How much time do you spend making appointments with customers and business partners? Either the phone is ringing constantly, pulling you out of your workflow again and again, or you are writing countless emails to finally come to a common denominator when it comes to finding appointments. The constant back and forth when planning and rescheduling appointments can also be annoying for your customers.
Table of contents
The solution: an online booking system
Nowadays, nothing facilitates the handling of data more than the possibilities of digitalisation. A digital booking system not only saves paper, but also time. If you normally make appointments by phone or email, this costs you and your counterpart time and nerves. Taking care of the whole thing online offers transparency and reduces the workload on your side.
Make booking appointments easier for you and your customers!
SeaTable offers a simple and powerful solution here. With our web forms, which you may have used for customer surveys so far, you can also easily create online booking systems. The set appointments then appear fully automatically in your table and you can see at a glance which appointments are due when.
The creation of this appointment booking system is guaranteed to be done in under 30 minutes without any prior knowledge! In the following, we explain the creation of a digital booking system in SeaTable step by step. This means you no longer need appointment booking software such as Calendly.
SeaTable can offer an intelligent and adequate replacement here and also has the advantage that the booking system itself can be hosted. Calendly can be connected to SeaTable through Zapier in just a few steps - creating a booking system also works with it. However, if you want to save yourself the diversions via Zapier, then take a closer look at the booking system with SeaTable here.
With the form function to the booking system
To create a booking system in SeaTable, we will use the form function. This way you can collect information from anyone through a simple link and automatically store it in your SeaTable Base.
Creating your two required tables
You need two bases for your online booking system. You can insert these two tables into an existing SeaTable base or you can create a new base. Of course, you can also copy our ready-made templates here and adapt them to your needs if necessary.
In the first base (Meeting Availability), all appointments are entered on which you are freely available. The second base (Meeting Schedule) contains all meetings or appointments that have already been booked by your customers via the forms. They appear automatically in the table after the form has been submitted.
First table: Set your time slots
The first table "Meeting Availability" consists of 4 columns. In the first column you enter all available meetings that you can offer. Select the date format with time (move the slider to "accurate to minute"). You can also set manual times that are not displayed in the date window; to do this, enter the time yourself in the bar at the top.
The second column contains the respective duration of the appointment slot you have made available. To do this, select the column type "Duration" and set a time duration according to your needs. With the manual setting of the time, 5 or 10-minute slots are also feasible.
The third column offers space for your personal notes, such as what the meeting is about, what needs to be prepared for it or what customer information is relevant for the conversation.
The fourth column is linked to the second table. This is easily done with the "Link to other records" column. It contains information on the customer who has booked exactly this appointment and you can directly display all booked participants in your own base.
By the way, with the colour function you can use automated rules to colour rows red if an appointment has already been booked and green if these appointments are still free.
Second table: All booked dates at a glance
The second table is the basis for your booking system with web form. You can see in the following picture different columns that contain the information of the participants. Each column you create here can be used later in the web form. You can use the column types to directly influence the input of data in the form. For example, if you want to have a free text field, select Columns with text function. If you want to have a kind of dropdown menu, the single or multiple selection is suitable for this. You can see the linked column "Meeting Availability" - so the link is displayed in both tables with the corresponding information from the 1st column.
With these columns formed, we now move on to the web form. To do this, select "Forms" at the top and then create a new web form with the setting "Traditional Form". Here, the participants cannot access the table and the data themselves. A form mask opens where you can now label all the columns to be displayed.
Select the table in which you have created the columns for the information request (here: "Meeting Schedule"). You can choose which columns are to be displayed in the form. It makes sense to include all columns in the form. You can now declare each input field as a mandatory field or add a description text, as well as insert your personal company logo as a header. This gives you your very own personal booking system.
You can label your form according to your wishes. Information in the form of form notes gives participants helpful hints on what to look out for in your booking system.
You can also attach conditions to choices. In our example, there are three ways to hold the appointment: In person, by video call or by phone. In the case of a phone call, the number of the participant is mandatory, therefore the column "Phone Number" has been conditioned to appear only when the option "Phone call" has been selected.
Limit appointments - so no more booking goes wrong
Assigned appointments should of course no longer be offered to other participants, nor should appointments that are in the past. This can be done by linking Calendly and SeaTable if you already use this system.
With SeaTable, on the other hand, only a few small steps are necessary to set up your booking system for this. First of all, it is important to create a second view for the appointments in table 1 and to provide it with two filters. On the one hand, assigned appointments are no longer to be offered as a selection option; instead, a filter is set that only displays empty rows from the column "Scheduled Meetings": Thus, the command is "Scheduled Meeting is empty".
To ensure that only appointments in the future are displayed, and not those from last week, a second filter must be set: With the condition "And" and the filter "Time slots after today", only appointments from the current day are displayed. This way you only have free and bookable time slots in this view.
To ensure that this is also adopted in the booking system, the column in the "Meeting Schedule" table must also be adjusted. To do this, simply open the column settings and restrict the rows to one view. To do this, the view just created with the two filters is selected and at the same time the function in which participants can select several dates is deactivated. This means: Only one appointment can be booked at a time and only the free and future dates from the second view are accessed.
You can set up an automated notification mechanism yourself under the notification settings (three dots at the top right), which reminds you of upcoming appointments, for example, or informs you that an appointment has just been booked via the booking system.
Enormous time savings through SeaTable's highly flexible table system
You can adjust your form at any time if you notice that important information is missing. After a participant has submitted his or her information, it immediately appears in the "Meeting Schedule" table. In just a few steps, you have created a simple and uncomplicated booking system that automatically collects all relevant information in one place. Planning appointments becomes child's play! Our template can help you to bring structure to your booking system.