Feb 29, 2016

Create Appointment Slots to Book Parent Conferences or Check Out Equipment

Recently a question to the Techy Coach was posted regarding the ability to reserve Chromebook Carts. A teacher is asking if there is a good way to use a Google Form to reserve carts, and also populate a calendar event automatically.

There are a few ways to do this, but if you are a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) User, the best way is through the use of Google Calendar Appointment Slots.   Appointment Slots are an option available to GAFE Users on Google Calendar, that allow you the benefit of assigning slots in your calendar that users can click on to reserve almost anything you choose.  One of the best uses besides checking out equipment is as a means of booking Parent Conferences.  Watch this video or view the steps below to get started:

Create an Appointment Slot
  1. Open http://calendar.google.com
  2. Login and click anywhere on your calendar to create an appointment.
  3. Click Appointment Slots at the  top of the box.
  4. Enter a name for the "what" portion of the event, such as "Chromebook Reservation"
  5. Be sure to choose the correct Calendar that you want your appointment slots to appear in. If you have not already done so, it might be a good idea to create a secondary calendar other than  your personal calendar for Appointment Slots.  To create a secondary Calendar, watch this video.
  6. Click Edit Details.  A full screen editor will open.
  7. Edit the details of your appointment slots, including time blocks, and how often the slots will repeat on the calendar.
  8. Copy the Link to your Appointment Slots and share with your colleagues.
  9. Save your event.

This is how appointment slots appear for 1 hour blocks that repeat every day, Monday Through Friday:

When users click on a slot, a reservation in their name appears that they can save.  The slot will appear on both their calendar, and your calendar.  No one will be able to sign up for the same slot, meaning that slot has been reserved.

Share Your Calendar

After you create your Appointment Slots, you can share your calendar with your colleagues so they can see when slots are available or when they have been reserved.  To share a calendar with someone:

  1. Select the calendar you would like to share.
  2. Click the dropdown menu to the right of the calendar.
  3. Choose Calendar Settings.
  4. Three Options for Sharing:
    1. Calendar Address - Next to Calendar Address, click the HTML Button and copy the link provided.  Then share by email with your colleagues.
    2. Embed This Calendar - If you are comfortable with HTML Code, you can use the Embed option to setup your calendar and then use the Embed Code to place it on a webpage.
    3. Insert in a Google Site - If you have a Google Site, you can also edit any page on your site, click Insert and Choose Calendar to place your calendar on your sitepage.
Tip:  If you are sharing your calendar with those outside your organization, you may need to change your public sharing options.  

You can also watch this video that explains how to Share a Calendar: