheduling parent conference appointments. Parents can set or reschedule their OWN appointments! It’s a WIN WIN for both teacher and families. Having said all that automated appointment slots are good for many things; cart checkouts, finding a collaborative meeting time, a shared room schedule, setting office hours and more! (Only available through a work or school Google account.) Here’s how:

Use the Chrome Browser. Don’t have it? Download it HERE. Need instructions on how to setup, log into your Chrome browser, and easily switch accounts? Click HERE.

Now let’s get to the important stuff… how to automate appointment setting!

  1. Open Calendar:  Go to Google Calendar. There is more than one path:
    • Type directly into the URL address bar
    • Use the App in the Apps page
      • click on the colorful waffle (upper left)
      • Choose the Calendar App

  1. Create new calendar: (One-time setup)
  • Hover your mouse over “My Calendars” (on left)
  • Click the down arrow
  • Choose “Create new Calendar”

  • Name  your calendar (ex. Orvick Parent/Teacher Conferences)
  • Click on “Share this calendar”
  • Check the box, “Share this calendar with others”
  • Do NOT check the box “Make this calendar public”, but DO check the box, “Share this calendar with everyone in the organization”
    • Select “Show all details” if you wish for colleagues and secretaries to have access to the schedule.
    • Select “show only free/busy” if you wish to keep the details between you and the individual appointment maker.

  • Click “Create Calendar” when done (near top)
    • Your calendar will appear under “My Calendars” (on left)
    • Click box to left of the calendar name to show/not calendar events on your master calendar. (color can be edited by clicking on down arrow to the right)

  1. Notifications: (One-time setup)
  • Turn on Notifications in order to be notified when an appointment has been scheduled or cancelled.
    • Mouse over the calendar name and click on the “down arrow
    • Choose “Edit notifications”
    • Check the box for each type of notification you prefer
      • Check SMS if you prefer text notifications
    • Click “Save

  1. Create Appointment Slots
  • Open Calendar in “Week view” (Not available in month view)
  • Click on the day, time slot desired for your conference appointments.
    • A Pop-up window will appear
  • Click on “Appointment slots” (top of pop-up), then “Edit details” (bottom of pop-up)

  • This takes you to the details window of the appointment
    • Here you will edit six items:
      • Title the Appointment slot (Your last name, Conference Appointments)
      • Choose appropriate time block
      • Choose repeat if applicable
      • Be sure correct calendar is selected (Appointment calendar, etc.)
      • Check “Offer as slots of __ minutes (15 – 20 mins, personal preference)
      • Add room # in “Where” field
      • Add a note in description asking parents to add their child’s name, as well as theirs for reference.
    • Click “Save
  1. Share the Conference Appointment Slots – Only appointment slots created will be able to be viewed. All other details remain private.
  • Open Calendar
  • Click on the appointment slot and choose “Edit details
    • This opens the appointment slot edit screen.
  • Locate the long link next to “This calendar’s appointment page”.
  • Right-click on the link and choose “Copy link address

    • This link can be shared several ways:
      • Via Google Classroom (live link)
        • Post an announcement with link to Appointment Calendar attached
        • Make sure parents emails have been linked to your Google Classroom so they get notified, and access.
      • Via Gmail (live link)
        • Simply paste the link to the appointment page in a nice email to parents explaining the parent/teacher conference self select process, giving them access to creating their own appointments.
      • Via Paper Newsletter (manual input-parents will have to type the address into the URL space)
        • Write the newsletter,
          • share the link/QR Code
          • Simplify the login process with a shortened URL
            • Get the Google URL shortener/QR Code generator extension (one time setup)
              • Open the Chrome Web Store
              • Search Google URL Shortener
              • Add/Confirm to add the extension
            • Open the Appointment Calendar revealing appointment slots
              • Click on the shortener extension (right of URL)
                • Extension automatically adds the shortened URL to the clipboard for easy pasting into your doc
                • QR Code is also available, copy and paste that onto doc

          • Print newsletter and send home
  1. Viewing Appointments
  • Created Appointments appear automatically on your calendar AND on the person’s calendar who created it.
    • An email notification is also received
  • Open Google Calendar to reveal created appointments
  • Click on any one appointment to see the details
  1. Invite others to ANY scheduled Appointment – Sometimes we need an interpreter or another teacher to join us in a Parent/Teacher conference. No problem!
  • Navigate to and click on the Appointment Slot created by the parent
  • Choose “Edit event
    • A new window opens, choose “Add: Guests, Enter email addresses
    • Click on the box and add the invitee’s email
    • Click “Save
    • Another pop-up message asks, “Would you like to send invitations to guests?
    • Click “Send
  • Invitees will now receive an email inviting them to the meeting.
  1. Manually fill in your own Appointment Slot – Sometimes there a reasons to need to fill in one of the slots manually. A parent may call and explain they have no access to your online calendar. No problem!
  • Navigate to your calendar
  • Click on the link to the appointment slots
  • Click on the long link to reveal individual appointment slots
  • Click on the desired appointment slot time
  • Fill in the details
    • Remember to change your name to the appointee’s name

  1. Appointments can EASILY be cancelled and rescheduled
  • Parents can choose to “decline the invitation” in order to cancel and reschedule
    • They simply choose “No” on the email notification

    • The appointment slot will be made available to others once declined
  • Teachers will be notified via email
    • To cancel from teacher calendar, open the link in the email notification, then choose delete

  1. Print your Appointment Schedule
  • Open your calendar
  • Choose “Agenda view
  • Click “More icon”,”Print
    • The Print options window will open
  • Set desired options:
    • Font Size – “Smallest” fits the most on the page
    • Orientation – Choose “Portrait
    • Print description – Uncheck
    • Print end times – Check
    • Print attendees – Check
    • Print your response – Uncheck
    • Show events you have declined – Uncheck
    • Black and white – Check
  • Click “Print


Though this may appear like a long list of laundry, remember that most of these items are a one time setup. Once done, it will always be done! Then you can simply use the calendar to set up appointments.

Automated appointments will simplify scheduling and save you much needed time. Enjoy!

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