Timebridge integrates with Outlook 365

It's time to think outside of the Outlook inbox: Timebridge now works with Outlook 365.

While the majority of Timebridge users are syncing with Google Calendar, we have a fanatical group of loyal Outlook users who need some love as well. So, we're showing our love by releasing our new integration with Outlook 365.

For many Outlook business user this will be the first chance that they have to use Timebridge outside of the stuff confines of their corporate office and IT system. Yeah baby!

Finally, Outlook 365 users will be able take advantage of Timebridge and spend the time they save on something other than email back-and-forth.

We just saved you 5 minutes of your life. Now go do something great.

Timebridge: Scheduling for both Outbound + Inbound Meetings

Most scheduling apps offer either outbound OR inbound meetings. Timebridge does both.

Timebridge is a complete individual scheduling app, handling both of the common meeting needs that you have as a professional; inviting others to a meeting that you set up and control, and allowing others to "self-schedule" on your calendar according to your preferences and availability. We generally refer to these two different meeting flows as "outbound" and "inbound".

  • Outbound: Invite others to your meeting.
  • Inbound: Share your schedule and let others schedule a meeting with you.

Since Timebridge handles both types of meetings it can initially be slightly confusing. If you signed up to share your calendar and let others self-schedule, you might not be using Timebridge to save time on meetings that you organize, and vice versa. Let's touch on both outbound and inbound meetings to clear up some of that confusion.

Outbound Meetings: Inviting others to your meeting.

Outbound meetings are used for most meetings where you have one or more people you need to attend, but they're not the only way you can use Timebridge. Inbound meetings give Timebridge even more ways to save you time.

To Begin:  Click "+ Create Meeting" button at the top of the page, select up to 5 times that work for you, add the people you want to invite, select from a few meeting options (like phone number, Google Hangout, or location), enter a message if you want, and click send.

Timebridge will email all of the people you've invited, allow them to select which times work for them, and set the meeting on everyone's schedule. In most cases the next interaction you'll have is the actual meeting, but you can also take care of needs like rescheduling, reminding non-responsive attendees, or even canceling. 

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 10.38.08 AM.png

If you've branded your account (Settings > Branding Settings) your recipients will receive a fully branded invitation like one of these.

Outbound meetings are used by busy executives, talent agents, and entrepreneurs to give them control of their time, but sometimes you need a different scheduling tool from the shed.


Inbound Meetings: Share your schedule and let others schedule a meeting with you.

There are times when it makes more sense to just let someone schedule time on your calendar. Timebridge allows you to create an unlimited number of "Custom Events" that you can use over and over – each with their own unique URL, preferences and settings – that let others self-schedule with you while maintaining complete control of your time and schedule.

To Begin: Click "Meet With Me" at the top of the page, enable and click Save. Now you share your entire calendar, but you can also create any number of Custom Events  for recurring meeting types that you want to let others self-schedule with you; demos, office hours, trainings, consultations, calls, etc. Timebridge will let you create any number of these events with unique preferences for each one. Now, when someone want's to schedule lunch or a demo, you can just share that Event's unique URL and let them pick a time.

Many of our users use Meet With Me to manage their calendar more efficiently; professors and teachers manage their office hours with students, sales reps make sure that demos fit a prospects schedule, execs manage teams, counselors set appointments,  and I even use it to schedule lunch with friends. It's a powerful solution that, combined with Outbound Meetings, gives you a one-two scheduling punch that can save you a lot of time and countless back and forth emails.

You can read how all sorts of people are using Timebridge here.

Introducing Custom Branding for your meeting invitations, notifications, and reminders.

Timebridge branded business scheduling. 

With more than 95% of you using Timebridge to schedule business meetings we've been focused on building the benefits that we can provide to your business; branding, automated scheduling, personalization and more. The release of custom branding makes Timebridge a professional scheduling app that works for everyone from the freelance consultant to the large enterprise. 

Examples of branded meeting invitations.

Your Brand

Most apps give a little lip-service to branding but we wanted to make sure that you could really own your Timebridge account so we went beyond the simplest things we could do and did what we'd want to see ourselves, ie; more than just a logo.

