Before you can set up and use Microsoft Bookings the IT Department will need to assign the Bookings license to your account. Please request the license to be added to your account.
Microsoft Bookings is another Microsoft 365 service that is available with your BridgeValley account. You can access the service directly with this link or by clicking the 9 square app launcher in the top right of any browser based Microsoft 365 service, i.e. Outlook, SharePoint, Word, OneDrive. If you do not see bookings in the Apps menu click the All apps and find Bookings in that menu.
Terms used in this guide:
Business = Refers to you, the creator of the booking calendar
Customer = Refers to who will book via your booking calendar
Red text denotes important settings to follow.
Create a Booking Calendar
When opening Bookings for the first time you may need to click "Get it now" when the page loads.
After clicking "Get it now" You will be prompted to open a calendar or create one. If you already have a calendar created, locate it in the list or search field, otherwise click "Add a Booking calendar."
- The Tell us about your business pop-up will appear.
- Type the name of the calendar in the Business Name field using the following naming convention: FIRST NAME LAST NAME SERVICE, ex. Armon Millner Office Hours
- Enter Education as the Business Type
- Click Continue
Your Booking Calendar will be created and the management side (back end) of the calendar will appear. This is where you can set hours, who can view/manage the back end of your calendar, the services "customers" can schedule with the calendar and control of when the calendar is accessible for bookings.
The Calendar section allows you to clearly see any bookings scheduled with your Bookings Calendar. You can easily modify bookings or even schedule days and times you are not free.
You also have the ability to schedule a Booking on the behalf of your "customer" if say for example you are on the phone with them and you want to schedule them an appointment.
Time off - You have the ability to set days or ranges of days as time off. Bookings will not allow customers to book during set time off hours/days. This is found near the top of the page.
Please note: Bookings reads your Outlook calendar free/busy entries. In order for Bookings to schedule time off it will need to put an entry on your Outlook calendar as busy for those time off entries. Do not delete these entries.
The Booking Page is where a lot of control over your Booking Calendar takes place. Here you can publish or unpublish your calendar, set time increments of bookings, set the theme of your calendar, and set availability. These settings are global for all services offered but settings in individual services can override these booking page settings.
Publishing your calendar will create a shareable link . A perfect place to share this link is in your Blackboard class shell. For those who need it, embed code is also available so the booking calendar can be put directly on a website page. It is recommended that you completely set up the booking calendar settings before sharing the published calendar link. Publish buttons are at the top of the page.
Booking page access control
Here you can control rather or not the person booking on your calendar needs to use their BridgeValley Microsoft 365 account when scheduling on your calendar. This is a good idea if you interact with current students primarily but for new or students that are returning after some time away, it may not be a good idea to enable.
Check the box to "Disable direct search engine indexing of booking page"
This will prevent search engines such as Google and Bing from returning your booking calendar in search results. Making unwanted bookings less likely to happen because the direct booking link will be needed.
The scheduling policy is where you can set the available time increments of your choosing. For example, an increment of 30 minutes will allow two customers to book during any hour you are available. See Business Information section below for setting availability hours aka business hours.
Lead time - This is how long in advance a customer can book a meeting with your calendar and the amount of notice you require for the booking. For example, with the default settings a customer can book 24 hours from the current time of them looking at your calendar and up to 1 year from the time of them looking at your calendar. This is all based on what you have set for your business hours.
The email notification section allows you to choose to receive emails when a booking is created or modified and if you want an additional email to be sent to the customer when they book a time on your calendar.
This section controls rather or not to allow customers viewing your calendar to be able to select specific people to meet with. If there is only one person in the Staff section, yourself, then this option can be unchecked.
This section allows you to change the functionality of when Bookings will allow customers to schedule a booking on your calendar. Most cases leaving it set to "when staff is free" is fine. You will then manage the booking times available by setting your Business Hours in the Business Information section. So when there is an opening on your calendar and within your Business hours, a customer can book a time to meet with you.
This section allows you to select a pre-set color theme or select the two colors you desire yourself.
This will display any image you upload as your logo above your Bookings Calendar name on the left of the page. Logo upload is option found in the Business Information section.
