Time Hack: Stash a Slash

Use a shortcut to schedule meetings faster

One of my favorite x.ai features is using a slash command over email. A slash command takes all the details and preferences from a Meeting Template and hands off the scheduling to our AI assistants who will send your guests available times and follow up if they are unresponsive. Plus, you don’t have to confirm the meeting details over email. Amy and Andrew just start scheduling since they know the type of meeting you want already based on your Meeting Template. All that’s left to do is find a time that your guests are free.

The lack of a confirmation step is my favorite part of slash commands, making them truly fire-and-forget. If I need to specify an exact time, of course, I will use an ad hoc meeting, but if I just want the meeting on my calendar and don’t care when, I use slash commands.

But that’s a rookie time hacker trick!

You can also hide slash commands in your emails. When you sign up for x.ai, you will likely receive a test meeting request from JenBot, our friendly testing bot. In the email, JenBot requests a meeting with you by CCing Amy. It looks like this: 

The highlighted portion appears to be JenBot requesting an ad hoc meeting using natural language, right? Look closer… Do you see it?

Here’s a hint. This is one of the meeting templates configured in JenBot’s account:

I hid a slash command in the email to obviate the need to click dozens of meeting confirmation emails every day. It is simply a lowercase o preceded by a forward slash: “/o“. The “.o\” is just there to hid it in a silly emoji.

The silly little emoticon (/o.o\) at the bottom of my email actually invokes a meeting template, making it look like an ad hoc meeting. But in reality this is a fire-and-forget slash command meeting request! The /o invokes the meeting with no further action required from me (or JenBot). Note that it will not work with another letter immediately preceding the slash, we did not want to accidentally schedule when you say, “either/or”.


Articles in the Time Hacker Series

  1. NEW: Prioritize your people: Get the availability for the most important guests first
  2. NEW: iPhone text replacement: Quick access to your Calendar Pages (on Android, too!)
  3. NEW: Get some FaceTime: Hack your Meeting Template to offer FaceTime URLs
  4. NEW: Cloak your availability: Block out time but still allow certain meetings
  5. NEW: Share a colleague’s availability: Schedule on behalf of your colleagues
  6. NEW: Make guests feel important: Add hidden restrictions to meetings
  7. NEW: Crowd control for calendars: Limit attendees for your group meetings
  8. Look busier than you are: Mask your true availability
  9. Stash a Slash: Surreptitiously include instructions to our AI to save you a step
  10. Automate your responses: Create email workflows to manage meetings for you
  11. Customize your overlap: Use Meeting Templates to optimize time zone overlaps
  12. Separate work and play: Route events to different calendars, personal or professional
  13. Make time for yourself: Instantly block out focus time with an email
  14. Add Amy to your emails with zero clicks: Loop in our AI with a simple email hack
  15. Leave yourself a graceful exit plan: Allow meetings to run long… or cut them short
  16. Gotta keep ’em separated: Double-book your time with multiple guests

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