In a past professional life, I had my own assistant. Someone who (among other things) could absorb the back and forth of scheduling emails and send invites once everything was said and done. It was a luxury I was truly grateful for and one that many professionals could benefit from.

But I know how hard it can be to get even a part-time assistant until you’re at the executive level, and until then it can feel like the scheduling slog will never end.

Since leaving the corporate world and starting The Muse, I’ve done all of my own scheduling, and I’m always on the lookout for tools that make my life easier, much like that flesh-and-blood assistant of yore. My newest obsession: Assistant.to. A Gmail plugin (soon to be launched for Outlook), Assistant.to sits discreetly in your new message window, to be wielded whenever you need to schedule a new appointment.

Here’s how it works. When you’d like to schedule a meeting with someone, click “Select times” in your Assistant.to bar to trigger a pop-up and select available times to offer up.



You can scroll through your calendar and highlight time slots that work best for you, on up to three days.



Once you’ve selected your availability, click the “insert times into email” button to transfer it all into your initial email to your contact.



Your contact can then select the time that works best and click the link directly in the email to generate an invite to you both.

No more back and forth emails. No more confirmations that the time works best for both of you. No more adding meetings to your calendar. With this nifty tool, a single email does all the work for you.

It’s almost like having an assistant. Almost.


Photo of assistant courtesy of Shutterstock.