Google Calendar is a superb tool for scheduling meetings with others, both inside and outside of TSS. The video and article below will walk you through the process, along with some advanced pro-tips for those who want to take their scheduling to the next level.
Creating An Event
1. Go to calendar.google.com, log in with your TSS credentials, then click the large red 'Create' button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
2. Next, you'll see the event creation dialog box. Most of the fields are pretty self-explanatory. What do you want your meeting to be called? When would you like it to happen? How long is the meeting? Where is it going to happen? Fill out as much detail as will be useful to your attendees. You can also adjust other settings, such as what color the meeting will appear on your calendar and whether you appear as 'busy' or 'available' during the meeting.
3. To invite other people to your meeting, use the 'Add Guests' box on the right-hand side of the screen. If your guest has a TSS email address, their name should populate automatically after you type the first few letters of their first name. If the attendee is outside the organization, you can still invite them but you'll need to enter their entire email address.
If you want to make attendance optional for an attendee, click on the silhouette next to their name after they've been added. If they have a blacked-out silhouette, that means they're a required attendee. If their silhouette is transparent, it mean they're an optional attendee. You also have the options of giving your attendees the ability to see the list of other attendees, invite other attendees, or edit the event itself.
4. If you'd prefer to invite a group of individuals, say the JC Meal Hosts, you can also invite an entire group as well:
5. To finalize your meeting, click the red "Save" button at the top of the screen. You'll then be prompted whether you want to send emails to your guests; you probably want to click "Send". If you want to track who's accepted your meeting request, you can view your guest list and look for a check mark (meaning they're attending), a question mark (meaning they're tentative), or an 'X' (they've declined).
How to Find A Good Time For Your Meeting
Google Calendar has a built-in tool for finding a time that will work for all the attendees of your meeting. To access it, open your calendar event and click on the 'Find a time' link that's below the event's date and time information:
The 'Find a Time' feature will show all of your guests' availability for the time of your meeting (indicated by a transparent box with a dotted border). You can drag the appointment to a different time or modify the length of the event. If the interior of the box is a solid color, like the example below, that means that all of the attendees are available during the time of the appointment. If the box has a striped appearance, it means that some of your attendees have conflicts on their schedule.
*Disclaimer- By default, every person at TSS shares their free/busy information with everyone else in the organization. This means that everyone is able to see whether you're free or busy, but they won't see details of the events on your calendar. Users can change this setting to make their calendar more or less public to the organization. If one of your attendees has hidden their calendar from you, then you won't be able to see their availability using 'Find a Time'.