Of course your invitations and reminders aren't the only place you'll see your new branding, it'll also replace the Timebridge brand in your account and on all of your public Meet With Me pages. If you're not looking too hard a the URL you'll feel you're right at home.

Your Logo

The definition of what you think of as your brand, we're treating your logo with some respect – at least as much as we do our own  so if you upload a logo it will (almost) completely replace the Timebridge one. The goal is to give you as much latitude as possible but you'll still have to upload a PNG, Jpeg or Gif that's less that 1MB. This shouldn't be any trouble if you've got at least a tiny bit of tech-sense. (Note: You'll want to use a transparent PNG if you can so it looks good on any background.)

Your Colors

Look, you might not have any color sense at all but who are we to try and get you to stick to colors that don't make eyes bleed. If that's your brand, go for it. You now have control of the main color selections like background and buttons, but you can also change some things like the color of your copy and taglines.

Your Tagline

Our tagline is "We get people together" and you can see it on our emails, but that might not work for you. Actually, we're pretty sure it doesn't work for you. Well, now you can change it. If your business actually has a tagline then you're set. If not, well, you can stick pretty much whatever you want in there.

In Summary

So, in summary   Upload your logo, change our your color scheme, and write out your new tagline. It'll make you look like you really know what you're doing when you set up your next meeting. But don't just take our word for it. Build what you like. Follow your dreams.

Manual + Automatic Scheduling

Meet With Me scheduling is getting a few new features that you've been asking for.

We're making a couple of changes and updates to our Meet With Me functionality that will make meeting requests simpler for people requesting a meeting with you, and give you some additional options to schedule meetings automatically. We're also making some changes to the account settings that give you just a hint of a dashboard.

Manual or Automatic Scheduling?

Now, when you create a Custom Event to accept inbound meeting requests you can set individual event types to either Automatic or Manual. 

Meet With Me Event set to Automatic:

  • Someone selects one time from your available calendar.
  • Meeting is scheduled immediately.

Meet With Me Event set to Manual:

  • Requester selects up to 5 possible times from your available calendar.
  • You're emailed a notification of the meeting request.
  • You can accept, decline, or change the meeting times.
  • Meeting is scheduled after you accept it.

The difference is really around whether or not you want to see who's requesting the meeting before you accept it. If you're trying to schedule sales demos, office hours or other types of 'set' meetings then automatic is probably your best bet. If you're unsure of who might be requesting a meeting or you just want a little more control, then perhaps you want to choose automatic. 

Introducing Personalization: Add your photo to all of your meeting pages, invitations, and reminders.

We're happy to release entirely new capabilities to personalize your Timebridge account by uploading a photo that will be shown in all of your invitations, Meet With Me pages, communications and reminders. After all, it's a good thing when people you're inviting to a meeting see your smiling face. It's friendly, it's warm and inviting, it's personal, and it keeps them for thinking that your meeting invitation is spam.

Here's what an email invitation looks like with a photo uploaded, and without.

With an uploaded image.

Without an image.

To upload an image:

  • Go To: Settings > Account Settings
  • Click on the "Change Image" icon.
  • Drag your photo into the upload box or click on "Choose the file".

Logging in with Google? If you log in with Google and have a photo associated with your Google + account we'll automatically add that photo to your Timebridge account for you.

Introducing Custom Events: Let anyone you choose request the meeting you want, the way you want it, directly from your calendar.

Create any number of customized events - demos, support training, introductions, conferences, video calls, lunches or anything else. Then allow anyone you choose request that meeting directly from your calendar.

  • Sales Reps: Create a "Demo" and share it with your prospects.
  • Educators: Create "Office Hours" and share it with your students.
  • Coaches & Consultants: Create "Appointments" and let your clients book themselves.
  • Photographers: Create "Session" and share with your customers.
  • Accountants: Create "Tax Prep" and let your clients schedule time with you.
  • Professionals: Create "Lunch" and let colleagues see what times work for you. 
  • Teachers: Create "Parent Teacher Conference" and let parents reserve a time.
  • Medical Clinics: Create "New Patient Consultation" and let patients book themselves.
  • Customer Support: Create "Online Training" and share with your clients.
  • Freelancers: Create "Intro" and let prospects book time with you.
  • Hiring Managers: Create "Interview" and let candidates find a time that works.

