People are constantly asking in my Busyness to Business facebook group and in the Dubsado Community what they should do if they want to use Calendly or another outside scheduler inside Dubsado. It’s a big, important, question so I wanted to write a detailed explanation about alllll of my thoughts related to the Dubsado Scheduler and using outside schedulers inside Dubsado!
Why You Should Use the Dubsado Scheduler,
NOT Calendly or another outside scheduler:
So, I can’t in good conscience explain how to use an outside scheduler inside Dubsado without first explaining why I don’t usually recommend doing this at all!
I’m not going to pretend that the Dubsado Scheduler is perfect. It does have some glitches and limitations and it’s important to be aware of that. That said, if you CAN use the Dubsado Scheduler, you SHOULD.
The biggest and most important reason that I recommend using the Dubsado Scheduler when you can is because of WORKFLOWS. Workflows are the biggest superpower of Dubsado, so in order to maximize your use of them, you should use as many of Dubsado’s built-in tools as are available.
When you use the Dubsado Scheduler, you can workflow sending the scheduler, and you can workflow all kinds of actions that are supposed to happen before, or after an appointment. You can have all of these actions fire without ANY intervention from you. This saves you time, keeps everything you need to know about a project in one central location, and is overall the most efficient way to handle your client experience.
On the flip side, when you use an outside scheduler, your workflows won’t know when your appointments happen if you don’t use the scheduler. This leads to a bunch of messy workarounds and less-than-efficient workflows, though there are some best practices to help you ensure you still get as much as you can out of your workflows, even if you use an outside scheduler.
Dubsado Scheduler Limitations
If you’re considering using an outside scheduler, there are only a few reasons that justify doing so given the workflow automations that you’re losing:
- You have a team and need to book appointments for multiple team members.
- You need to book many recurring appointments for you and/or your team.
- You need advanced group scheduling features such as Round Robin scheduling.
That’s it, the list is pretty short because of all of the automagic described above!
But, if you must use Calendly or another outside scheduler…
So, if you have a good reason to use an outside scheduler (one of the 3 listed above), then keep reading for a few recommendations for the best way to handle this. It’s important to know that the method you choose depends on where in your process you need to use your scheduler.
If you are using an outside scheduler as the FIRST STEP in a project.
This part of the blog is going to be pretty succinct. There is LOTS of documentation out there about how to connect two apps this way.
If you are using your outside scheduler on your website as your clients’ first point of contact with you, you’ll want to make sure that a project is created in Dubsado and a workflow starts as appropriate.
The best way to handle this is to use Zapier. You’ll connect your outside scheduler account as the trigger and your Dubsado account as the action. Your Dubsado action will be to create a project. When you’re brought to the step to set up your action, make sure that you designate which workflow should begin!
A few notes:
- If you have more than one appointment type in your outside scheduler, you’ll need a paid Zapier account so that you can set up a filter on WHICH appointment you want to start your project and workflow in Dubsado.
- If your outside calendar is Calendly, the Zap as described will only work when the appointment being scheduled is with someone totally new. If it’s with someone who has booked your initial call before, it will fire.
If you are using an outside scheduler in the MIDDLE of an already-created project/workflow.
If you already have a Dubsado project for a client you’re working with that you need to schedule another appointment with, the method above will NOT work. Zapier ONLY works to create a new project within Dubsado, which means that you can’t use it in the middle of one.
Through lots of setups and testing, I’ve developed a best practice with handling an outside scheduler that allows us to automate as much as possible, but remember that this IS a workaround. The best option is to just use the Dubsado Scheduler if at all possible. Okay, let’s dive in.
I recommend embedding your outside scheduler onto a Dubsado Questionnaire, and then adding a few simple questions to that questionnaire. I feel like this doesn’t make much sense, so let me show you an example:
When you embed a Calendly in a Dubsado Questionnaire, it allows you to do several things.
- It allows you to send the scheduler in your workflow, even though it’s an outside scheduler.
- Adding questions to the form and giving your client clear directions ensures they’ll hit “Submit” on your form, and then your workflow can continue knowing the appointment has been scheduled.
- If your client doesn’t hit submit on the questionnaire, you can also then build in reminders asking them to do so! This is actually an extra cool feature that you CAN’T achieve through a regular Dubsado Scheduler.
Now of course, the limitation of choosing to use an outside scheduler instead of the Dubsado Scheduler, means that your Dubsado Workflows will not know when the appointment is happening. For that reason, you must insert a to do in your workflow that for you to check off once the appointment is complete. That way any emails or other actions that are supposed to go after the appointment don’t go until after you confirm that the appointment has happened.
Hope this helps you achieve your workflow dreams!