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7 Lessons from AI Scheduler Power Users to Maximize Your Workday

By
Adam Henshall
|
Dec 12, 2023
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AI scheduling has been one of the first use cases to break out of containment and enter into the modern workplace. Click through to learn 7 tips from AI scheduler power users on how to get the most out of the tech!
https://www.xembly.com/resources/ai-scheduler
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AI scheduling has been one of the first use cases to break out of containment and enter into the modern workplace. 

It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s fast. What’s not to love?

But AI scheduling is the beginning of something much larger. 

In this Xembly article, we’ll walk through how to become an advanced user of AI scheduling and how to take your use of AI assistance to the next level. We’ll cover 7 tips:

  1. Use it all the time
  2. Choose an AI scheduler that integrates with your apps
  3. Live and die by your calendar
  4. Be super clear with your instructions
  5. Make use of dedicated Chrome profiles
  6. Onboard your team and reap the benefits
  7. Pick a scheduler with superpowers

What is an AI Scheduler?

An AI scheduler is an AI that controls your calendar and lets other people book onto it. 

Now, an AI scheduler may have a lot more features than this. It may, for example, incorporate lots of other elements of a smart calendar. Some of these other features might involve the AI taking control of parts of your work life that can impact on your calendar. For example, Xembly's AI scheduler also provides task management capabilities.

Having these extra feature sets allows for an AI scheduler to have a 360-degree view of your calendar and the work that impacts it. AI schedulers can typically communicate with other people on your behalf too. They do this in order to make sure that items can be added to your calendar, either without you having to do that communication or simply with your approval.

AI schedulers are one of the first really effective use cases that has allowed AI to penetrate the workplace. If you're not using AI scheduling and AI assistance in your task and time management, then you're going to get left behind. That's why in writing this article, we've been talking to the people who use AI schedulers all the time and trying to get our best practice tips in place to maximize how effective we can be.

An AI scheduler is not just a Calendly link that talks back. An AI scheduler is like an executive assistant to help you with your day-to-day work. Or on the company or team level, an AI scheduler is actually more like a project manager or a chief of staff. Once you start using enterprise AI tools that provide these features and these services, you see how it all connects together and the benefits of each person's calendar being observed and controlled by the AI compounds and produces streamlined internal organization. 

Let's check out the seven big tips.

7 Tips for Using Your AI Scheduler to Maximize Your Workday

These are the top tips from myself and a bunch of other AI professionals working in SaaS.

AI Scheduler Tip #1: Use it all the time

The first big tip is that you should use your AI scheduler all the time. If you use it often, you start building habits and this process of habit forming will make you more familiar with the tool. But it will also allow you to adapt the way you work to the AI.

There are many instances where the AI can do lots of very interesting and brilliant things, but we don't let it because it's not the way we’ve approached that problem in the past. Do you know what I mean? We have already built our workplace habits around scheduling, calendar management, and time management. We are set in our ways. We're an old dog, but we need to teach ourselves some new tricks.

The AI might not be perfect at exactly replicating our old workflow, but the AI might allow us to achieve much better outcomes with a slightly new workflow or a slightly new approach to time management or calendar management.

So, the more we use this AI, the more we can open ourselves up to the opportunities it presents rather than trying to force the AI into our old workflows; into a box it wasn't made for. As much as we like our old time management techniques, if the AI can add huge value by adopting new ones, you can find there's a big net benefit - but you only discover this by really using it hard.

If you're not yet using an AI scheduler or you're only using it infrequently, I recommend taking a month and committing hard to using it every day as much as possible for that first month, and then making a decision on how much you think it is capable of helping and assisting your work.

For me, I already do daily time blocking. So the calendar management system of Xena, Xembly’s AI, was perfect for me and I saw the value immediately. 

AI Scheduler Tip #2: Choose an AI scheduler that integrates with your apps

I won't go through a full list of all the different AI schedulers, but there are many. The vast majority of these tools basically function like Calendly with bells and whistles. 

One of the problems that many AI scheduling tools face is that they only work across a limited number of products. For example, some of these products only work if you go onto their website by clicking a scheduling link of some kind, or others only integrate with email. What you need to do is find the tool that integrates with your apps.