The Customers section is where you can manage the contact details for anyone that has booked via your published Bookings Calendar. You can manually add or delete customers as needed.
The Staff section is the area where you can assign other people to have access to your Bookings Calendar to either manage the calendar or be booked for services buy the customers. For Services configuration please see the Services section below.
To add a person to your Bookings Calendar click the "+ Add staff" button at the top.
Enter the person's name in the add people field
Select the permission level you want the person to have
Guest - Guests can be assigned to bookings but they cannot open the booking mailbox
Viewer - Viewers can see all the bookings on the calendar. They cannot modify or delete them. They have read-only access to settings.
Administrator - Administrators can edit all settings, add and remove staff, and create, edit and delete bookings.
An email will be sent to the person with a link to your Bookings Calendar after you click Save.
If you need IT to help with your Bookings Calendar this is where you will need to add the account of the IT Department staff member that is helping you and make them an Administrator.
To add an IT Staff member, click the "+Add staff" button near the top.
•Enter the name of the IT staff member in the Add people field
•Once the name is entered, change the permission level from "Viewer" to "Administrator"
•Under Availability, uncheck "Use business hours" and click the x to the right of the times to make the entry say day off
• Click Save
It takes a small amount of time for the permissions to propagate through the system before the IT member can access your Bookings calendar.
The Services section is where you manage the all services the customer can pick from when they schedule a booking on your calendar and at least one service is needed. Some services you may want are office hours, advising, tutoring, Fin Aid discussion, etc. If you decide to offer multiple services, the meeting information email will list what services the customer selected.
The default service is Initial consult. You can either edit that service or create your own and delete the initial consult.
Either click the Initial Consult to edit it or click Add a Service to create a new service.
Service name - The name that is displayed to the customer when booking a service.
Description - Allows you to explain what the service is for and is displayed to the customer.
Default Location - This is an important setting. This tells the customer where to meet you. If you delete the text in the field you will get some suggested locations, via Microsoft Teams for example.
Add online meeting - Another important setting. With this option a Microsoft Teams meeting link is automatically generated for the booking. Slide the slider to the right to enable it.
Default Duration - The length that each booking for the particular service will last
Buffer Time - The time between bookings for that service before and after that another booking cannot be booked. For example, if a 1 hour booking at 11 am is set and a buffer time of 30 minutes is set then the next available time a booking can be created for the service is 1230 pm as long as the booking is also within the business hours set.
Default Price - This is a feature that can be ignored. If left at "Price not set" then it will not appear on the booking calendar.
Maximum Number of attendees per event - The number of people who can schedule a service at a particular time. For example, this is perfect for meeting with multiple parents/students for a Q&A session. This can only be set on newly created Services.
Custom Fields - These are fields you can ask the customer to fill out when booking a meeting. For example, their B Number, common questions you ask during the session, etc. Click modify and choose the option to add a question.
Reminders and Confirmations - Where you can set reminders X amount of time before the meeting to the customer and the staff booked on the meeting.
Enable Text Message Notifications for your customer - An important setting if you want to be able to automatically send text message reminders about the meeting to the customer. Check the box to enable the feature.
Publishing options - This controls if a customer can book this service when looking at your bookings calendar.
Scheduling policy - By default all services will use the default scheduling policy found on the Booking Page section. If you like, you can change the Scheduling Policy per service.
Email notifications - Controls when emails are sent to the customer.
Staff - Allows the customer to select a specific staff member for the service if more than one staff member is assigned to a service. Uncheck this option if you don't want the customer picking or if you are the only staff member. If multiple staff are assigned to a service and this option is unchecked, Bookings will automatically pick a staff member to assign the booking. The time slot will remain available on the calendar until all staff are booked for that particular time slot.
Assign Staff - This is where you need to select the staff that will be booked with the service when a customer completes a booking. The staff is selected by clicking on the name and a check appears to the right of the name. Multiple staff can be assigned to one service. Please read the Staff section above.
This is the general information for your Bookings Calendar. Fill in what you want and even upload an image for your logo.
Important setting. This is where you set the hours you are available for bookings. You can press the plus sign to add another time range for that particular day. To set a day of the week as closed, just click the X next to that day to remove all times for that day.