Streamline scheduling with Microsoft Bookings

Last Updated: 10/27/2020

Microsoft Bookings streamlines scheduling and managing appointments through a web-based booking calendar and integration with Outlook calendars to quickly find available time and avoid double-booking. The service includes automated notification emails to help reduce no-shows and the ability to make the meeting virtual through Microsoft Teams. Bookings is an ideal tool for scheduling office hours or other repetitive scheduling tasks like appointment setting.

Bookings has these primary components:

  • A booking page for scheduling appointments. This web-based scheduling page can be shared via a direct link, your Facebook page, and even through link embedding within your website.
  • A web app that contains a set of web-based, business-facing pages where Bookings calendar owners and administrators within an organization can define appointment types and details, manage staff schedules and availability, set business hours, and customize how appointments are scheduled. These pages allow for versatility and the ability to customize a Bookings calendar to fit the diverse needs of the person or organization.
  • A mobile app where Bookings calendar owners and administrators can see all of their appointments, access affiliate lists and contact information, and make manual bookings on the go.
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams, so Bookings owners can see their Bookings appointments in Teams.

The Anderson Language and Technology Center is already using Bookings for the scheduling of tutoring sessions. CU Boulder’s Division of Student Affairs has been utilizing Bookings to schedule COVID-19 screening appointments.

“As COVID-19 screening can involve up to 2,000 participants per day spread across six different collection sites, we have used Microsoft Bookings as a method to properly balance that load during the day,” says Kristen Bjorkman, PhD., a testing and monitoring advisor/liaison for CU Boulder’s COVID testing. “This ensures adherence to public health directives regarding density and distancing, prevents staff from becoming overwhelmed at popular times, and facilitates a steady flow of samples to the lab, which encourages timely results reporting. In addition, Bookings has the added benefit of forecasting volume for the day and sending reminders to participants who have scheduled in advance.”

With the ability to integrate with a personal calendar and allow sign up through a web-based booking calendar, Bookings can also be an ideal tool for scheduling office hours with students or other constituents.

“I am using Microsoft Bookings to manage one-on-one office hours with students,” said Senior Instructor of Finance Daniel Brown. “I set up the parameters with which they can book (when and how long), I allocate time in the Bookings application and the students manage the rest. I am no longer managing emails from students trying to find time to meet with me.”

Bookings is available at no charge to CU Boulder faculty and staff through the Office 365 suite of services. Students can schedule appointments on a Bookings page, but students are not eligible to create and manage a Bookings page, due to licensing restrictions. You can learn more about the service, its features and how to request the service on the Microsoft Bookings service page.