Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Getting Started with Bookings in Teams for managing virtual appointments

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, check back often

Written: 31/05/2020 | Updated: N/A

I have used Bookings for some time. Bookings came to Office 365 Business Premium two maybe three years ago as part of what was then called Office Business Apps along with several other apps such as Mile IQ. Most of them including Listings and Connections never make the cut. Bookings, however, was an exception. It’s useful and it’s always been ideal for Teams – except the integration was never there and it was, as mentioned, limited to Business Premium. Covid-19 and remote working changed that. Now in all Microsoft 365 plans, you are able to book virtual meetings for the Team through Teams. You are able to see bookings made by the team in Teams, and the fact that you can create a public bookings page where customers can book virtual meetings and consults with the team – and be surfaced in Teams, is very very useful. It’ll work in most verticals, and I feel it’s going to be one like Shifts – a real nice app but people are definitely going to want more real quick. I’ll be seeing you in Uservoice over the next few months

This blog will cover

  • How to add the Bookings App and create a booking calendar
  • How to add Staff to the booking calendar
  • How to add an Appointment Type to the booking calendar
  • How to add a Booking
  • How to modify and cancel a Booking
  • How to create a public bookings page
  • How to add another booking calendar
  • How to navigate between multiple booking calendars

WHY WOULD WE DO IT?

  • To book meetings for Team Members
  • So customers can book meetings with Team Members

PREREQUISITES

Users need Teams and Bookings licences – usually via Office/Microsoft 365 licences. The Teams/Global administrator should ensure that Bookings is permitted within the app permissions policy.

HOW – ADDING THE BOOKINGS APP AND CREATING A BOOKING CALENDAR

1.) Bookings is only available as a personal app on the left app bar (as opposed to a tab in a Team). Select More Options (…) on the app bar. Search and select Bookings

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2.) Select Add

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3.) To pin the app to the app bar, right click on Bookings and select Pin 

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4.) Select Get Started

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5.) Select New booking calendar. Note, if the booking calendar was already set up by someone else in the organisation, select Existing booking calendar

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6.) You now enter the details of the booking calendar. Enter the business or department name (set here as the department operations), the business type (set here as IT Support from the dropdown), the address to send responses to (set here as the test account I am using but recommended to a shared mailbox) and the business phone number (set here as a fictitious number). Once done, select Save

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7.) After setting up, the booking calendar is now created

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HOW – ADD STAFF

If you are responsible for making bookings on behalf of staff members, or you want to see an all up view of the bookings for the business/department then you can add other staff/team members to the booking calendar

1.) Select Add Staff at the top right of the screen

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2.) Search for a Staff member and select Add. Note you can currently only add one member at a time

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3.) Once completed you can then make booking for the staff you have added. Staff are arranged in alphabetical order based on their first name

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HOW – ADDING AN APPOINTMENT TYPE

On setup, bookings comes with a default appointment type which is an initial consult. However, your business may need different appointment types of a different focus

1.) Select More Options (…) at the top right of the screen

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2.) Select Settings

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3.) Select Appointment Types

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4.) Select Add Appointment Type

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5.) Select a title, confirmation message and an email reminder schedule for the appointment type. The example used below is for a Diagnostics Assessment by a member of the Team which has an email reminder schedule both 1 day and 1 hour before the booking. Once done, select Save

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6.) The appointment type is created

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HOW – ADDING A BOOKING

Now that staff and appointment types have been added it is time to make a booking.

1.) A booking can be initiated by either selecting New Booking or by clicking on the time slot of the staff member

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2.) Add the Attendee’s name, email address and phone number (if required). Set the time of the appointment, the staff member, any notes, and set the email reminder

Once done, select Send (top left) to send the booking

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Note if you have multiple appointment types you can also select this from the dropdown initiated by the arrow next to the appointment type name

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3.) The booking is now in the bookings calendar and is scheduled

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HOW – MODIFYING OR CANCELLING A BOOKING

From time to time, bookings may need to be modified or cancelled

1.) Select the booking

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2.) Most of the information can be amended including the attendee details, the staff member, the time and the email reminders. The appointment type cannot be modified

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Once done, select Save. In this example I am adding Vesku as another Staff member to the booking. Consequently, two staff members are now booked

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3.) To cancel the booking, select the booking and then Cancel Booking at the top right. Note, cancelling the booking will cancel the booking for all staff members if there are multiple staff members added to the booking

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HOW – CREATE A PUBLIC BOOKINGS PAGE

1.) Select More Options (…) and then Open Bookings Web App. Sign in may be required

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2.) Select Bookings Page

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3.) Enter all the settings for your bookings page including Logo, Branding, Region and Time Zone, Scheduling Policy and Email Notifications. Once complete, select Save and Publish

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4.) The page is now published, you can share on Facebook, Twitter or over email, or can navigate to the page via Open Published Page or copy and pasting the URL

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The bookings page is now ready to go

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HOW – CREATE ANOTHER BOOKING CALENDAR

There may be a need for several bookings calendars in your organisation. This could be for different departments, different consultants, or different parts of the group

1.) Select the name of the booking calendar and then New Booking Calendar

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2.) Repeat the steps above

HOW – NAVIGATE BETWEEN TWO BOOKING CALENDARS

You may need to switch periodically between booking calendars if you are managing bookings between two sets of users

1.) Select the name of the booking calendar and then Existing Booking Calendar

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2.) Search and select the booking calendar and then select Done

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3.) You are now on the required booking calendar

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