For example, here at Xembly, we integrate with email and Slack (Microsoft Teams coming soon!) on the front end where you communicate with Xena, and you input information. And on the other end of this process, we integrate with HubSpot and Salesforce and other CRMs so that you can update information in these places in real time.

Windy Hoang finds these automations make her daily work easier: "I'm constantly finding ways to be more efficient at everything I do. With AI scheduling, that's one less tedious task in my day-to-day."

While Andrew Mounier finds he saves himself having to context switch and move from tool to tool: “It fits into my routine by managing meeting schedules directly within Slack and email. This means no more juggling between different apps or calendar tabs.“

You need to look at your tech stack and figure out what apps you need your AI to integrate with. Because if the AI doesn't integrate with your tech stack, then it can't perform actions for you on your behalf or notify other people in other platforms. That hugely reduces how effective that AI scheduling assistant could be.

AI Scheduler Tip #3: Live and die by your calendar

This is kind of an extension of point number one, where it's important to take on board the productivity and time management benefits that the AI can bring and incorporate them into your workflow. Because if you are employing an AI scheduling assistant that is turning your calendar into a smart calendar, into the central hub from which your work can be coordinated, then you need to decide to make that calendar the central part of your work. 

Time block when you want to do a task, and timebox it. Put reminders on there. Schedule in meetings or pair programming for today or future days. Run as many things through that calendar as you can and you will find that it ends up being able to dictate how your work gets done.

But most importantly, you decide the structure of your calendar. One of the things I live and die by is organizing my calendar at the beginning of the day, every day. It's the first thing I do when I log on, I ask Xena to tell me what's on my calendar and then I add more things on, or I take some things off, or I push something to the next day.

And Xena will make recommendations of things that need to be done and keep time open for other people to book onto my calendar. Placing your calendar at the center of your work process allows you to maximize the value you can attain from an AI scheduling assistant. But it's also just a good way of working.

And, as Andrew Mounier outlines, delegating work to the AI has knock-on benefits to the rest of your work by taking some of the stress and mental processing needs away: “One practical benefit is the reduction in cognitive load. I no longer keep mental track of scheduling conflicts or pending meeting setups. AI handles it, and I focus on more strategic tasks. It's not only about saving time but also about mental bandwidth.”

It is effective task management to start your day by assessing what you need to do, and when you're going to do it. That gives you a game plan to execute on. 

AI Scheduler Tip #4: Be super clear with your instructions

Some of these AI schedulers work in such a way that the AI is hidden away in the backend. I'm personally a little bit suspicious of these and whether they're right to call themselves AI in the first place. But with these simple tools, they either work or they don't. However, for more complex AI schedulers, you'll probably be able to interact with them via a chat interface of some kind.

With Xembly, you interact with Xena. She's the AI that is doing the work for you in the backend. So, you can cc Xena into an email, or you can chat with Xena directly in Slack, for example. These AIs are very good at natural language processing and they understand what you are saying. However, sometimes it's easy to take that too far.

I have been guilty of getting too familiar with my AI assistant and being too casual or colloquial in my wording. If you do this, you might confuse the AI and inhibit its ability to do this work well for you. For this reason, it's always important to think about the AI as if it's another person who needs very clear instruction and precise wording.

I have been in remote work for about a decade. As a result of this, I am often in teams where we have members from all over the world. The common language of these teams is English, but I understand that English is not the first language for everybody present. Which is why if you're communicating to a global team, it is important to try to be clear and precise with your use of English.

I take the same perspective with AI. It is not that the AI is not intelligent, it is not that the AI can't understand what I'm saying. But the AI benefits from this clear use of English. Its native language is, after all, binary, not English. So bear that in mind.

AI Scheduler Tip #5: Make use of dedicated Chrome profiles

This might be more of an advanced tip, but if you're like me and you have multiple email addresses and calendars which you use for different purposes, then making use of dedicated Chrome profiles can be a lifesaver. I have my Xembly profile, but I also have a profile for my startup, and I have two personal profiles. One is my primary personal profile, and another is a Google account for less important items or used as a kind of firewall for promotional spam from companies I do actually buy from.

