Fantastical and Openings

After hearing @MacSparky talk about Fantastical’s new feature Openings I was excited because I saw this as a way to automate the numerous student appointments that I schedule each week. Set up the templates and activated it this morning and it has already been amazing! One issue I have run into is that I have a subscribed departmental calendar (Google Calendar) that puts events on Fantastical that I am unable to edit. The problem is that I am not involved in all events that show up on my calendar but all events default to “busy” meaning that they impact my availability in Openings. Since this setting is a Fantastical setting it would be nice if I could toggle it to “free” for all events that do not involve me even if nothing else is editable. Anyone have a solution for this? I could delete events that don’t involve me but that creates another set of issues. Thanks!

Does the Google calendar consider your availability when scheduling meetings or is it completely independent?

If yes: consider block scheduling your student appointments and use these blocks to offer them slots with openings. The Google calendar will see you are busy based on blocks and not double book you

If no: you have a problem as independently managed calendars have no means to talk and align. You will have to manually decline the sessions you don;t want. Only hope is that the departmental Google calendar has some cadence and logic to it so you can schedule around it in your student calendar.

Yeah, all these departmental events are scheduled for the most part without concern for my specific schedule because we all have different schedules. Also, there are some events that invovle large blocks of time but my contribution might be for only a a short period of time. Wondering if just hiding these events might solve the problem?

Might be easiest to create another calendar for student appointments.

You might be able to use Zapier to automatically copy every new event over, then delete the ones that don’t apply.

Create calendar sets and exclude the Google departmental calendar for some of these sets so you have an unobstructed view of student calendar.

Copying select events from Google calendar to student calendar is then an option. As per @JohnAtl that part can be automated (though not the deletion of non-usable events as that still needs human intelligence)

I’m going to nudge this thread with a new question about Openings (I’ve tried using Proposals, and it’s great!).

Openings seems to be missing two things:

  • The ability to see on my own calendar what times I’ve made available in Openings (but that aren’t booked yet).
  • The ability to set Openings for specific dates, not just days/times of the week.

My use case: at my college, we’re about to begin advance registration, and I need to allow students to book advising appointments with me. I only want to be available for a specific date range, and I want to make sure I keep those blocks of time free of other commitments so that students have first crack at them.

Does Openings have these features, and I’m just not seeing them? I realize that what I’m trying to do can easily be done with Google’s Appointment Slots feature, but it’s ugly. Fanstastical’s interface is so much nicer.

Advising appointments (I am also a college professor) is exactly why I started using Openings. My solution to your problem has been to simply put the advising blocks on my calendar as an event and set my availability to “Free.” When you do that Openings will consider you available during that time and allow appointments to be scheduled if it is within the time frame you have set to be be available. It will also allow you to see, on your calendar, when you have scheduled yourself to be available. The best thing about using Openings the past couple weeks is that I have not had to deal with a single email exchange regarding appointment scheduling. My students also have told me they love it. One other benefit is that students who need to schedule time with me seem more willing to do so when it does not involve having to make arrangements via email.


Many thanks! I’ll give that a shot. The date range I can always handle by declining requested appointments outside the dates I give students in the email. :+1:

The only other thing I can think besides declining appointments outside the range is to decrease days in advance each day until you are ready to disable new appointments. Keyboard Maestro could do this for you every 24 hours, too. :slight_smile:

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I only allow students to schedule appointments up to 7 days in advance which works for me. This keeps single students from scheduling a serial appointments (I have a few that would do so) and keeps appointment scheduling within a time frame where I have some certainty about my schedule. I also limit appointments to 30 minute blocks. For students in my research lab or non-student appointments that might require more than 30 minutes I use a different template.

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