In a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 has been a time of massive disruption and change. The abrupt shift to remote work in March became the new normal for so many, accelerating the demand for tools that make it easier for us to stay connected.
This year brought exponential growth in x.ai signups and meetings scheduled, and our team has been working days, nights, and weekends to respond. We’ve pushed 134 updates and feature extensions in 2020, impressive for any company, but especially for our scrappy team of engineers, data scientists, and growth hackers.
Among those 134 updates, there are 12 that stand out because of the massive impact they’re having on how you and your teams work. Once you catch up here, check out these 10 additional features you may have missed.
- Supercharged Calendar Pages
- New Team Scheduling Tools
- Schedule Meetings in Any Language
- New Ways to Schedule Group Meetings
- Introducing Scheduler@x.ai
- Copy & Paste Times
- All New Meeting Creator
- Accept Payments When Scheduling Meetings
- Enhanced Privacy Features
- Automate Reminders and Post-Meeting Actions
- Be Prepared for Every Meeting
- Comprehensive, Secure Video Conferencing
1. Supercharged Calendar Pages
For many of you, 2020 was the year of Calendar Page scheduling. Meetings scheduled each month with Calendar Pages nearly quadrupled between January and November, as our team made major updates to their design and speed, as well as adding numerous granular settings, like:
- Add guest questions to capture additional information at the time of booking.
- Set a limit for the maximum number of meetings from a specific Calendar Page you want to do per day.
- Embed your Calendar Pages to any page on your website.
Pro Tip: You can build unlimited Calendar Pages and schedule unlimited meetings for FREE with x.ai.
2. New Team Scheduling Tools
While you may not have been in-person with your coworkers, your productivity didn’t miss a beat thanks to several new Team features.
Combined Calendar Pages make it easy to schedule time with multiple people from the same team. Add everyone who needs to join the meeting to the Combined Calendar Page, then share the link. The time options offered will be ones that work for all of the participants, according to their availability and preferences. Serious time savings for internal and external meetings alike!
Round Robin Calendar Pages let people schedule with any member of your team, rotating between everyone’s availability. We’ve worked with many Sales teams to help them build out Round Robin Calendar Pages to manage their inbound inquiries. Similarly, we’ve seen small and large Customer Support teams bring their professional services bookings and product onboarding call workflows into x.ai.
With a Team plan, you can add your company logo to be used across your Calendar Pages, scheduling emails, and customized Meeting Reminders and Post-Meeting Actions. Add your logo, then put the scheduling tool on your company’s domain (i.e. email@example.com) — voila! It looks like you built the scheduling tool in-house!
3. Schedule Meetings in Any Language
This year, x.ai became the first and only tool to support scheduling meetings over email and Slack in any language.
Add Scheduler, Amy, or Andrew to any email, even mid-thread, then write the meeting request details in any language. The Scheduling AI will instantly process the request and assemble available times to be sent to the guests, expanding the functionality that was previously only available in English.
This massive update leveraged our existing natural language processing structure, the heart of the x.ai scheduling engine that we’ve spent more than five years developing.
Pro Tip: You can set 12- and 24-hour time formatting across the x.ai scheduling tool for you and your guests.
4. New Ways to Schedule Group Meetings
In April, we completely overhauled our group meeting scheduling engine to make it faster and easier for your guests to find a time that works for everyone. We then added some rocket fuel in July when we launched “the ultimate Doodle-Killer,” One-Time Links for group meetings.
Now, in addition to having the Scheduling AI set up a group meeting, you can create and share a link directly with your guests. You have full control over what availability is shared while keeping your calendar private.
5. Introducing Scheduler@x.ai
When we added Scheduler@x.ai back in July, our primary goal was to provide a neutral, non-humanized option to schedule meetings over email and Slack. We also believed Scheduler would make it easier for your guests to understand how to interact with the tool — and we were right!
Meetings set up with firstname.lastname@example.org are taking less time for guests to confirm and see an even higher rate of meetings being booked. With Scheduler, guests take less time to confirm the meeting and there’s less confusion overall. Win-win!