Now, you can go one of two routes here. If you are someone who has different activities going on, you could try to form a single universal calendar that dictates everything, or you could balkanize your calendar situation. For me, my Xembly calendar rules my workday. I don't have many items on my calendar for my own startup and my personal calendar is more used for reminders, of things for evenings or for weekends.

So, what I like to do is use my Chrome extension for Xembly on my Xembly Google Chrome profile and integrate that with the other tools and platforms that it's useful for Xena to be on, for example, Slack. And then you can set up your primary personal calendar to replicate events onto the work calendar but in an anonymized way.

My work calendar does not need to reflect the specifics of what I am planning to do one weeknight or on the weekend but it can be a private, anonymized time block. There's a few ways of doing this, but I have typically used Zapier for event replication across calendars in the past. This means that I share my work data with Xembly and I keep my personal data private. I found that to be an effective way to create reasonable separation without creating severe fragmentation of my task or time management.

AI Scheduler Tip #6: Onboard your team and reap the benefits

Look, it's one thing to have your AI scheduler set up with your calendar, your email, and your Slack, giving you all these superpowers. But it's a completely different scenario if all your team members are also doing the same. This is for two main reasons.

One, if everyone is gaining the benefits of utilizing AI in their day-to-day work, then the cumulative effects are going to be massive, and you'll all see the benefits of that too. If you are using an enterprise AI scheduling tool like Xembly, then the AI has access to everyone's calendars and can find it very easy to do some really advanced, complicated things.

The obvious example here is scheduling a group meeting. You can simply ask Xena when everyone is free, and Xena can look at everyone's calendars and find a time that works for all of you. It also means that everyone can have access to automated meeting notes, and visibility into task delegation and management.

As Anders Maul tells me: “Once you have tried an AI executive assistant, you realize how painful it used to be to set up meetings with multiple people”.

It is at this point where you have an AI shared across a team or across a company where the AI begins to appear more like a project manager or chief of staff, and less like an executive assistant. Once you stack up the calendars that are using the AI, you begin to create more and more value.

It is also a really useful way of enforcing good time management and task management practices across your team. This is really useful for helping junior members of staff develop as much as possible, and balancing their workload so that they don't feel overworked or overwhelmed.

AI Scheduler Tip #7: Pick a scheduler with superpowers

The last tip. This is one we have hinted at multiple times so far in this article: Some AI scheduling tools are very simple and struggle to achieve complex things. If you are going to commit to an AI scheduling tool, then you should pick one that has a bit of muscle and can achieve some very advanced capabilities.

The idea of an AI scheduler in some ways is already a little redundant. You should be thinking in terms of the AI executive assistant or project manager or chief of staff. Get yourself an AI that provides all the smart calendar functionality, but that also provides task management. It provides automated meeting notes, it provides priority setting, it assists with delegation, it integrates with your communication tools, and it can take read or write actions in other apps like CRMs.

What we're talking about here is way more than AI scheduling; what we're talking about is a completely different and new way of working. And this is just the beginning. As we continue to build this software, we will stretch the boundaries and push the borders and unlock more and more superpowers.

If you want to maximize your workday, then you should look for a feature-rich AI assistant. That unlocks the real magic and value of AI. Your AI should be your superhero. With great power comes great responsibility, so pick your hero wisely.

Xembly turns AI scheduling into an AI chief of staff

Xembly is an AI chief of staff - scheduling meet ups, attending your meetings, recording the notes, creating action items, assigning tasks, and helping team members manage their time so that work gets done.

Here are three advantages of using Xembly:

Smooth AI scheduling

Xembly enables 1:1 appointments and complex multi-person scheduling requests with ease. Whether it's via email, Slack, or a dedicated scheduling link, Xembly's AI aide, Xena, coordinates the details for you and your participants.

Accurate meeting documentation

Xembly documents the essential aspects of your meetings, leaving out anything unnecessary. It provides notes, recordings, and compiles video snippets of important segments. Whether meetings are remote, hybrid, or in-person, Xembly helps you focus on meaningful conversations.

Intelligent task oversight

Xembly’s Task Manager gives direction to your calendar through its auto-task monitoring and time allocation. With Xembly’s Task Manager, users experience a 26% uptick in task completion rates. It creates time for meeting tasks and shapes your timetable to help you get them done.

If you're still not sold, check out our happy customers:

Try Xembly now by clicking here.

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