Online appointment scheduling made easy: YouCanBook.Me

General

I’m trying out a new service that makes it easy to safely show your calendar to a colleague or client and let them choose a time to meet — and reserve the time on the spot. It’s YouCanBook.Me.

To use it, you need to also use Google Calendar to keep your schedule. Enter your Google account info in YouCanBook.Me, and it creates a shareable calendar of your future available time slots. Here’s mine:

My current available calendar

You can adjust the length of time slots, start and end times for the day, which days are available, and more. This looks like a useful tool for any individual who has to make a lot of appointments — consultants, real estate agents, etc.

It would be less useful for those whose appointments overlap — a hair stylist, for example, who might be cutting one client’s hair while another client waits for a color process to complete. It also wouldn’t work for restaurant reservations, because you’d have to have a separate calendar for every table.

YouCanBook.Me has a counterpart service, WhenIsGood, which helps groups of people choose meeting times that work for all of them. I’ve used WhenIsGood for some time, and while it works terrifically well and is easy to set up and use, I’ve had mixed success in getting people to use it with me. That is, although everyone complains about how tedious it is to have to send emails back and forth to figure out a mutually-agreeable time, some people seem to be unwilling to try out a new solution — even one that’s dead simple to use.

But YouCanBook.Me seem even easier that WhenIsGood. I have high hopes. If you like, you can schedule a time to talk with me about it.

Cover It Live: great tool for liveblogging an event

General

Last night I attended an interesting discussion at Pitt, “The Future of the Book.” I knew ahead of time that I’d want to share my notes, and I was curious how others might react to the ideas.

So I set up an event on Cover It Live. It’s a simple-to-use gadget for documenting anything as it happens, and it’s able to integrate content from a number of sources — multiple panelists or contributors, Twitter, Facebook, and logged in or anonymous commentors. I’d seen bloggers use it during events like this year’s State of the Union address, and I wanted to try it myself.

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