How to create and add a new Meet With Me custom event or meeting.

  1. Select "Meet With Me Settings" from the top navigation
  2. Click Add New Event Type button 
  3. Name your new meeting, add a description and select your options.

Once you have created your new Event or Meeting it will appear at the bottom of your Meet With Me Settings page. You can disable, enable, edit and change your custom events at any time .

Custom Event Type Settings Include:

  • Name: Call your meeting whatever you want.
  • Description: Let people know what this meeting is before they request it.
  • Restrict Meeting Type (optional): Want to ensure you meet at a specific location, through your own video conference link or on a specific phone number? You can lock in the type of meeting you want so that it can't be changed.
  • Calendar Color: Set a specific color for this event in your calendar so you can distinguish it at a glance.
  • Custom URL: /lunch /demo /office-hours... 
  • Duration: Set the length of your meeting.
  • Extra Time: Add extra time before or after the meeting for prep or travel.
  • Max Number Per Day: Pace yourself.
  • Days Of The Week: Want this meeting only on Tuesdays? You can do that.
  • Hours Of The Day: Only allow this meeting between X and Y hours.
  • Advance Scheduling: Ensure that this type of meeting is scheduled at least ___ hours in advance.
  • Manual or Automatic Scheduling: Choose if you'd like to have this Event scheduled automatically when it's requested, or check it out and decide if you want to accept it.

Timebridge / 2015 in review.

In 2015 we were just getting out of the blocks.

Building a startup today is in many ways easier than ever thanks to readily available resources. But with all startups the technology is only the table-stakes to get started. Success is really measured in the market by a startups ability to deliver value directly to users in a way that makes sense to them. In some markets this might be easy, but with so many technology products fighting for the end user's attention there are real challenges around getting the growth you need to stay viable. On of the things that technology startups watch closely to help determine if they're on the right track is how fast they're growing.

When we first purchased Timebridge we knew we had some work to do, but the extent of what we were taking on only truly became apparent once we started digging in to the code. To say that there were a few challenging moments is, well, we'll just call it an understatement. But the team kept working, solving technical issues, updating the code libraries and rebuilding the entire system with current standards and technologies. (Since there had been no development on Timebridge for at least 7 years that is saying something.) We took on the challenge knowing that we already had users that we needed to support. We couldn't just destroy the entire system and rebuild it. We had to rebuild it in place while keeping everything up and running. We rebuilt the core app, added support for Outlook 2013 and 2016, updated the code libraries, switched to the current API for Google Calendar, rebuilt previous capabilities with the addition of Meet With Me functionality to let others request meetings with you, totally redesigned the calendar and how it worked, added support, migrated all data to secure repositories, rebuilt groups, redesigned and updated the user interface, added security, and changed the entire user experience.

We're really excited to say that while we were tackling all of this, our users responded with increasing usage and support as shown in this screenshot from one of our dashboards. The really interesting thing here is not just how fast new users are joining, but the fact that usage is outpacing user growth by a significant margin meaning that users are using Timebridge more and more. When you're building a product, usage growth is something that you really want to see and demonstrates that users are finding Timebridge increasingly valuable.

It's even more impressive when you take into account that this growth is taking place over the holidays when there's typically a lull in business communications, travel and meetings. 

Thank you team.

Of course we're not finished... In fact, we're just cleaning up and hitching the horses before we really get started.

In 2016 we're letting the dogs loose. (in a good way of course.)

As design thinkers we're laser-focused on creating value for our users in ways that really make sense, both for users of Timebridge and the larger group of individuals who our users are interacting with. (What good is an application that the people you're interacting with hate to use?) Our product roadmap for 2016 is jam-crackered full of stuff that will make your life easier — at least your scheduling/meeting life — and eliminate the headaches and time-waste that go along with scheduling meetings.

