The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for February, 2016

Two Way Syncing with your Calendar

A major piece of CoachAccountable is scheduling and managing client appointments.  A lot of coaches ask “how do I sync my CoachAccountable appointments with my regular calendar, and how does that work?”

(By “regular calendar” I am referring to whichever online calendar system you already use regularly–Google Calendar, Apple iCal, and Microsoft Outlook are by far the most prevalent.)

Syncing is key for two reasons.  One, because you want your CA Appointments to appear right along side all of your other stuff, allowing you to see your complete schedule.  (Moreover you want this without having to manually enter your CA appointments into your regular calendar, because who has time for double data entry?)  Two, because when scheduling your appointments within CA you want to know when you’re actually free, to avoid double bookings.

These two reasons together form a two-way street: how to get your CoachAccountable appointment data into your regular calendar (so that it shows up there), and how to get your regular calendar data into CoachAccountable (so that CA can prevent double booking).

CA provides the way to do each of these two directions of syncing, and it’s important to understand what each direction does as they are quite distinct.

CA to your regular calendar: To have your appointments which were made in CA show up within your regular calendar, CA offers a data feed URL of those appointments.  By adding this URL to your regular calendar system (“Add by URL” or “Subscribe”, the wording to do this varies from system to system) you allow your regular calendar to pull that data in so that it shows alongside the rest of your schedule, allowing you to thus see the whole picture.

This data feed URL can be found within My CA >> My System >> Appointment Scheduling, towards the bottom:

You CoachAccountable Appointments data feed URL

This URL is all you need to add your CA appointments to any calendar.

Your regular calendar to CA: To inform CA of when exactly you are busy, so that CA doesn’t offer those time slots to your clients when they’re trying to book (and similarly gives you as coach a warning if you attempt to book something when you’re already busy), CA allows you to enter up to 3 calendar feeds.  This is the same mechanism but in reverse: instead of CA giving you a data feed URL to be added to your calendar, you need to find the data feed URL offered by your calendar and paste it in to CA.  Again, how or where to get this data feed URL varies from system to system, but most calendar systems which are web-based in nature offer this.

Here’s what the interface to do this within CA looks like, again found within My CA >> My System >> Appointment Scheduling:

Just paste in the magic URL from your calendar and CA will pull in the data.

Just paste in the magic URL from your calendar and CA will pull in the data.

Together setting up these two steps make the full, two way sync.  The intended work flow is that you use whatever calendar you usually would the way you usually do (which is nice: no new calendaring system to learn, just a one-time setup step and then it’s business as usual), and then CA appointments effortlessly pipe in there to give you the full picture (while getting the benefit of all that CA does for facilitating coaching appointments: reminders, client-initiated scheduling, worksheets, hours tracking, piping into the calendars of your clients, etc.).