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Book Me: Sharing Calendar Availability via Meeting Scheduler

For users of the Email Sidebar on:


13 min read



Also see this Revenue Grid blog article for special insights


The Share Calendar Availability (Book me) feature allows parsing your and your colleagues’ availability periods based on MS Exchange / Office 365 calendar data to be sent to your business contacts, for example to negotiate a meeting time convenient for all participants involved or to schedule a series of meetings with different contacts. The unoccupied slots from meeting organizer calendar(s) are parsed to be saved as a link to an interactive scheduling table webpage. When building availability tables to be saved, RGES parses unoccupied slots from calendar(s) over a 365 day span. For Enterprise customers this limit can be adjusted by request sent to our CSM team.


The organizer’s and required in-org invitees’ availability spans are parsed on Book Me link generation, and later if a another slot gets occupied that is also reflected on the Booking page viewed by the recipient.

As soon as a recipient clicks on their preferred slot, RG Email Sidebar checks if the slot is still available in the organizer’s and required in-Org attendees’ calendars. In case it was occupied by another booking, the recipient is suggested to pick another slot. In addition, by refreshing Booking page browser window, the recipient can actualize the availability table after such checks.


RGES features an optional possibility to make the system treat Tentative slots as Free instead of Occupied. This mechanics is managed Org-wide or for individual users, via the global setting ShowTentativeAsBusy. To enable this function refer to your Admin



RG Email Sidebar offers the possibility to disregard the organizer’s calendar. When the “Disregard organizer’s calendar” checkbox is selected in the dialogue, meetings booked by link recipient(s) will be marked in the Organizer’s calendar as Free


Book Me links can be generated even if RGES Sync Engine is not running; however, in this case the resulting meetings cannot be synced in Salesforce calendar till syncing is resumed.



To initiate a meeting by sharing your availability periods with business contacts:

1. Open the Sidebar for a relevant selected/opened or new created email message in MS Outlook Desktop by clicking the Open RG Email Sidebar button in the ribbon. See this article to learn how to open the Sidebar in MS Outlook on the Web

>>> Click to see a screenshot <<<



Now generated Book Me hyperlinks can be inserted behind any words, phrases, or sentences highlighted by the user in composed email’s body. This feature works in MS Outlook for Windows or Mac and Outlook on the Web; RGES Web (Cloud) implementation only


2. In the Sidebar, click the Book me icon in Smart actions bottom toolbar


3. Fill in the key meeting details – Meeting subject, Location and Duration, Body (Description), and the optional details:

  • Save to Salesforce record: Business records linking
  • Save to Lead or Contact: People records linking
  • Available on days of the week and from/until daily limits set according to your weekly schedule
  • Required internal attendees: the attendees from your Org whose presence at the meeting is required
  • From date and To date: specific period over which the meeting is possible

Note that the time zone of the generated selection page will be pre-set for each recipient based on their email client data. You may also select a specific time zone by its abbreviation, e.g. HST/HDT; AKDT; AKST; PDT; MST/MDT; CDT; CST; EDT; AST; SST; ChST; EST

>>> Click to see the screenshots <<< Basic parameters

Advanced parameters



You can hide the advanced Book Me dialogs fields and controls which you do not use when creating meetings, just click the v (collapse) icon next to the Advanced options section title


The Meeting subject field is prefilled with the subject of the related email (if any) and your can edit it according to your needs. In the Location picklist you can select a location from your MS Exchange rooms resources or manually enter a location. RG Email Sidebar Meeting Scheduler allows setting three alternative options for a meeting’s Duration; its increase step is 15 minutes.


Setting alternative meeting Durations

We’ve made the Book Me feature more flexible by introducing the possibility to set up to three alternative meeting Durations that the meeting invitees may choose among at the resulting Booking page. To set viable meeting durations, simply select the checkboxes next to them in the Duration picklist.

>>> Click to see a screenshot <<<


The shortest of suggested durations will be shown as the default one on the Booking page. If an invitee chooses a wrong duration and decides to change it, they may return to the Duration dialog by clicking Back in their web browser.


The Time buffer b/w meetings selector allows to set a gap between consecutive meetings booked by different invitees via RGES Meeting Scheduler. It allows the Organizer to rest or get prepared between meetings and is applied automatically on Booking page table rendering.