We see Timebridge as extending your existing calendaring solutions on an individual level. There are other scheduling tools that are built for the enterprise with host of needs that businesses have (take a look at http://reschedge.com for state of the art enterprise scheduling) but Timebridge is a lightweight tool designed to be used by individuals to manage their own schedules. That's where we really shine.

Still, there's a broad horizon of things to build that will extend Timebridge's usefulness and we're busy building them, from business branding capabilities to customized Meet With Me requests, to business and professional accounts.

We're proud of the work we achieved in 2015 and really look forward to the new year and the new benefits  and capabilities we're bringing to our users.


The Timebridge Team

The very worst think you can do is make something no one wants.

Timebridge vs A.I. Scheduling Assistants

AI scheduling assistant's like Clara and Amy are clever and sophisticated, but deeply flawed.

There have been a number of scheduling startups utilizing pattern matching that have begun referring to themselves as an "AI Assistant" or "virtual assistant" that can schedule your meetings just like a human assistant would. They've received press and investment and the teams are serious both about what they're building, and how they're building them.

But the premise upon which they're built is flawed.

The technology that these teams are using to build their products came out of areas around statistical analysis, data analysis, pattern recognition and new abilities to more easily detect meaning in natural language analysis. It's cool stuff. In fact, we're working on the cutting edge in these fields to form predictive models based on human responses for hiring and other areas at HireVue... but not here.

Automating part of a flawed process using technology still leaves a flawed process.

These systems work something like this:

  1. You cc an email address in an email that contains meeting information using natural language, like "let's have lunch Thursday".
  2. The "AI" behind that email address adds 'context' around what it thinks you mean, and then continues the email conversation to try and find time that it think fits the criteria.
  3. The system impersonates a person and handles any number of back-and-forth emails with the person you're trying to arrange a meeting with.
  4. Once the system thinks it's found a solution, it sends out meeting invitations to you and whomever you're trying to meet.

What's wrong with that? That process only works some of the time and only when the system can predict the context accurately.

The problem that these technologies have is that they're still based entirely on an email back-and-forth that can never take into account all of the edge cases and still forces everyone involved to be checking their calendar, making additional decisions, and handling all of the complications that these systems can never solve manually. It's like having cruise control and claiming that you now have a self-driving car. Not really. It works great part of the time, but only part of the time. Worse, while you remove yourself from the email stream you force everyone else to continue to use it. There are things that these systems do quite well, but they can't handle the limitless ways that humans make decisions. They're making choices based on algorithms, not the fact that you know that you've got a parent-teacher conference later in the week or that you feel like you might be getting the flu, or that you want to push off a conversation until you've got new pricing information. 

Of course the response from these companies would be that they do handle those cases - but here's the rub - they handle them by forcing you to write even more emails to add the context needed for their systems to deal with them.

Pricing for "Clara" AI Scheduling Assistant

Pricing for "Clara" AI Scheduling Assistant

Some of them are pretty damn expensive too. Clara Labs charges $199 per month per user at their lowest level and $499 a month for "Executive" that can make reservations (through Opentable) and RSVP for you. 


It's time to take your scheduling outside of your inbox.

We know that there's a better way to simplify scheduling that's not just automating one side of an email stream. Give us a shot and see. Try TImebridge (It's Free).

The times they are a-changin'

We've made it easier for your meeting attendees to understand how to input their meeting time preferences.

When we relaunched Timebridge last year with an upgrade user interface we actively began to look for changes in behaviors. Many of those changes were fantastic, but we did notice that some people seemed to take a long time selecting their time preferences. In talking to some of these users we found out that they were confused by the icons on the meeting selection page. The old icons had a solid green background for the 'best' time and users were confused by what they should do next. It was taking them time to read the text next to the button and, while almost everyone eventually make it through, it was increasing meeting time selection.

We've now redesigned those icons and see selection issues pretty much evaporate, but we'll keep an eye on what's happening to see if any additional changes are needed.

Timebridge + Outlook 2013

Announcing the Outlook 2013 Connector for TImebridge (Beta).

We're happy to announce you can now connect Outlook 2013 with your Timebridge calendar.

