Make scheduling easy by publishing your calendar

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Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

A few weeks ago, I started using Google Calendar to publish a free/busy version of my calendar on my website. I am so glad I did.

Scheduling—especially for busy attorneys—can be a royal pain. It often involves several phone calls or e-mails, at least, and it can be much worse when you are trying to schedule something with an attorney who sends scheduling information like “I am free at 2:00 on the 3rd” and nothing else. As if it is inconceivable that you would have anything on your calendar at that date and time. All that back-and-forth is a big waste of time.

Now, I just point opposing counsel, potential clients, and others to my public calendar and ask them to give me a couple of options when I am free.

It generally takes only two calls or e-mails to get something scheduled. It was especially useful recently when I hired an interpreter to set up a meeting with a Spanish-speaking client. I pointed the interpreter to my calendar, and she was able to call the client with her calendar and mine to set up the appointment.

To publish a Google Calendar, go to Settings > Calendars > Sharing. Check the boxes next to “Make this calendar public” and “Share only my free/busy information (Hide details).” Then, under Calendar Details, you will find an option to embed the calendar in your website. You can copy and paste the default code, or change the options by clicking on “Customize the color, size, and other options.”

I made a special page on my website where it is easy to find my calendar. There is a link to it in my sidebar, but if you want to be more discrete, just make the address something easy to tell people over the phone and share it only with the people you want to.

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