Next, you can also select a Business record (e.g. Account or Opportunity) to link the created event to, using the Save to Salesforce record search box. Please note that if you leave this field blank, the event will not be auto-saved in Salesforce.

In addition, there is the Save to Lead or Contact field that allows you to link Salesforce events created this way to specified People records (e.g. Leads or Contacts), besides Business records.


The Body (Description) box is used for specifying additional event information for its participants, to be used as meeting description in the Exchange/Office 365 calendar and in Salesforce. Note that it will not be included into the text of the share calendar availability email generated by Meeting Scheduler.



Then fill in the optional meeting parameters hidden under the Advanced options tab:

Reminder: Here you can define if you want an MS Outlook reminder to be auto-set up in your Outlook calendar to notify you before the meeting starts so you can get prepared. It can trigger from several minutes to hours or days, up to two weeks prior to the meeting.

The Minimal span between booking & actual start field below (values range from 30 minutes to 2-48 hours) ensures that the meeting organizer will have enough time to react and get prepared for the meeting after a slot is picked by Book Me link recipient.

In addition there are the From date and To date controls. This meeting validity span is set if you (or other involved people from your Org) will only be available during a limited calendar span, e.g. a conference, a field visit, or an overseas trip.

The dialog also includes setting up of focused availability limits:
The Available on (days of the week) selection and the From and Until picklists – their default values are retrieved from your MS Exchange / Office 365 working days/business hours account settings. Adjust these limits to set the availability spans specific to your regular work schedule, for example if you are only available for meeting the customers on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30pm until 5pm; in some scenarios you may also need to make these limits broader, for example if you want to arrange a Book Me meeting outside of your working hours or on a weekend.


Another handy Book Me dialog field is Internal attendees. This field allows you to add the schedules of your colleagues (they must belong to your MS Exchange space) whose presence is required at the meeting to the resulting parsed availability table, this way ensuring that a slot convenient for all key in-org participants will be selected.

In addition, you may allow the recipients of generated Book Me link invite extra guest attendees via the Booking page; they may enter up to 8 emails of guest attendees they require at the meeting. To enable this possibility, select the checkbox Allow inviting guests in the dialog.

As a meeting initiator, you may even exclude your own availability parsing from the Book Me scope, to organize meetings for other people, where your participation is optional or not required. To do that, select the checkbox Exclude organizer’s busy time in the dialog.

>>> Click to see the screenshots <<<


4. RG Email Sidebar will generate a short link leading to a Meeting Scheduler web page with a table showing your availability periods based on your calendar data

5. Click Finish in the upper right corner of the dialog and the link will be automatically inserted into the new message



If you want to set a custom share calendar availability message template, refer to this article



In the latest RG Email Sidebar updates, a standard reCAPTCHA v3 anti-bot check was introduced on accessing the Calendar availability slots reservation webpage to prevent calendar spamming activities


In Compose mode, the Attendees list in create Book me dialog is auto-populated with recipients from the To and CC fields of the composed message; the sender will be set as the Organizer.


The Book Me dialog has the following default settings

Meeting subject: copy of the Subject of email or meeting selected in email client when Book Me is clicked. If its Subject is blank, you must enter one
Duration: 30 minutes
Time buffer b/w meetings: 0 minutes
Reminder: none
You can set up MS Outlook reminders to be created automatically for meetings initiated via Meeting Scheduler

Minimal span between booking and actual start: 5 hours
Available on days: RGES user Working days, picked from mail account settings
Available from: RGES user working hours Start, picked from mail account settings
Available until: RGES user working hours End, picked from mail account settings


Book Me Dialog Auto-Filling

To enhance use convenience, after the Autumn 2021 RG Email Sidebar update, RGES Meeting Scheduler includes a possibility to configure automatic prefilling of any Book Me / Time Slots dialog fields according to the customer’s preference. For example, the Subject field can mirror relevant email’s subject or include a custom text or a combination of email’s subject and a custom text. This option can be enabled for big Enterprise customers; to get it configured please send a detailed request to our Support team.



How to Book a Slot (Recipient Side)

When the recipients open the link, they can select their preferred slot by dragging the Book a meeting control or clicking at their preferred slot. As soon as a slot is selected and confirmed by the attendee (see the screenshot below), it gets automatically reserved in your calendar and you will receive a corresponding notification.
After an invitee selects a slot on the Meeting Scheduler page, he/she also needs to fill in their full name and email address in the Booking confirmation dialog. Booking confirmation page language is set based on the locale specified in link recipient’s web browser.


