Appointment Tracking?

hey MPU, I am trying to see if there is an existing app in my arsenal that would do what I want versus downloading a new app, introducing new variables, etc. (unless of course that new app does the trick)

User case.
As a youth pastor of my parish, I follow up with my youth on a regular basis. There are some that I meet monthly or weekly for spiritual guidance.

What is the best workflow for tracking/notification?

Here are my thoughts…
Option 1 - Fantastical - just use the calendar option to set appointments/recurring ones. The downside is that I don’t get to see the list of youth, it’s just scattered appointments across my calendar.

Option 2 - Omnifocus? (I would have to do some tinkering) - But I would hate for any remote possibility that subconsciously my youth turn into task items.

Option 3 - Notion? I am exploring this for school’s assignments as I mentioned in a previous thread. Maybe it can be re-worked?

Ideally…would love something where I can see the list of the youth by name, if I tap their name, I would get more information like upcoming appointments or how long it’s been since we last spoke.

Thoughts?..I could just do it all manually in an Apple Note or something, but this is MPU!

Notion or AirTable would be my choice for this. AirTable has calendar views so you can see upcoming appointments, and you can have a table for the youth, and another for appointments with links between them.


To add to Rosemary’s recommendation, if you have fewer than 1200 records in an AirTable database you can use the free tier. I used AirTable’s free tier last year for a small project and was so blown away by it I wished I could have found more to use it for.

The issue for you is that you’d need to re-enter the appointment info in the app - which could then be shared to Apple/Google/Outlook calendars, if you like - but you can’t import existing calendar data into AirTable unless you are on a Pro plan, which starts at $120/yr. So there could be a lot of data entry, and possibly duplicative data entry (calendar + AirTable) if you stick with the free plan.

The use case you’re describing here is exactly what CRM software is for. You basically want a 360 degree view of your ‘customer’, There is probably something on the Mac that mimics this. With some development effort it can be done with Tap Forms for example.

RoamResearch would be good here too. You will have a back link to all previous meeting notes and a running history of everything related to each of your contacts. But it comes with its own price tag.

The other solutions are probably the way to go, but if you use Google Calendar, have a list of names, and want to populate a column of names in Sheets with the date of the last appointment:

function mostRecentDate(text)
var now = new Date();
var events = CalendarApp.getDefaultCalendar().getEvents(0,now , {search: text});
return events[events.length-1].getStartTime();

Then you just do column A of names and column B of =mostRecentDate(A1) and fill down.,Date,Object)

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I see a lot of overlap between Notion and Airtable with both apps having both database functions and spreadsheet functionality as well as multiple display options in this specific case that would be a calendar display option.

Both would require some programming/customization which is fun to me but not others.

How about making it a training project for your youth and having them learn a great skillset. I think that there is more training material out there for Notion vs. Airtable.

Why not use OF for the scheduling and notification part, with a link to an Apple note for the content / notes / ideas? This way only the schedule would likely become “taskified” in your mind, the content would be elsewhere.

Also: tagging with a name would give you a quick reference to the youth in notes.

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Some very good options recommended here already. You may wish to consider how/whether you need your appointments and list of youth to integrate with other items, i.e. a list of things to follow up on per young person, or perhaps just easily accessible/filterable notes for each. I’m not an Omnifocus user, but that or Notion sound like sensible options.

If it helps: among other things, I work with undergrads through one-to-one tutorials. I manage this in Drafts (I really need a “Drafts is my OS” t-shirt or something…), with a draft for each student that cross-links to other related notes. I keep an action list in each main student draft, along with reference links to any supporting documents that live elsewhere (Google Drive etc). Come to think of it, I should probably add a shortcut or action that allows me to filter my calendar for events containing a student’s name, based on the title of the draft I’m currently viewing…

Drafts’ recently added cross-linking functionality is very underrated, IMHO. :slight_smile:

For my use case, I don’t need to keep an eye on how long it’s been since I last saw any of them (I see them regularly each semester) but it would be easy to create prompt to list them with that relative date perspective in mind.

Other options: you might get some mileage out of NotePlan or Agenda? Again, I don’t use either of them, but from what I know of them it seems like they’d have something to offer…

I am hearing all the options, there are so many to try. @JKoopmans in regards to using OF, ideally, using what I have is always better than trying to start something new.

Here’s the imagined scenario. I open XYZ app. I see a list of youth.

John Doe
Jane Doe
Jake Doe
Jill Doe

I imagine the ability to tap their name, to see a list of our previous appointments (if possible), and to follow-up for the next appointment. I don’t necessarily need it to integrate into anything else. As far as things like content, notes, ideas, it’s a nice add-on, but not fully needed.

In a more “custom” world, I think it would be cool if I can automagically do color-coding. If a youth hasn’t scheduled with me and it’s been 1 month since their last appointment, their name turns yellow. If they haven’t met after like 2 months, it turns red. Dreams.

I think the suggestion of a CRM is also a good one. We’ve talked about this before. BusyContacts, which is also on SetApp, doesn’t advertise itself as a CRM, but it has features that can be helpful for tracking interactions with people and it integrates with Calendar. (Catalina does not allow apps to access Mail and Messages, with which it also used to integrate.)

In the past I’ve also pointed to Hubspot, which has a free tier, of up to 1,000,000 contats. It’s huge in the online business-CRM space so it should be around for a while.

BusyContacts looks like it would be a great solution for me. I just wish they had a compatible iOS app.