You can accept appointments or bookings on your form using the Appointments question type. You can also connect a calendar to ensure you are actually available at that time.

With flexible configuration options, you can accept appointments for everything, from a brief meeting to an extended stay in your guest house.

Example of a selected appointment time with the name piped in to the appointment

Getting Started

You can add an Appointment question to your form just like any other question type. Simply add a new question and select Appointment from the drop-down menu.

Some defaults are set, such as timezone and mode (minutes or days), so you only need to configure a a couple things. However, if you would like to edit those options, select Configure (the gear icon) to the right of the question.

Should I connect a calendar?

Connecting your calendar allows your form to check your availability to ensure you aren't double-booked and automatically add new appointments to that calendar. 

You can take appointments without a connected calendar. However, appointments will be restricted to what you configure as your set availability—general availability, blockout dates, etc. Double bookings will also be allowed.

Tip: To allow use cases such as allowing multiple, distinct customers to schedule overlapping or identical times (e.g. ordering food to go), don't connect a calendar so double bookings will be intentionally allowed.

You can connect 1 calendar on Essentials and unlimited calendars on Pro and Agency.

Connecting a calendar

To connect a calendar:

  • Select Configure (the gear icon) to the right of your Appointment question
  • Click + Calendar to connect a new Google Calendar
  • Click + Account and follow the prompts to connect to Google
  • Select the calendar you want to use for your appointments from the drop-down

That's it!


Once you've connected your Google account and selected a calendar, this is what it will look like prior to finishing setup.

The default settings will allow people to book 30-minute appointments between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

The defaults aren't always what you're looking for, though, so let's dive into the options and what you can do.

Appointment timezone

This is the timezone in which appointments will be made on your calendar. 

This defaults to your local timezone.

Appointment mode

Minutes — Configure appointments by minutes, in blocks specified by the start time interval and length of time options.

You might want this option if you are accepting appointments for a meeting, service (e.g. haircut), consultation, among others.

Days — Configure appointments by days.

This option is great for appointments that block out whole days, such as accepting appointments for your guest house, a car rental, a multi-day tour, among others.

Event Details

Set the details of the event, including the title, description, and location.

These details will be saved to your calendar when the appointment is created and are also used to display that appointment in your submission.

Tip: You can use answer piping to populate the details with values that the respondent has entered when filling out the form.

Start time interval

This setting controls that time between appointment start times. If using a connected calendar and the appointment selected lasts into one or more other potential selections, those selections will be appropriately blocked out for future respondents.

For example, say you have a start time interval of 15 minutes and a length of time (covered below) of 45 minutes. If someone takes a slot at 9:15 am, the appointment will run from 9:15 am until 10 am.

That means the appointments that could have been chosen starting at 9:15 am, 9:30 am, and 9:45 am will no longer be able to be selected.

Length of time 

Sets the length of time for appointments.

You can customize the length of time in a variety of ways:

  • In minutes or days, as specified by Appointment mode
  • Respondent-chosen time (can optionally define minimum and maximum length)
  • Custom: fixed or passed through answer piping

Caution: If you allow a custom length of time through answer piping, you are responsible for ensuring the answer that is piped in is a number. If it is not a number, the question will not work.

Example of using answer piping to set a custom length of time.

Using answer piping is especially useful when used in conjunction with calculations to determine the required length of an appointment based on other answers.

 

Invite emails

You can enter email addresses manually or collect them through the form and pipe them in. Whichever way you choose—or even if you combine them—enter them as a comma-separated list of email address. These email addresses will be used to add invitees to the appointment and send notifications.

When connected to Google Calendar, we will send your default Google Calendar event notification(s) to all invitees. Additionally, you can toggle Send Invite from Paperform to have Paperform email simple invites directly as well.

For more complex emails, you can set up custom emails.

General Availability

You can set the days or times that you are generally available for appointments (e.g. your office hours).

When Appointment mode is in days, you can toggle the days for which you are available. When it is set to minutes, you can set the blocks of time for which you are available (e.g. 9 am to 11 am).

Blockout Dates 

Blockout dates allow you to set dates or ranges of dates when you are not available. This is great for blocking out holidays or office closures to make sure people can't book appointments during those times.

Number of days in advance

Limit how far in advance people can book appointments.

Minimum hours / days notice

Make sure you have enough notice of new appointments.

Maximum number of appointments per day

Set a limit for the total number of appointments that can be  booked in one day.

Minimum time between appointments (days / minutes)

Use this to require a gap between appointments. This could be useful if you need a break between meetings or time to clean your guest house between guests.

Here are a few example templates of what you can achieve with Bookings

Simple Meeting Template

**https://paperform.co/templates/schedule-meeting-template All plans
Create a custom meeting scheduling form to let others book a time with you. Set availability hours directly on the form, and connect a Google Calendar to prevent double bookings.

How it works

  1. Uses an appointment field with name, email and description piped in from other questions.*

Accommodation Bookings Template

**https://paperform.co/templates/accommodation-bookings-template Pro+

This template is fantastic example of how you can use appointments and calculations together to take paid bookings.

When the appointment is attached to a Google Calendar, you can automatically block off dates as they're booked.

How it works:

  1. Appointment field set to "Days" mode, and allows the submitter to choose the length of the booking.
  2. A calculation field which uses the  {{ field.dayLength }} property to calculate the total cost of the stay, with a discount for more than 6 days of bookings.
  3. A custom pricing rule to add the calculation result to the price of the form, so that the form knows it should charge that amount.*

Chef Reservation Template

**https://paperform.co/templates/chef-reservation-template Pro+

This template shows off how you can calculate the length of time required for an appointment based on answers to other questions, and then have the submitter choose a timeslot that's available on your calendar.

Also, the price of the booking is calculated based on the number of guests and package selected.

How it works:

  1. A calculation to determine the length of time the package requires.
  2. In the appointment field, the calculation is answer piped as the value of the length of time required for the meeting (Event Details > Length of time).
  3. A calculation to determine the price of the package depending on how many people are coming, the package selected, and whether it is a dinner or lunch service.
  4. A few other calculations for display purposes (cost per person, whether it is a lunch or dinner service).
  5. A custom pricing rule to add the total calculated price to the form's price.*

Cleaner Hire Template

**https://paperform.co/templates/cleaning-reservation-template Pro+
This template calculates a quote for how long it will take for a job to be done, and then lets the submitter pay for and schedule the quoted time in the same submission.

  1. A calculation to determine the total length of time a job will take.
  2. In the appointment field, the calculation is answer piped as the value of the length of time required for the meeting (Event Details > Length of time).
  3. A calculation for a cost multiplier.
  4. A pricing rule to apply the cost multiplier. 
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