Boomerang is a scheduling tool that embeds a live, interactive view of your calendar into an email you send to the people with whom you’d like to meet. Boomerang recently launched
Bookable Schedule, a feature allowing users to share personalized calendars directly via email, alert folks to their general availability, or schedule meetings that propose times specific to the recipient. In turn, recipients can prevent double-bookings by superimposing their calendar on top of the sender's.
Barry Enderwick, Marketing Director, Boomerang, spoke with WorkSpace Connect to discuss what Boomerang’s meeting scheduler brings to the market, how it fits into the hybrid workforce, and how it helps employees preserve their humanity.
Responses have been edited for conciseness and clarity.
First, tell me about Boomerang’s flagship product—Boomerang Magic Live Calendar.
BE: Bookable Schedule lets people quickly schedule and accept meetings in their inbox, empowering users to schedule while maintaining a personal touch. Users can set up a schedule of available times for meetings and share it with as many people as they like—and by inserting Boomerang’s proprietary, clickable, auto-updating Magic Live Calendar in the email, no double booking or out-of-date time slots offered. The feature also checks for conflicts across all parties’ calendars with the ability to display multiple time zones, to ensure meetings get scheduled at a reasonable time for everyone.
What does the scheduling-meetings tool bring to the market that’s not already there?
BE: Current scheduling options try to solve the problem of meetings never getting scheduled by improving efficiency for the sender only. However, this removes any personalization and can ultimately feel like a power play between the sender and recipient. Bookable Schedule eliminates the invisible labor that some meeting scheduling solutions impose upon recipients.
This tool seems to require that everyone who’s being tapped to schedule a meeting have the tool installed already. Doesn’t this add a pain point or friction if someone who’s committed to Google Meet or Zoom is trying to coordinate with someone in a Microsoft 365 shop? How do you work around this?
BE: Anyone can receive a meeting request through Bookable Schedule, regardless of whether or not they’re currently using the feature. That was important to our team to ensure we didn’t add any burdens to the recipient. As far as our features for video meeting integration, the person scheduling still maintains control over the calendar invite. If they happen to be using Google Meet or Zoom, they can take advantage of the feature and automatically add a meeting link. If not, the sender can input their own link.
[Boomerang added] the video link features to make the scheduling process smoother, eliminating the number of tabs and windows to sift through. However, users do not have to use them and can update calendar invites manually like they usually would if that’s preferred.
In the release, Aye Moah, co-founder, and CEO, Boomerang, says, “We thought deeply about how to make a feature that lets you schedule efficiently without losing your humanity,” – What does that mean? What are some of the ways employees “lose their humanity” when scheduling meetings? How does Boomerang offset this?
BE: Starting from the idea that people should be at the center of productivity, Bookable Schedule takes away all the time and back and forth of scheduling while maintaining a 1:1 connection. Bookable operates directly in a user’s inbox with users viewing availability in the email, clicking through to another site to see the sender’s availability. Instead of sharing one universal calendar, Bookable Schedule allows senders to send customized availability pending on the recipient. These added features take the work off of the recipient and offer a more personable and less transactional experience, ensuring both parties feel valued during the exchange.
Where does the new scheduling-meetings tool fit into the hybrid workforce?
BE: In an increasingly automated, hybrid work environment, people are either stuck scheduling more meetings or lacking genuine, authentic communication. Bookable Schedule maintains the efficiency of clickable calendar links while using automation to enhance communication, not replace it.
Blue-sky time: The release also notes: “Navigating power dynamics and subtext is at the core of this [social] exhaustion. Bookable Schedule makes meeting scheduling as seamless and easy for those being invited as it is for the host, leveling the power dynamic.” But this assumes everyone’s on the same platform. Isn’t technological access just another form of a power dynamic?
BE: Power dynamics will always be involved with tech, especially when it comes to who has and who doesn't have access. However, for those who do [have access], bookable empowers people to take control of their schedule and their time.
Bookable Schedule is available within the Boomerang for Gmail browser extension and the Boomerang iPhone app.