Sometimes you want to appear busy to colleagues who have access to your calendar but still allow guests to schedule meetings on your calendar despite having blocked the time as busy. The x.ai system will respect your busy blocks, so how can you schedule over them?
Create a Shadow Calendar
This hack was inspired by one of our customers, who is an executive assistant and wanted to set aside time for his CEO to schedule 1:1 meetings with employees without allowing other types of meetings to be scheduled during that time. By blocking off certain time ranges, such as Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 11 am, his colleagues who can view his calendar would see him as busy and x.ai would also respect the blocks of time. So how does one schedule within that block? We came up with a shadow calendar!
A “Shadow Calendar” is a second calendar that we created that will be used to determine availability while adding meetings to the CEO’s calendar, too. By creating a Team Meeting Template that schedules meetings according to the shadow calendar’s availability and adds them to the CEO’s calendar as optional, x.ai is able to double-book the CEO without triple-booking him!
Setting It Up
First, you will want to create a second team member, as this requires a second account. The second team member will be connected to the shadow calendar and will be the organizer of events. Create a Team Calendar Page with only the shadow calendar’s account attached to it. From there, simply make the CEO an optional attendee:
Note that because the Shadow calendar is the host of the meeting, invitations will be sent using that account’s location settings. However, a feature unique to Team Meeting Templates is the ability to add a custom location. By using a Team Meeting Template we can fill in the CEO’s static link so that they may not be the organizer of the meeting, but it will use their personal meeting link!
Now whenever one of the employees schedules their 1:1 meeting with the CEO, the shadow calendar will send out the invitation with the CEO’s meeting link on it. This will block the shadow calendar’s availability for next time, as that calendar will be busy, but because the CEO is optional on the invitation he will still receive the invitation on top of his blocked time!
Internal users viewing his calendar will see that his time is unavailable but they will still be able to schedule 1:1s through the shadow account’s Calendar Page. The shadow calendar prevents double-booking of 1:1s by default!
Special thanks to Kyle for this hack!