Availability Calendar for Business Apps

An availability calendar is a tool that helps users manage schedules and appointments. It’s designed to be versatile and can be used professionally and personally to track availability, schedule events, and organize meetings.  
Using a calendar API is one of the most efficient ways to implement an availability calendar into an app to streamline your and your customers’ workflows.

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What is an availability calendar?

An availability calendar visually represents when a person or resource is available for scheduling a meeting or call. It is commonly used to manage resource allocation and book online appointments, reservations, and events. 

Availability calendars typically display days, weeks, or months in a grid format with color coding to indicate the availability or non-availability of different parties. For example, green may indicate an available time slot, while red may be used to show a calendar is blocked. The use of availability calendars can help avoid scheduling conflicts, improve time management, and streamline scheduling processes.

What are availability calendars used for?

Since 2005, remote work has grown by more than 159%, causing every industry to move some operations online. From doctor’s appointments to team meetings, most scheduling can now be done digitally. This means businesses need access to availability calendars for their internal teams,  clients, and customers. 

Appointment scheduling 

An availability calendar enables your customers to self-book appointments directly without requiring back-and-forth communication. With integrated availability calendars on business websites and applications, customers can view or book upcoming appointments and reservations directly from the organization’s platform. This also allows business owners to easily manage client or customer meetings and reduce the likelihood of underbooking, overbooking, or double booking. 

Some scheduling software with availability calendar functionality allows access to the backend infrastructure. Here, administrators can view customer information, track attendance records, customize appointment types, apply services, and analyze customer behavior. 

Business marketplace

If you have an online marketplace that facilitates buying or selling services or goods, such as a hiring marketplace or rental marketplace, availability calendars can help manage available resources directly on your platform. This helps your users and customers stay on your site without being redirected to another site to take action. 

Employee availability 

An availability calendar can help businesses manage their team’s workloads by making it easy to see who is working and when. You can easily assign tasks, schedule meetings, and ensure full coverage with less conflict.  

These calendars can also help track employee schedules and hours worked, store employee data, and help automate payroll processing. 

Group meetings

Availability calendars make scheduling meetings with multiple attendees easier by automatically reviewing everyone’s schedule constraints. This makes the scheduling process faster and reduces the need for rescheduling or canceling. Some availability calendars can also enable users to send out meeting invitations and reserve virtual conference rooms ahead of the scheduled event. 

Work events

If you’re planning a conference or a training session, an availability calendar can help you manage the invitations of participants and make you more informed to reduce no-shows. When you have a clearer picture of group availability, you can make better decisions about when to time events. You can also use the calendar to manage event resources, such as rooms and equipment. 

Companies may also use an availability calendar for organizing project deadlines. By creating timeline-based deadlines referencing employee schedules and task duration estimates, managers can better plan out projects in advance so that all team members know exactly what needs to be done and by when.

Make availability calendars simple.

Use the Nylas communication API platform to add availability calendar capabilities to your website or application. 

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How do you create an availability calendar?

Businesses can create an availability calendar in their applications by implementing a prebuilt solution or having their developers build one in-house.  

Designing a well-integrated system that meets requirements and regulatory standards can take significant time and resources. Development teams must be able to build and include key components required for availability calendars. Here are just a few: 

  • Calendar synchronization: Build, test, and implement calendar synchronization across different service providers such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook to manage users’ time zones, invitations, responses, and recurring events.
  • Authentication: Create and configure the infrastructure required to allow users to securely grant your application with their calendar data.
  • Meeting times: The calendar must be able to retrieve available meeting times by considering the duration of the meeting, the required attendee’s availability, time zones, and more.
  • Security: Build timely data deletion and export capabilities to comply with GDPR or qualify for HIPAA or SOC2 certifications.
  • On-going maintenance: Maintenance and support for calendar integration will vary depending on each service provider. Ongoing tasks can include support for security, sync speed, sync infrastructure, storage layer, administration of UI, and logging.

Calendar APIs simplify this: they can access and aggregate all the data required to provide accurate availability in real time. Using a prebuilt solution means your business can add calendar availability capabilities faster — saving development time and costly resources that would have otherwise been dedicated to building other differentiating features that make your business application unique.  

Using calendar APIs to implement availability calendars

A calendar API helps integrate your application with your users’ calendars across service providers as well as calendars not tied to a user. You can reduce time-to-market with out-of-the-box, intelligent features that simplify scheduling workflows and increase user productivity.

Some features include: 

  • Central data source: Allow users to access various data sources to gain insights regarding their schedule, so availability is always up-to-date. 
  • Availability endpoints: Remove the back-and-forth with automated scheduling based on free/busy availability.  
  • Group availability: Book appointments across multiple individuals, a powerful feature for creating group events.
  • Integration opportunities: Easily integrate with various applications, including CRM systems, project management tools, and social media platforms. For instance, an availability calendar could integrate with social media to share event invitations with attendees. 
  • Time zone and localization support: Connect with users across time zones and languages, making your services more accessible.
  • Availability synchronization and instant booking: Synchronize calendars with a service or business to make booking more seamless and reduce scheduling conflicts. Instant booking also blocks off time in your users’ calendars immediately.
  • Automated event reminders: Send alerts and notifications for upcoming events.
  • Customizable scheduling UI: Tailor availability calendars with a design unique to your brand for a native experience.

Leveraging existing, secure solutions can save you money and resources while providing customers services they expect in a digital world.

Add availability calendar functionality with the Nylas Calendar API

Nylas provides an efficient and reliable calendar API that enables developers to integrate their applications with major calendar providers. With a single point of integration, developers can quickly and securely build customizable workflows for their users, providing an end-to-end scheduling solution. 

The calendar API employs availability endpoints that schedule tasks, events, and invites, making it easier to find a convenient time for all parties involved. By integrating users’ calendars, the API eliminates siloed calendaring data and makes it easier to provide tailored customer experiences. 

The Nylas platform offers a powerful suite of communications integration solutions, including email and contacts APIs. These APIs make it possible to create a unified communications hub that allows users to manage all their email and scheduling communications in one place.

To choose the best plan for your business, talk to an expert today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a calendar availability app?

A calendar availability app is a software application on desktops and mobile devices that helps businesses and customers manage their appointment and event scheduling. It allows users to create an interactive digital calendar to input their appointments and events, share them with others, and view their availability status. 

Most calendar availability apps can sync with various websites and applications, making it easy for users to stay organized across multiple platforms. Some calendar availability apps also offer helpful analytics to better understand schedule patterns and anticipate future needs.

How do you share calendar availability?

Sharing calendar availability is relatively easy with most calendar apps. Here are the general steps to share calendar availability:

  • Create an account and set up your calendar: First, create an account with a calendar app of your choice and set up your calendar. You can add appointments, events, and meetings to your calendar and set your availability as you see fit.
  • Choose the right sharing settings: Most calendar apps offer various sharing settings to help you share your availability with others. For instance, you can choose to share your entire calendar or just specific events or appointments. You can also choose to share your availability with different levels of detail or with different people.
  • Share your calendar: You can share your calendar URL, allowing others to view it in their own app or browser. Alternatively, you can invite others to your calendar or specific events via email, giving them access to the event details and allowing them to add the event to their calendar.
  • Manage permissions: It’s important to manage permissions carefully. For instance, you may want to limit access to your calendar to specific people or organizations or only share certain events or appointments with certain people. Most calendar apps offer options to manage permissions and revoke access if necessary.
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