About Microsoft Bookings

Article Type: General Information


About Microsoft Bookings

  • By setting up a Bookings calendar, you enable students, or others with access to your Bookings page URL, to self-schedule an appointment based on your services/appointment types and availability.
  • Anyone may easily share their bookings page link through their Outlook email signature or by sharing the url.

Bookings at Metro State

  • When displaying your availability, Bookings considers your Outlook calendar appointments/time off and your Bookings business hours (office hours).   Outlook appointments set as Free or Working Elsewhere will not interfere with Bookings availability.  Outlook appointments set as Tentative, Busy or Out of office will show you as unavailable for Bookings.
  • Any appointments scheduled in Bookings are recorded on your Metro State Outlook calendar but must be managed through Bookings (if there is a need to cancel or reschedule, etc.).  Changes made to the appointment in Outlook do not notify the student of the change. 
  • Multiple employee calendars can be managed within a single group Bookings calendar, or Bookings may be set up for an individual calendar.  Your department or division may have a coordinated Bookings roll-out effort planned.  We recommend checking with your leadership prior to initiating set-up on your own. 
  • Bookings, a Microsoft product, is under the umbrella of the Minnesota State single tenant.  Metro State ITS does not have access to university-wide administrator capabilities for Bookings.
  • Keep in mind that Bookings is a short-term solution for Metro State.  As both NextGen and longer-term CRM solutions take shape, it is likely that the online scheduling function will transition to other more integrated tools.
  • Every Metro State user of Bookings has a responsibility to follow the guidelines provided in these knowledge base articles to provide a consistent and properly branded experience for our prospective and current students.

Planning for a Bookings calendar

Consider Staff, services, scheduling
Before creating a calendar, give some thought to:

Staff and faculty to be associated to the calendar (and if a group calendar, their role in it: Administrator (2 needed), Scheduler, Team member, View only).  More information provided below on individual vs. group calendar models.

Services (appointment types) that will be offered via Bookings; combinations of:

  • Location (in person, virtual/phone)

Duration

  • Information you would like the student to provide at the time of scheduling (custom fields)
  • Buffer time before or after certain meeting types (Bookings blocks this time on your calendar as part of the appointment, but not for the student.)
  • Reminders and notifications

Scheduling defaults

  • Time increments: this controls how the available meeting start times appear (suggestion 15 minutes or 30 minutes)
  • Minimum lead time (in hours) for bookings and cancellations (suggestion: 24 hours)
  • Maximum lead time (in days) a booking can be made in advance (suggestion: 30-60 days)

Consider calendar model (group, individual)

Provided below are considerations as you decide on how to structure your Bookings calendar to meet your needs.  An informal video is available that shows these options within Bookings.

Individual calendar model

  • Booking page will display the individual’s calendar name and provide appointment scheduling only with that individual.

  • Virtual service/appointment types can use either Teams or personal Zoom Room (with waiting room enabled) since each service/appointment type is limited to one faculty/staff.

  • Provides flexibility to the individual, but makes consistency with other calendars more challenging

  • The Bookings calendar is likely created and managed by the individual and no other faculty/staff are added to it, unless you wish to give visibility into your Bookings calendar by assigning your colleague(s) a role as scheduler, admin, or viewer and making them non-bookable.  

  • This model is achieved by creating a Bookings calendar for a single person.  That individual will be the only bookable staff in the calendar and shown on the calendar booking page.

Group calendar models
Display Group calendar as individual

  • Booking page will display the group calendar name but provide appointment scheduling only with the individual that is tied to the service.

  • Virtual service/appointment types can use either Teams or personal Zoom Room (with waiting room enabled) since each service/appointment type is limited to one faculty/staff.

  • Since multiple faculty/staff are within a single Bookings calendar, it is a good choice if support staff will assist with managing the calendar or if transparency is desired.

  • This model is achieved by an administrative designee setting up a departmental or other group calendar, adding multiple faculty/staff to it, setting up a specific service/appointment type for each, then using the individuals ‘service booking page’ instead of the overall calendar booking page.

  • Less flexibility for the individual but ensures consistency across all faculty/staff within the calendar.

  • Recommend designating at least 2 administrators for the group calendar.

Display group calendar as a group

  • Booking page will display the group calendar name and provide the ability to select with whom from the group they would like to schedule.  If the student opts not to select an individual, Bookings selects ‘anyone’ from the calendar that is available at the student’s desired appointment date/time.

  • This model is achieved by an administrative designee setting up a departmental or other group Bookings calendar and adding multiple faculty/staff to it.  All associated to the calendar will show as a scheduling option within the calendar booking page.

  • Recommend designating at least 2 administrators for the group calendar.

Details

Article ID: 142842
Created
Thu 4/21/22 12:51 PM
Modified
Tue 5/24/22 12:25 PM

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