Skip to main content

Managing your Availability FAQs

Managing your Availability FAQs

In this guide, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions about Availability.

Note: To learn more about setting up your Availability, see Managing your Availability.

Below, we’ll answer:  


Why don’t my available times in the Client Portal match my Availability? 

If your available times aren’t displaying as expected in the Client Portal, there might be:

  • Conflicting appointments blocking your Availability 
  • Service durations that don’t fit in your Availability blocks
  • Adjustments that need to be made in your Availability settings

For steps on investigating and resolving each of these potential situations, see Troubleshooting your Availability


How do I set up my Availability if I offer packages?

If your practice offers packages with a specific number of appointments, you can make these available for online appointment requests. Once you accept the appointment request from the client, you have the flexibility to update the services or price of each session included in the package.

To list a package as part of your online appointment request options, first you’ll want to create a service code for packages. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing & Services > Services
  • Click Add New Service
  • For Service, you can enter Package or your own custom service code
    • This code won’t be visible to clients on the online appointment request page
  • Click Add new code

addnewcode.simplepractice.services.png

  • For Description, enter the title you’d like clients to see

description.simplepractice.services.png

  • Set the Rate and adjust the Default Duration
    • If you charge a deposit or have variable pricing for packages, you can set the Rate to $0 
  • Check Available for online appointment requests
    • If you’d like new clients to be able to request an appointment package, check Allow for New Clients
  • Click Save

Once you've created the new service code for packages, you can add it to your existing Availability blocks, or create a new one. To do this:

manageavailability.simplepractice.calendar.png

  • Click anywhere on the calendar to create a new Availability block, or select an existing Availability block to edit
  • Adjust the day(s), duration, and location(s) of Availability as needed
  • Click Add service

addservice.simplepractice.availability.png

  • Search and select the custom service code you created
  • Click Save

Once you’ve accepted a package that a client has requested, you can edit the appointment directly from the calendar to update the service code, and make it a recurring appointment. To do this:

  • Navigate to the calendar
  • Click the appointment that was requested
  • Check Recurring if the appointment will repeat, and select the desired frequency
  • Update the service code from the dropdown menu

repeat.simplepractice.calendar.png

  • Click Done

For more information on editing appointments, see Editing an appointment. To learn more about billing packages, see How do I bill for a package?


How do I set up my Availability so that new clients can book an initial consultation?

Through initial consultations, you can get to know prospective clients and set expectations, rather than doing so through a full appointment. To set up initial consultations:

  • Navigate to the calendar
  • Select the gear icon > Manage availability
  • Click anywhere on the calendar to create a new Availability block, or select an existing Availability block to edit
  • Click Add service
  • Select 00000 - Initial Consultation - No Charge

addinitial.simplepractice.availability.png

  • Click Save

These steps will add a service to your account for initial consultations, with a default rate of $0 and duration of 15 minutes. While most clinicians follow this default for this service, you can customize this as needed. To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing & Services > Services
  • Click 00000 Initial Consultation - No Charge
  • Adjust the Rate, Default Duration, and Description as needed

initialconsultation.simplepractice.services.png

  • Click Save

I offer appointments across multiple office locations. How can I make sure my clients choose the correct location?

If your practice offers appointments across multiple locations (for example, Telehealth and in-office sessions), you’ll want to add each location at Settings > My Practice > Locations. Then, you can add each location to existing Availability blocks, or create new ones.

To create additional locations:

  • Navigate to Settings > My Practice > Locations 
  • Click Add a location

addalocation.simplepractice.locations.png

  • Enter an Office Name 
    • Clients will see this when requesting appointments via the Client Portal
  • Enter the location details
    • If you provide in-home or mobile appointments, you can enter In-home/mobile appointments for the Street field

inhome.simplepractice.locations.png

      • You can enter dashes for the City and ZIP fields, and enter the State you practice from
      • While these fields are required to save a location, you can choose Hide Address to prevent prospective clients from seeing the address
  • Click Save

For more information, see Adding office locations.

