Time Hack 9 of 9: Gotta keep ‘em separated

There are times when you want to hold a multiple-person meeting without having to CC everyone on the invitation. Rather, you would prefer to send each person their own invitation with only their information on it. Sort of like the calendar invitation version of a BCC.

Well, the welcome webinar we hold every Thursday (2pm EST!) is one such situation. I want people to be able to register for the webinar through x.ai but they certainly should not all be on the same calendar invitation. So I hack my time and theirs using x.ai’s Make Me Optional setting.

When a person is optional for a meeting through x.ai, our system will not consider their availability, it will simply send them the invitation once the meeting is scheduled. So I created a calendar page to facilitate webinar registrations. First, I used one of my previous time hacks to only offer one time per day, in this case on Thursday:

Note that this is a 45 minute meeting available only on Thursdays from 2pm-3pm and I set this meeting template to only book on the top of the hour. That leaves one option each week: 2pm on Thursdays.

Next, I added the webinar Zoom URL to my “Video Conference” location. I cannot use “Zoom” because that virtual location is connected to my Zoom account and will generate dynamic links for each meeting. I need static links for this endeavor, I want everyone in the same Zoom meeting. Now I am ready to hack some time by toggling on the setting for “I’ll make you optional in these meetings” under Restrictions. For good measure I also allow attendees to invite colleagues. The more the merrier! 

Because I am optional, my availability will not be considered for these meetings, but it will still be added to my calendar! I can manually accept the invitation if I want to, but I do not have to. Here’s what a Thursday at 2pm might look like for me:

Each invitation represents a webinar registration but none of the attendees can see each other on the invitation as they were sent individually. Making myself optional has effectively allowed me to double-book myself as much as I want!

Finally, I added the webinar joining information directly into the notes field for this meeting template:

The result is that each of my guests gets their very own invitation that looks something like this:

Now I can be scheduled with multiple people at the same time. That’s hacking time!


More Articles in the Time Hacker Series

  1. Look busier than you are: Mask your true availability
  2. Stash a Slash: Surreptitiously include instructions to our AI to save you a step
  3. Automate your responses: Create email workflows to manage meetings without your involvement
  4. Customize your overlap: Use Meeting Templates to optimize time zone overlaps
  5. Separate work and play: Route different events to different calendars to protect your free time
  6. Make time for yourself: Instantly block out time with a note to self, without leaving your email
  7. Add Amy to your emails with zero clicks: Loop in our AI with a quick and easy email hack
  8. Leave yourself a graceful exit plan: Use buffer time to allow meetings to run long… or cut them short
  9. Gotta keep ’em separated: Double-book your time without letting the attendees know about each other

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