Microsoft Bookings is a scheduling tool that assists with booking appointments, and it is now included with your Rutgers Connect Office 365 license. There are many ways to use Bookings in a university environment. An individual faculty member could use it to create a calendar where students could request office hour appointments, or a department chair or administrator could create an office hours calendar with slots for multiple faculty members.
You should be able to see the Bookings tab listed in the application menu after logging in to Rutgers Connect. Before you can access Bookings, however, you must either create a new Booking Calendar or be added to an existing Booking Calendar.
A Booking Calendar within Microsoft Bookings is a space where scheduling appointments can be made. Please note that currently, users are not able to create a Booking Calendar themselves through the Bookings application. You can contact your department or unit IT support to set up your Booking site to begin scheduling appointments. If you do not know who your department or unit IT support are, you can find this information on the Help & Support site. If you have trouble finding this information, you can contact the Help Desk by emailing email@example.com or calling (833) OIT-HELP.
You can learn more about Bookings in this article from Microsoft, which goes into greater detail about the product.
Once your Booking Calendar has been created by your department or unit IT support and you have been made an owner, you should be able to open the Bookings tab via your Rutgers Connect account and immediately access the site.
If you have more than one Bookings Calendar, you can manually open the Booking of your choice:
Bookings can be scheduled by either a user looking to make an appointment, or a staff member with access to the Booking calendar. You can set up a booking page that allows users to schedule their own appointments, similar to what you might see if you have booked an appointment online to get a haircut or have your car serviced. Alternatively, you or another faculty or staff member can enter the bookings manually, such as when a user or customer calls for an appointment.
The Booking Page tab lets you make changes to and publish or unpublish the Booking Calendar. It also provides you with notification and scheduling settings that you can configure for your calendar. Here is what a published Bookings site looks like, where users can assign themselves to slots on a calendar when specified:
Staff members are the employees that the users or customers book appointments with. If, for example, you were making a Bookings Calendar for an academic department office hours, these would be the department faculty. To add staff members to your Bookings Calendar, navigate to the Staff page and select Add Staff Member. This will bring up details you can edit for each member you wish to add. You can edit a staff member’s availability, contact information, and role: Administrator, Viewer or Guest.
Staff members can then be assigned to a variety of slots based on the availability presented on their Rutgers Connect calendar.
|Administrators||Can open and configure the Booking Calendar. If we use the example of a department using bookings for faculty office hours, this might be the department chair or administrative assistant. It could also be the faculty members if they want to manage their own booking calendar.|
|Viewers||Can open the Booking Calendar and view settings, can’t make changes. If we use the example of a department using bookings for faculty office hours, this might be a student worker who you want to be able to view, but not change, appointments.|
|Guest||Can be assigned to a Booking slot, cannot open the Booking Calendar. If we use the example of a department using bookings for faculty office hours, this might be a faculty member who is not managing the entire Booking calendar.|
|Customers||Are users that are Booking the slots in the Calendar with a staff member. If we use the example of a department using bookings for faculty office hours, this might be the students booking office hours appointments.|
The Calendar section lets you manually create and assign new Booking slots to users and staff members. It’s also where you can view all slots in your Bookings Calendar.
In order to manually set up and assign Booking slots, you will first need to create an entry for the customer in the “Customers” Booking tab. This will allow you schedule appointments on behalf of users by inputting their contact information and details – the same details a user would need to provide if they were scheduling themselves for a Bookings slot. Next, navigate to the “Calendar” tab. Here you will be able to assign a Booking to both a customer and a staff member for a specific slot. This is a great feature for those that wish to keep their calendar hidden and keep track of appointments themselves within the app.
The Service tab is where you can edit the name of the service you are providing through your Booking Calendar. This is what customers see when a Booking Calendar is published – it should define the purpose of the Booking. If we use the example of a department using bookings for faculty office hours, this might be “Office Hours.”
The Business Information tab lets you configure the overall name of your calendar as well as the business/office hours, contact information and logo so that customers can easily identify the group associated with the service.
The slots that are created in the calendar are unique to the Booking Calendar itself.
You can find more advanced documentation on using Microsoft Bookings on Microsoft’s support site.
Be sure to explore all capabilities of Bookings before publishing your calendar. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Bookings, please contact your local IT, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (833) OIT-HELP.