Once you've created the locations, you can set up your Availability for them. To do this:

  • Navigate to the calendar
  • Select the gear icon > Manage availability
  • Click anywhere on the calendar to create a new Availability block, or select an existing Availability block to edit
  • Under Location, check In-person and/or Telehealth, depending on the type of appointments for the Availability
  • In the dropdown menu next to In-person, select the location for the Availability

inperson.simplepractice.calendar.png

  • Click Save

After clients select a service in the Client Portal, they’ll have the option to choose an office location:

If a client requests an appointment for the incorrect location, you can update this from your calendar. To do this:

location.simplepractice.calendar.png

  • Click Done

How can I limit the number of appointment requests I receive each day?

You can set a maximum number of appointments that clients can request each day. To do this: 

  • Navigate to the calendar 
  • Select the gear icon > Manage availability
  • If you’re in a group practice:
    • Click the Clinician dropdown menu
    • Make sure that only the clinician you’d like to set an appointment limit for is checked
    • Click Apply
  • Click + Appt limit for the day in question
    • You can only set appointment limits from the Day or Week calendar view
  • Select the maximum number of appointments you’d like to allow that day of the week
    • You can choose between 1 and 20

maxapptlimit.simplepractice.lefthandnav.jpg

  • Repeat for each day of the week you’d like to set a limit for

Keep in mind that: 

  • When you set an appointment limit for a certain day of the week, the limit will apply to those days moving forward
    • For example, if you set an appointment limit for Monday, the limit will also apply to all future Mondays
  • If the appointment limit is left as the default No appt limit, clients will be able to request appointments regardless of how many appointments you already have scheduled for that day
  • If the appointment limit is set to a certain number, pending appointment requests will be accounted for in that limit
    • For example, if your appointment limit per day is 6 and you have 5 confirmed appointments and 1 pending appointment, clients won’t see any available time slots for that day when they request appointments online 

If you’ve reached your appointment limit for the day and would like to schedule an additional appointment, you can do this by creating a new appointment as usual.

The flyout will include a notification stating that the appointment exceeds the limit for that day. You can click Done to finish creating the appointment.

exceed.simplepractice.calendar.png

Note: If you’re scheduling a recurring appointment, you’ll only see this notification for the first appointment in the series. This notification will appear for all team members who can schedule on behalf of a clinician.


I’m part of a group practice, but only some of our clinicians are available for online appointment requests. Why?

Each clinician will need to have their own Availability blocks for online appointment requests. Depending on the clinician’s role, they can either set their own Availability or all clinicians’ Availability. Non-clinicians with the Scheduler role can also set Availability for all clinicians.

To check which clinicians you can set Availability for, see Team member roles and access levels. You can follow the instructions in Setting Availability to create Availability blocks for the clinician(s) in question.


I have an Other appointment scheduled. Will this affect my available times for online appointment requests?

If you schedule a non-client Other appointment on your calendar, the duration of that appointment will no longer appear as available for online appointment requests. 

If a client reports that they're not seeing any available times on a certain day, be sure to review your calendar for any conflicting appointments or all-day Other appointments. 

This is how an all-day Other appointment appears on your calendar:

otherevent.simplepractice.calendar.png


Why aren't my available times showing up for clients trying to schedule through the Appointment-request widget?

For prospective clients to request appointments through the Appointment-request widget, you’ll need to have Availability blocks set up for services that you’ve set as bookable by new clients. 

To make a service available for new clients:

  • Navigate to Settings > Billing and Services > Services 
  • Click the service code you’d like to make available to new clients
  • Check the box next to Allow for New Clients

allowfornew.simplepractice.services.png

  • Click Save

Next, you can update your Availability with this service. To do this:

  • Navigate to the calendar 
  • Select the gear icon > Manage availability
  • Click anywhere on the calendar to create a new Availability block, or select an existing Availability block to edit
  • Adjust the day(s), duration, and location(s) of Availability as needed
  • Click Add service

addservice.simplepractice.availability.png

  • Select the service you'd like to add
  • Click Save

Note: The Appointment-request widget is intended for new clients. Only services that are available to new clients will appear in the widget. Existing clients should log into their Client Portal to request appointments. For detailed guides you can share with your existing clients, see Getting started with the Client Portal and Viewing and requesting appointments in the Client Portal.

Still have questions?

Get more help