FindTime – a quick way to find a time which best suits everyone when you are trying to arrange a meeting with a group of people.
There will be many times teachers are trying to organise a meeting time for a group of colleagues (sometimes in their own school, and often with colleagues in other schools, and sometimes with people outwith schools altogether) , but when you send out a message some people may reply only to you, some people may explain how they could make one time if they re-arranged something else, some say that a particular date is their preferred time, and some they just can’t manage at all.
FindTime is one way of neatly taking all of that into account where you simply make some suggestions for meeting, add the people to be invited (just by adding heir email address), and everyone simply clicks on times which best suit them from the link in the email (they don’t need to log into anything), which times they can’t manage, and which they could possibly do if they re-arranged something else. And FindTime also gives you the option to hold suggestions in Outlook calendars and confirm to all attendees what the outcome was once it’s been clearly identified as the best option.
So how do you get started with FindTime?
FindTime works with Office 365, so for Glow users the person who creates the meeting invitation simply has to use their Glow account to set up the meeting, but thereafter anyone can be invited to the meeting, with no need for others to be Glow users of for anyone to log into anything. The email invitation sent out includes links specific to each invited individual so they simply click on the link in their email to make their choices.
First time setup for the organiser
First time set up just needs the add-in for FindTime to be added to the Outlook calendar, in Glow Office 365. So do the following:
- Log into Glow and navigate to Office 365 (Calendar).
- Then open a new tab in your Internet browser and go to https://findtime.microsoft.com/.
- Click on the button which says “Install for free – requires office 365” – untick the box which asks if you wish sent news of updates, and then click on the button which says “I’m ready.”
- In the login screen which then appears add your Glow email address where it asks for your Microsoft Office (that will be your Glow username followed by @glow.sch.uk). That will take you to the normal Glow login screen so simply sign in as normal. A button will appear to show that the add-in for FindTime is now installed.
How to start a meeting invitation
- The organiser of the meeting is the only one who has to have a Glow Microsoft Office 365 account – everyone else just needs to have an email address, which does not need to be within Glow nor Office 365. Navigate to the Internet browser tab where you have Glow Microsoft Office 365 Calendar (note that this also works from within Microsoft Office 365 Outlook email too, so the steps below work whether email or calendar part of Office e365).
- Choose the drop down arrow beside “+New” and choose “Calendar event.”
- Click on “Add-ins” and choose “FindTime. The first time you do this only you click on the “FindTime “link now” box which appears. Thereafter you’ll see the FindTime option each time you choose that from the add-in menu.
- Underneath where it says “People” you’ll see a box which says “Add people” where you simply type email addresses of each of the people who are going to invite – once each name is typed you click on “Use this address” which displays under the email address” to add each email address one by one (don’t user the + sign beside the box as this will only add from your address book).
- Now select the meeting options in the FindTime panel (it’s suggested to specify the meeting duration, then select as or as many days/times options as suit you). Then click “Next” – here you can click on the cog for “Meeting settings” to specify whether you wish to have notifications, to hold possible dates in diaries, or to automatically schedule the dates which suits everyone (probably you’d want to decide that for yourself so may no choose that last option).
- Finally click on “Insert to email” and send to those you are inviting to participate.
And once you get the invitations?
Each user simply clicks on the link in their email and makes their choices (preferred option, and yes or no for each suggested time/date) before clicking on the “Submit” button. And that’s all they have to do. The organiser can go to https://findtime.microsoft.com to review meeting details of any meeting they have organised, and edit or send out details to participants as required. They can also see the details from with their calendar entry for the selected time/date in Office 365.