Calendly and Zoom

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I get GlideApp Community emails most days with updates. David Siegel posted about putting your information up for possible work (https://spectrum.chat/glideapps/general/get-paid-to-help-people-make-glide-apps~d1129038-4265-417b-ae63-f767cb71a3b6) and suggested a meeting app like Calendly for organizing appointments with people interested in talking to you.

I thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t have a Calendly account, so needed to do a bit of research on that & then thought about ways to communicate with others if they had booked an appointment. So a video conferencing app of some description. There seem to be a few out there, mostly paid, but I wanted to start with a free account of some description. There was the video below that shows a few services:

I looked up the first one, join.me and found that it didn’t have a free account, only a trial. I didn’t want to be loading/unloading software after the trial finished so moved on. Then I looked at Zoom, and that has a free account, so I thought I’d use this post to explore Calendly and Zoom.

I had posted a couple of issues with Glide and Mark Probst very kindly helped me out (my dumb mistakes) but to do that he used Calendly and also a video conferencing app to look at my screen to see the issue. It solved the problem quickly. I think we had 2 tries with different video apps before we got one that worked, he initiated them, and I cannot recollect what they were, but it was very effective.

Calendly

This is a booking app that schedules meetings, it is linked with your calendar ( in my case Google Calendars) to one account for the free account. You then allow others to book a time that suits them, only offering times that are not already booked, so saves the back and forth you normally have with organising a suitable time for both parties. The video below goes through the steps of the basic setup with some other features and insights, I used it to setup my calendly configuration as it is quite thorough.

There is an embed code that I may try setting up on a page on one of my sites to see if that is a useful addition to other information that visitors may want to explore. In the video he does suggest you create a video to explain information to someone who is scheduling an appointment for things you’d like them to know, you can do this with the confirmation by doing a re-direct to a page where there may be a video link (or directly to a video) although a page may be useful as you may want to give them a list of items that they may need to review.

Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing app. I have heard it mentioned on a number of occasions but I haven’t used it. Its a useful tool if you are setting up a scheduled appointment as you can do a face to face conference call, or else show your screen to the other person, which is a pretty useful thing to do.

I have been experimenting with Loom for giving short “VMail” explanations to demonstrate a specific idea to others. Showing a short example via a video is much easier than writing paragraphs of information. For that I downloaded software onto my PC to run it, then you save it to the cloud and someone can clicks on a link you share with them and watch it in their browser, just like a YouTube vid.

It seems, with video conferencing, that the person at the other end needs to download some programme to be able to make the interaction work. In the GoToMeeting app that a lot of webinars use there is some software download for that for setting up the meeting. So I need to test the Zoom software download. The video below shows the basic setup for Zoom with a free account:

When testing on 2 PC’s side by side, the 2nd one had poor audio from it, and I tested a YouTube video and it was pretty quite, but the video conf sound was a lot poorer quality. Their mike came over loud and clear on my Surface Book. Both had their volumes set to maximum. I did play with sound mix on the Toshiba but it was still pretty poor. I may do another test with no video to see if that is any better. There was a bit of feedback and lots of echo with both PC mikes on side by side.

The setup was pretty much the same as the GoToMeeting setup I’d use with webinars. It was quite familiar.

You can remotely manage the other PC, but I think this is a PRO feature.

Integration of Calendly and Zoom

Within Calendly there is an option called “Location“. This allows you to put in a couple of options so that the person can choose a place to meet (from a list you’ve set up), or else there is a Zoom integration that allows the person to be given a Zoom link to click on that is emailed to them when they have created an appointment. On clicking the Zoom link it asks you to download a file to run and shows you how to run it, and that sets up a ZOOM programme that runs the conference, pretty much the same as GoToMeeting. It all seemed quite familiar after that.

So, after the integration, you have to allow Zoom access to Calendly (or the other way around) so that they can work together, then, when someone makes an appointment they are sent an email (see below) and you are sent a confirmation and the event is added to your calendar (the calendar that you integrated with Calendly).

So the person has the link for Zoom in the email. Within Calendly there is ability to send email reminders, in the setup video he suggests the day before and one an hour before the meeting. I then read in the comments on the video that these have been changed to PRO features.

Actually, I set up a 24 hr email and a 1 hr email reminder and I just received the 24 hour one, so that feature seems to be working in the free version (unless you get full features as a trial).

I’m also not sure whether the Zoom integration is a free add-in or whether it is a trial as well.

End comment

The Zoom app has a maximum 40 min limit for the free version, which is good and bad. Definitely stops meetings going on too long. I will have to try it with an associate for a shared project shortly to see if it is an alternative to a face to face meeting.

The sound quality on the 2nd PC is a bit of a concern. I may need to see if there is an alternative I could try as a backup. The other alternative is a WhatsApp call or Skype.

There is also this app that seems to work through a browser, only FireFox and Chrome at the moment, that may be worth a try https://deadsimplescreensharing.com/pricing

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