My advisor has been very busy and a lot of us hardly get quality time with him. he also acknowledges this and says it is usually very difficult to manage appointments and other commitments. He has lately been suffering from health problems, adding to crunch in time for all of us. Me and my advisor were discussing several ways to schedule and manage meetings with his students, preferably a web based tool so as to keep us informed in case schedule changes and also to let him remember which student met him and which didn't. (He has a lot of students with him including undergrads).

Google Calendar could be one such tool, but I am wondering how do people in academia schedule and manage meetings with students ?

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    Be careful when using external tools (as opposed to self-hosted web-based solutions), as requiring students to use them might be in conflict with the privacy regulations of your place. That does not completely rule out external tools, you just need to be aware of possible problems. (For example, we use Doodle, which is mentioned in damian's answer, a lot, but we never input (or require anyone to input) much identifiying information such as full names.) Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 16:22
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    Good point, @O. R.Mapper ! Yes, in all solutions and tools I suggested, I'm completely fine if people just put in their first name or an acronym or whatever they want.
    – damian
    Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


Several of my colleagues use YouCanBookMe (https://gb.youcanbook.me/), which integrates with GoogleCalendar. You can specifiy "office hours" or the like, and then students can book a meeting with you.

I myself, however, discuss individual appointments per mail and then immediately add them to my digital calendar, which to me works better, as I do not have fixed office hours.

When I want to have a whole day of meetings (e.g., everyone from a class is supposed to have an individual meeting with me on one specific day to get feedback), I create an etherpad at http://www.titanpad.com , give timeslots and ask all students to put their names on it.

For group meetings with colleagues, I use http://doodle.com (or http://datumprikker.nl , which offers a similar service in Dutch) to schedule group meetings. I guess pretty much everyone at our department does so.

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