With SimplePractice Availability Scheduling, you can easily indicate the times you're available so your clients can schedule their own appointments. You can also specify the services you provide during your Availability blocks. Any appointments you already have on your calendar will block those times that are available to prevent double booking from clients. This does not block you from scheduling multiple appointments at the same time.
We’ve integrated a Call-to-Book feature as well, which allows you to designate service codes as available to book by phone call.
To get started with Availability Scheduling, make sure you have enabled Online Booking. If you haven't yet, learn how to enable Online Booking. Once you've enabled Online Booking, you're ready to start setting your Availability.
In this guide, we'll cover:
- Setting Availability
- Editing Availability
- Deleting Availability
- Scheduling time between appointments
- Scheduling available appointments at the bottom of the hour
- Displaying Availability without Online Booking & sharing Availability with your team
Tip: If you've set up your Availability and you're having trouble making it appear correctly for clients, we created a downloadable Online Booking Checklist that can help you identify and resolve the problem.
For most clinicians, setting your Availability means setting your practice hours. For others, it might mean setting a few open blocks for clients to schedule online.
The first step is to open the Calendar. If you have Online Booking enabled, you'll see a button that says Availability.
Click on Availability to open the Availability tool.
Click anywhere on the calendar to add a new availability block
A calendar flyout will appear. Similar to creating a session, you will create an avilaibility block. Click on the filed that says Title and type in a title for your availability.
Click on the time to change the time for the start end end times of the availability blocks.
Click on the Repeats drop-down. This will allow you to set repeating blocks. For example, if your regular hours are from 9am until 4pm you can have these availability blocks repeat for the days of the week that you are open every week.
Click on the days of the week that you want this availability block to repeat.
Click on the drop-down next to Every to select the frequency. If you want it to repeat every week, just leave it at one. You can make this repeat every 2 weeks up to 8 weeks.
Click on the drop-down next to Ends. If this is temporary, you can select After or On Date. Otherwise, you can select Never if these are your typical hours and you want them to repeat. You'll always have the option to delete individual blocks.
If you want to offer multiple services, your active codes will display and you can select the available services for this time block. We'll go over how to make sure your service codes are enabled for Online Booking. Click here to learn more.
Click Done to save the availability.
See how easy that was? I decided to make a morning and afternoon availability block to make sure I take a lunch break. You can click anywhere on the calendar to add another availability.
Just follow the previous steps to create another availability block. See it's that easy.
- To get started, navigate to your Calendar homepage. If Online Booking is enabled and you have at least one office location listed at Settings > My Practice > Locations, you'll see an Availability button in the upper right-hand corner of the calendar.
- Click Availability to open the Availability mode. Click anywhere on the calendar to add a new Availability block.
- Type in a title for your Availability block.
- Click the time to adjust the start and end times for your Availability blocks.
- Set the Location of where you want to offer this Availability.
- Check the box next to Repeats to set repeating blocks. For example, if your regular hours are from 9AM to 4PM, you can have these Availability blocks repeat for the days of the week that you are available each week.
- Select the drop-down next to Every to set the frequency. If you want it to repeat every week, leave it at 1. You can make this repeat up to every 8 weeks.
- Select the drop-down next to Ends. If this is temporary, you can select After or On Date. Otherwise, you can select Never if these are your typical hours and you want them to repeat. You'll always have the option to delete individual blocks later.
- If you want to offer multiple services, your active codes will display and you can select the available services for this time block. You can learn how to enable your service codes for Online Booking here: How to set up Online Booking.
- Click Done.
You can click anywhere on the calendar to add another Availability block. You can also add multiple Availability blocks that overlap. Follow the previous steps to create another Availability block.
If you want to make any changes to your Availability:
- Click the Availability block you want to edit. A fly out will appear and you can edit the name, date, time, location, and services offered.
- Once you have made your changes, click Done.
To delete an Availability block, click on the Availability block that you want to delete and click the trash can icon in the flyout window.
If the Availability block is recurring, you have the option to delete the single availability block, all future availability blocks, or all availabilities blocks in the series.
Scheduling time between appointments
If you have Online Booking enabled to book appointments by session duration, you can automatically schedule breaks in between sessions or add extra buffer time to allow for paperwork or time between clients. For example, if you have a 50 minute session and you need 10 minutes after each session to prep for your next session, you can adjust your schedule so that session blocks takes 60 minutes instead of starting the next appointment immediately after. Here's how to do this:
- Go to Settings > Billing and Services > Services
- Click the service code you want to edit
- Make sure Available for online booking is selected to see all Booking Options
- Enter a number of minutes to block off before and/or after the appointment
Note: We recommend only choosing to block off time before or after a service, not both. This will help to keep your Availability streamlined and easier to troubleshoot if issues arise.
Scheduling available appointments at the bottom of the hour
You have the flexibility to customize your hours of availability however you need. You can have sessions begin on the hour, the half hour, or every 1.5 hours.
Note: Before proceeding, set your availability to start on the half hour and make sure the service codes you want to use are selected.
Next, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Client Portal
- Select According to service duration for the Client can book appointments setting
- Click Save Settings
Next, confirm that the appointment duration works for your setup by following these steps:
- Go to Settings > Billing and Services > Services
- Select the service you want to offer for this custom time event
- Repeat these steps if you have other codes with similar requirements
- Change the service code Duration to 60 minutes
- If the duration is already set to 60 minutes, you do not need to make any changes
- If the duration is set to 50 minutes, you'll want to add extra time by adding a 10 minute block off time, but not affect the billable duration
- Click Save
You can customize these buffer times if you would like your appointments to be available every 1.5 hours or other custom times.
Displaying Availability without Online Booking & sharing Availability with your team
You can set availability blocks that help you see your available times or show your team when you are available, even if that time isn't available for your clients to book online. Here's how:
- Click Availability to switch to your Availability calendar
- Click anywhere in the calendar and a flyout window will appear
- Enter a title (i.e., Morning Availability, as shown below)
- Change the duration if applicable
- Uncheck Available for Online Booking
- Click Done to save