In my role at x.ai, I speak to a lot of users to understand how they use the system and what they want to see from it in the future. In fact, one of these conversations sparked the idea for this post (thanks, Tim!).
We have users all over the world, so scheduling across oceans can be a bit tricky. I am in the New York time zone and so my default scheduling hours are in my own time zone. When I send a meeting request to someone in Berlin, they can see my availability in their time zone, but they may not want to meet me at 9pm.
Even worse is setting up a meeting in Australia. My default New York scheduling hours have exactly zero overlap with Melbourne’s working hours. I could look for the slim bit of overlap and craft an ad hoc request to Amy each time I need to have a call with my friends down under.
But that’s a rookie time hacker trick!
Instead I have a couple of different meeting templates that I use for these purposes. One meeting template is called simply /au and I set the available hours for it to 6pm through 9pm EST. This lets me take calls at 8pm in New York and 11am in Melbourne:
But I do not want just anyone booking meetings at these odd hours, I’d rather limit my late-night meetings, so I avail myself of two additional settings:
By hiding this meeting template’s calendar page from my calendar homepage, I can ensure that I am not exposing my evening hours to the entire world. However, suppose someone gets a hold of the URL, perhaps because I naively published it in a blog post. In that case, anyone who schedules a meeting through the page is still going to have to go through me first. Amy or Andrew will email me and double-check that I want them to set up the meeting before they add it to my calendar.
This way, I do not have to take meetings immediately after happy hour or past bedtime more than once or twice a week!