At the top of the Settings window you will note that there are two tabs: Busy Slots and Free Slots. Let’s go over the Busy Slots first.
There may be use cases where you may not necessarily have appointments booked in your Outlook (Exchange) calendar but may want to show certain time frames not available for bookings.
When you initially access the Busy Slots tab, it will look like this; notice that “You don’t have any busy slots yet.” at the top right of the window:
Let’s use an example to create a repeating busy slot. In our use case, Emily North is the Events Coordinator for a community organization and would like to make sure that no meetings are booked on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00-1:30PM, as she has yoga sessions and lunch with friends on those days.
She would setup her Busy Slot as follows:
She indicates a title for those blocks, a start and end time, makes it a Weekly occurence on Tuesdays and Thursdays, sets the Start date for the next Tuesday or Thursday, and chooses “Forever” for the duration; she would choose this last option if there was no pre-determined end date for this activity, otherwise she could choose an end date for the activity.
Once it is all setup, she simply clicks the “Add” button to the right and the activity will get added to her Busy Slots:
Now, when she sends her MyAvailbility link to guests outside the organization, they will see those blocks as unavailable for meetings:
Note that if a guest switches to Month view, they will indeed see that these blocks are recurring every week:
You should also note that external guests do not see the titles of your appointments, only that you are “Busy”.
IMPORTANT NOTE: it is important to note at this point that this Busy Slot will only display through her MyAvailability link! This means that when she sends her MyAvailability link in her email and guest users consult her calendar to book a meeting, they WILL see those blocks as busy. However, her colleagues (internal users) will not see these Busy Slots.
For example, if her colleague Josie currently logs in and does an Availability search for Emily, these blocks will not show up as busy:
There is a way that Emily can have those Busy Slots taken into consideration when her colleagues are looking to book time with her, though: she would have to change the default settings in her General Settings tab. The default is to apply Free/Busy Slots only to external meetings:
So, if one of her colleagues were to try to book a lunch with Emily on a Tuesday, for example, she would have no problems (even though Emily has indicated this time as a Busy Slot in Agendex):
Now, if Emily were to change this setting to the second option:
…then this Busy Slot would be taken into consideration when internal users try to book a meeting. This means that if her colleague were now to try booking a 12:00-1:00PM lunch with Emily on a Thursday, the “Available time slots” would “jump” to 1:30PM, which is the next available slot after her Yoga + Lunch slot:
It is possible for her colleague to override the times and indicate 12:00-1:00PM, but you will notice that the “Available time slots” label now activates as a button:
This is because Agendex is taking into consideration Emily’s Busy Slot; if her colleague were to “insist” on booking this slot anyways, she would get a warning:
Should her colleague click “Create anyway”, then Emily would get the invitation to the lunch meeting. At this point, she would be free to Accept or Decline the meeting request.
After all, there is always the possibility that Emily might skip a yoga session every now and then to have lunch with a colleague!
In the next section, we’ll look at how the Free Slots work (hint: it’s very similar!).