I used an exclamation point intentionally, because the Appointments app for Nextcloud is just that awesome.
As a professor, I keep office hours and encourage students to meet with me. And, I also need to advise graduate students at various institutions around the world. And this is not to mention meeting with other professors I’m collaborating with – again, from around the world.
In the past, setting up meetings went a bit like this:
Them: Hey, can we meet? Me: Sure! When do you want to meet? Them: I’m free Mondays and Fridays. Me: How about noon on Monday? Them: Actually, I have an appointment them. What day of the week works for you? Me: Wednesdays and Fridays. Them: Great! What about 1 on Wednesday? Me: Sure! Them: What timezone are you in? Me: Central. Them: Oh! Then 1 pm for you is 9 pm for me.
Etc, etc. Each of these being an email, of course, and usually with a delay of several hours between them.
As they used to say in the commercials, “there’s got to be a better way!”
Nextcloud Appointments is that better way.
- Creates a public form where would-be attendees can pick an open spot.
- Those spots are based on pre-selected weekly times (e.g., my office hours).
- But! Appointments watches my other calendars for conflicts and blocks off those times from the public form.
- And! Appointments also includes the option to embargo appointment spots in the next X hours (to prevent last-minute sign-ups).
This system has saved me a great deal of time. The back-and-forth of emails is no more. I share my public appointment link, people sign up, and they get contact info (for video chat or my office location). And Appointments works with timezones, so there’s no adjustment needed on either end.
People who fill out the form get an email, I get an email, and appointments adds the spot to my calendar.
It’s brilliant. Sergey Mosin, the developer, gets 5 stars from me for helping with the FOSS Academic Lifestyle Dream.