Founder of Motion, YC alum, ex high-frequency trader
It’s obvious that Calendly is one of the most convenient calendar scheduling tools on the market. It’s a convenient virtual assistant that breezes through technical aspects of scheduling. With time zones, availability preferences, and automated links immediately generated, it’s saved people a lot of time (and sanity).
However, there’s one type of scheduling scenario that I wouldn’t be able to use Calendly for: the impersonality of the auto-generated calendly link.
The thing about using a virtual assistant to help manage your schedule is that, well, it’s a virtual assistant. There’s no human touch or essence of personalization. The absence of this interpersonal connection is harmful when dealing with scheduling meetings with people who are a big deal to you. Think new clients, or someone you are asking for a favor from.
I wouldn’t send a Calendly link to a close friend. So why would I send one to people I want to make an impression on?
Everything about it seems impersonal. It makes the invitee feel as though my time is better than theirs. They’re sent to a generic booking page which has already been sent to hundreds of other people. On top of this, they then have to enter their own contact information. It’s as if our email exchange never occurred.
Adding this contact information might seem inconsequential. Yet, think about trying to schedule a meeting with the CEO of a prospective large client who’s stretched on time. Having to re-enter all their personal details could be that deciding factor that makes them go, “eh, I’ll do this later,” and they never get to it.
When I’d run into this issue, I’d do things the old fashioned way: manually type out my availabilities.
I’d check my calendar, find times I’m available to meet, and manually type out those 3-5 time slots in the email. The process was lengthier, but you also have to remind yourself that this is more than just “booking a call.”
It’s a question of respect. You want to be able to show this person that you value their time and are willing to put in the effort to build this relationship. Manually typing out a scheduling email is a subtle way to show that.
Once I realized that Calendly wasn’t always a good option, I began noticing other downsides.
There’s been instances where I’ve sent a scheduling email for the week, only for the Calendly link to show that I’m unavailable for the next month. At other times, I’d be willing to meet at times marked as busy on my calendar - such as lunch time. Calendly’s software isn’t built to account for this yet.
But when I have a particularly open week, Calendly isn’t too helpful either. If I shared my entire 8-hour workday I’m not protecting my time well enough. We never want to look too available.
Plus, free time is not created equal. There are instances where some free time slots work much better than others. For example, if I only have one event at 4pm on a certain day, I'd prefer to schedule my other meetings around 4pm too so that I can protect my other uninterrupted maker's time. Having someone randomly book a meeting at 10:00 AM with a Calendly link interrupts this chunk of time where I could be in an uninterrupted flow state. It could ruin my day by significantly decreasing my productivity.
While Calendly was helpful in my day-to-day activities, I needed to find a solution for these scenarios. So, I decided to build my own scheduling software.
I needed to first fix the main issue: being able to send personalized scheduling emails, fast.
I created a tool which would automatically generate suggested free times. All I would have to do is hit a shortcut, and the text would be generated. It would already account for previous calendar events and other personal preferences.
This tool ended up saving me hours of time. Without needing to manually check my calendar, type available time slots, or worry about impersonal scheduling, my productivity soared.
It dawned on me that calendaring is a fundamental daily task that if done right, could change my life and how I work.
I launched into perfecting the tool even further. I set up a personalized booking page for each recipient. Not only are both parties able to save time by using a booking page, but there was an element of personalization that Calendly had been missing. The page is unique, with the third party’s name and email auto-filled. Even the booking link contains their name. It’s a small detail, but it’s this attention to detail that makes someone feel important.
This tool is now a feature of what we are working on at Motion. We wanted to cover the scenarios Calendly isn’t able to, to make Calendaring seamless.
It’s especially fast, easy, yet stays personal when scheduling meetings with others. It lets you use your calendar from any page or website. You could set up a meeting while on LinkedIn or Twitter, no problem. It also streamlines otherwise time-consuming tasks, like finding availability or creating zoom meetings.
We want to have the best of both worlds, and Motion is going to let us have it. If you wanna try out the tool, you can get started for free in under 30 seconds.
Hey, I'm Harry, co-founder of Motion, a calendar I built for myself that turned into a product. My background is in algorithmic trading, but now I am the Product Manager of our startup. I hold a Computer Science and a Math degree from Dartmouth, and was part of Y Combinator's W20 batch as well as Mozilla's Fix the Internet program with my co-founders Omid and Ethan.
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