At the same time, we also reviewed and updated all of the emails the AI sends to your guests. In many cases, we eliminated redundant communication, while also clarifying the language and adding helpful tips so your guests can choose a time with minimal hassle.
6. Copy & Paste Times
There are some meetings where you want the personal touch of scheduling it yourself. For others, you probably already have some preferred days in mind and just need to nail down a time. Enter Copy & Paste Times.
Choose a Meeting Template, select up to 3 days, then Copy & Paste Times directly into an email or any messaging platform (like LinkedIn, Messenger, WhatsApp, or Apple Messages). Your guest can choose a time in one click and the meeting is booked!
Pro Tip: The fastest way to access your Meeting Templates to Copy & Paste Times is with the free x.ai Chrome extension.
7. All New Meeting Creator
We redesigned the x.ai Meeting Creator to give you fast access to the full power of the scheduling engine. You can easily add your meeting details to create a One-Time Link to send to people yourself, or you can add your guests’ information and let the Scheduling AI send them time options.
What will the Scheduling AI send your guests? There’s no mystery here! Once you’ve filled in the meeting details, click “Preview email.” You’ll see the exact email that will be sent to each meeting guest. You can close the preview and make changes to the meeting details (and preview again!), or click “Start scheduling” and the Scheduling AI’s emails will be sent immediately.
8. Accept Payments When Scheduling Meetings
As massive conferences and individual classes moved online this year, x.ai built out support to let you collect payments through your x.ai Calendar Pages.
This feature is included with all of our premium plans and x.ai does not take any additional fees on the payments you collect. Your meeting, your money. 🤑
Pro Tip: Offer coupon codes on your calendar pages to offer discounted rates to a small group or for a limited time.
9. Enhanced Privacy Features
This month, we introduced several new privacy settings that give you even more control over your calendar.
You can enable passcodes on your Calendar Pages to require anyone with the link to enter the passcode before they can view your availability and schedule a meeting. You can also customize the visibility for events booked from specific Meeting Templates, hiding (or sharing) the details from colleagues who can view your native calendar.
These features build on top of other privacy-enhancing features. You can create private Calendar Pages that are hidden from your Calendar Homepage and can only be accessed with the direct link.
On each Meeting Template, you can also turn on the setting to confirm meeting requests with you before sending the calendar invite.
For truly ephemeral meeting scheduling, you can create a One-Time Link for a meeting.
10. Automate Reminders and Post-Meeting Actions
Our customizable Meeting Reminders help ensure your guests show up on-time and prepared.
Then, you can set up automated Post-Meeting Actions to send emails after the meeting’s scheduled end time with personalized messaging on a custom schedule.
Pro Tip: Post-Meeting Actions are a great way to sell a bundle of sessions to your guests. Once the first meeting is booked, you can set up a Post-Meeting Action to send a link to schedule future sessions.
11. Be Prepared for Every Meeting
One of the first major updates we pushed this year was a complete overhaul to the Daily Meeting Prep, an email that goes out every evening with a detailed view of the following day.
The Daily Meeting Prep lets you know in advance who you’re meeting with, including guest details and links to their LinkedIn profiles. You’ll see meetings that may need additional location details, and whether you have conflicts on your calendar. You have the option to cancel or reschedule any meeting with one tap. We also show you what we are working on and who might be the tardy guest in a meeting yet to be scheduled, so you can nudge them.
12. Comprehensive, Secure Video Conferencing
Video conferencing software became an essential part of our work and personal lives this year. At the end of March, we opened up our Microsoft Teams integration to all users for free. Outlook users can set Microsoft Teams as the location for their meeting, and x.ai will automatically generate a unique link and attach it to the calendar invite.
We also pushed several updates to our integration with Zoom to ensure that your Zoom meeting links are secure. x.ai users with Individual and Team subscriptions can connect their Zoom accounts to generate unique meeting links with passcodes (or waiting rooms) that will be automatically included when x.ai schedules the meeting.