>>> Click to see new interface screenshots (New View) <<<



The Extra Fields: Phone Number and Notes

Starting with the Autumn 2021 update, the Booking page also includes optional fields Phone number and Notes. These fields allow meeting attendees to let the Organizer as well as other participants know their phone numbers for direct connection or provide extra details prior to the meeting.

>>> Click to see a screenshot <<<



Since entered Phone number and Notes get appended to the meeting’s Description, they also get conveyed to all required as well as optional meeting invitees. For this reason, the recipients should always consider if the Phone number is worth including in their specific privacy and discretion circumstances and what information can be listed in meeting Notes



Quick Send Availability

Besides the Share My Availability feature you can use the Quick Send Availability shortcut located next to the Open RG Email Sidebar button in MS Outlook ribbon to quickly send your availability slots omitting the second and the third steps.


After you click this button, the availability selection page link will immediately be inserted into the email message.


In the latest RG Email Sidebar updates it is possible to set the default (prefilled) Meeting Location and Duration, which will also be preset for links generated with Quick Send Availability. To set the default Meeting Location and Duration to be used, submit a corresponding request to our CSM team



By default generated share availability (Book Me) links expire 365 days after their creation date. For Enterprise customers, this period can be adjusted on request sent to our CSM team



Please note that when you are using this feature from the Sidebar running in MS Outlook on a mobile device, you will not be able to edit the text of the resulting email – a pre-configured Salesforce message template will be used instead, and the email with the link you generated will be sent out by the Add-In automatically



Calendar slots Status parsing by Meeting Scheduler

When RGES parses occupied slots data from the users’ MS Exchange calendar, it applies the following rules to interpret the slots’ specific statuses. Keep in mind that this data is not parsed continuously in real time, instead it is a “snapshot” of your calendar at the time when the meeting was initiated with RGES Meeting Scheduler.

Slot status in MS Outlook Slot status in Meeting Scheduler tables
{Outside of Working hours set in MS Outlook} Busy
Free Free
Busy Busy
Working elsewhere Free
Tentative Free
Out of Office (OOF) Busy


Keep in mind that the resulting table also takes into consideration the above described parameters you specified on Book Me table generation:

  • From date and To date
  • Minimal span between booking & actual start
  • Available on days of the week
  • From / until daily limits



MS Teams integration on Location selection

Big Enterprise customers may request our Support team to enable a special MS Teams integration option that allows RG Email Sidebar users to automatically generate MS Teams meeting rooms links for meetings created with RGES Time Slots and Book me features. This feature is available for Office 365 mailboxes, via MS Graph or hybrid MS Graph-EWS connectivity: the Add-In works over Graph and Sync Engine works over EWS.


To generate and send an MS Teams meeting link, once the feature was configured by our Support team or the local Admin:
1. In the Book Me creation dialog, click the Location field and enter MS Teams (or another custom name configured for your Org) or select this item on the top of the picklist

>>> Click to see a screenshot <<<


2. Complete Book Me link generation process and send it to the recipient(s)

Special considerations for using MS Teams integration
  • In order to open the MS Teams meeting link generated this way the recipient does not have to belong to your Organization, but must have MS Teams running

  • A new unique MS Teams meeting room link is generated for every meeting. Several invitees from inside or outside of your company can join the meeting by opening the MS Teams link

  • Note that the MS Teams meeting link is not be included in the Book Me email or selection table; instead, it will be added to the MS Outlook meeting created in the recipient’s Calendar
    To make sure that the recipients do not lose the link, it is recommended to mention in invite email’s body that the link goes to the meeting’s Description in their MS Outlook calendar as soon as they confirm the meeting

>>> Click to see a screenshot <<<



See this article to learn how to invalidate a Book Me link if a recipient misuses it for calendar spamming.



Shared Calendars compatibility

Starting with the Autumn 2021 RG Email Sidebar update, the Time Slots and Book Me features are fully compatible with Exchange / Office 365 Shared calendar use scenarios. Different users viewing a shared calendar can initiate RGES Meeting Scheduler meetings assigned to it by following the same steps, with a single addition, you should specify what calendar you are generating the link for:


A Book me / Time Slots meeting can be created in a shared calendar even if the calendar’s account does not have the RGES Add-In or Sync Engine configured, but in the latter case the resulting meeting will not get synced to Salesforce.


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