It's been a slog to get to a place where we can support Outlook 2013. We already supported Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010 but advances in technologies made us want to re-write and update the entire connector so that our Outlook users could benefit from these advances... so we did. With the launch of this new connector, you'll no longer have to make a choice between upgrading your Outlook to 2013 or using Timebridge.

Connecting your Outlook calendar to Timebridge

  1. Go to Settings > Calendar Settings

  2. Click on Connect to Outlook Calendar

  3. Click Download Now

  4. Run the installer and follow the prompts

  5. Sync your Outlook calendar with Timebridge.


Once your Outlook calendar sync's with Timebridge you'll see all of your existing meetings inside your Timebridge calendar.

This first release is designated as Beta since we're sure to uncover a few issues once it's released to the wild. There are one or two known bugs in this beta release but they're edge cases and we'll be taking care of those shortly. They won't affect the vast majority of users and the core is stable so we've made the decision to release one of the most requested capabilities we've had for some time and fix any minor issues in the next release.

As always, if you have any issues or thoughts, please share them with us. We're always happy to hear from users.

Jeff and the Timebridge Team

Introducing Meet-With-Me: Accept (or reject) inbound meeting requests from anyone.

We're excited to introduce the first release of Meet With Me — the ability to share your calendar with anyone and accept (or reject) meeting requests (beta).

We've been listening carefully to what our users (and the community at large) want Timebridge to be able to do for them to make finding and creating meetings as effortless as possible. What we've heard is that professionals want the ability to extend their calendar and let others request a meeting first.

That's why we've been quietly working on Meet With Me, a simple and intuitive way to let people request a meeting with you that's already based on your availability and preferences. Much more is coming soon but we wanted to give you a sneak preview and get your early thoughts and feedback.

Meet With Me — Let anyone see your schedule and request a meeting with you.

Meet With Me lets you accept meetings with incredible simplicity by combining our existing scheduling, calendaring, and messaging infrastructure, but reversing part of the process. Now you can just present your calendar with someone and let them request a meeting and suggest times that already work for you.

With Meet With Me, you can easily adjust your settings and preferences to: 

  • Enable anyone to request a meeting, or restrict that to your existing contacts.
  • Accept meeting request any time, or limit that to just your work hours.
  • Turn Meet With Me on and off at any time to allow or restrict new meeting requests.
  • Edit or change your personal Meet With Me URL 

How it works:

Once you enable Meet With Me you'll have a personalized URL that you can share or make public. If someone wants to request a meeting with you — if you've shared that URL with them or put it in your email signature for example — they can access your personal URL where they can see times that aren't already reserved in your calendar. Then, just like you do when you're proposing meeting times, they can select some times that work for them, enter their email and name, and write you a brief message about why they want to meet with you. Once they submit you'll receive a new meeting request that you can accept, decline, or even propose alternate times. Once you accept a Meet With Me request Timebridge will then send out all of the notifications and schedule that meeting on your calendar.

*Of course you have to have your calendar synced with Timebridge for this to happen.

How to get started with Meet With Me:

  1. Login to your Timebridge account.
  2. Select "Meet With Me Settings" from the pull-down admin menu.
  3. Turn on "Meet With Me" and select your meeting preferences.
  4. Share the URL of your Meet With Me page with anyone you wish to be able to request a meeting with you.

Setting your Meet With Me preferences:

Set your Meet With Me preferences to set your personalized URL and restrict when others can request meetings with you. These preferences can be changed at any time and will only affect new meeting requests, not existing meetings or invitations.

Personal URL: You many set and customize a unique URL that you can share with others, giving them the ability to request a meeting with you contingent upon your other settings. This email is public and can be used in your email footer, posted on a web site, or shared as a link.

Accessibility: Allow anyone to request a meeting, or restrict meeting request to those already in your contacts. (Of course you'll have to sync your Outlook or Google Calendar to have access to this option.) If you choose "Only My Contacts" your page will still be available but only people with an email address that is already in your contacts will be able to send you a new meeting request.

Request Times: Allow meeting requests to be set for any time, or restrict them to only the times you have identified as your work hours. (You can edit your work hours under "Calendar Settings".)