Getting started with booking statuses

When adding a booking to the calendar, you have the option to set an initial  Booking status. The initial booking status will affect how that appointment is treated when it comes to reminders and notifications.

There are also a couple of additional booking statuses available, that allow you to easily see where the customer is in the booking process.

In this guide we'll cover:

  1. What are the booking statuses.
  2. How to set the default status for new bookings.
  3. How to update the status of a booking.

You also have the option to add your own appointment statuses. These can be selected when making bookings, but can't be used to filter on reports. Our How to set up your Timely calendar guide takes you through the process of adding or editing booking statuses.

To find out what all the different icons on the calendar mean check out our symbols and icons guide.


What are the booking statuses

There are four main booking statuses that you will come across in the Calendar:


This status means that the appointment slot has been confirmed and locked in for this customer. This will show as a solid colour in the calendar:

  • The customer will receive a confirmation that this booking has been made for them (if enabled)
  • The customer has the option to change this booking online (if enabled). 
  • The customer will receive a reminder of their booking, but won't be explicitly asked to confirm their booking again.
  • Once a booking is confirmed, there are additional booking statuses available (See below).


This status means that the appointment time is being reserved for that customer, but has not been confirmed by the business or customer yet. This will show as a striped appointment in the calendar: 

  • The customer won't receive any notifications regarding this booking, including any changes that are made to the booking.
  • When customers book online, they won't receive a confirmation of their booking, until it is confirmed by the business.
  • Pencilled in bookings will be asked to confirm their appointment time in their SMS or email reminder (if reminders are enabled for Pencilled in booking).

Cancelling a pencilled-in booking will send a notification. If you wish to remove a pencilled-in booking from the calendar, without sending a cancellation email, you can Decline the appointment. If the appointment was booked online, then declining or cancelling the appointment will send a notification.


You can use the Arrived status to let the staff member know that their customer has arrived. This will be available once the booking is marked as Confirmed. The border on the left-hand side of the booking will change to show up as striped, as well as an ( ) icon appearing in the top right corner: 


This status indicates that the service/appointment has been successfully performed by the staff member. This will show as the appointment having a white background on the calendar to allow you to quickly distinguish your completed appointments from the upcoming. 

  • If you raise a sale at the end of the appointment, the booking will automatically be marked as Completed at the same time.
  • If you raise a sale before the booking (e.g. you take a deposit for the booking), then you would need to mark the booking as Completed separately.
  • Marking a booking as Completed will mean the booking is included in the reports under the Completed status.


Set the status for new Calendar bookings

You can also set the initial status for new appointments added directly to the Calendar, as well as an initial status for appointments that are booked online by the customer.

Calendar bookings

To update the default status of new appointments when a staff member adds a new appointment to the Calendar:

  1. Head to Setup > Calendar settings and scroll down to the Appointment settings section.
  2. Under Initial status for new appointments, select Pencilled-in or Confirmed and click Save to apply:

Things to remember:

  • When adding a new appointment to the Calendar, the Booking status will automatically be set to the status selected above.. 
  • When the initial status is set to Pencilled-in the customer won't receive a notification that the appointment has been entered in to the Calendar. 
  • To send the customer any notifications about their appointment or any changes, you would need to Confirm the appointment first.
  • When an appointment is pencilled-in, and the customer receives a reminder, the customer will be prompted to confirm they still want the appointment. When the customer replies with 'Y' the appointment will be automatically confirmed in your calendar.
  • You can set Pencilled-in bookings to auto expire after a certain amount of time if not confirmed, which will free up that time in the Calendar:

Online bookings

When customers book online, you can choose whether the appointment is automatically accepted ( Confirmed) or if it requires a staff member to accept or reject the appointment (Pencilled-in). 

To update the status of new online bookings:

  1. Head to Setup > Online bookings.
  2. In the Settings section, update the Initial status for online bookings to Confirmed or Pencilled-in.
  3. Click Save to apply:

When the status of online bookings is set to Pencilled-in then the customer will request a booking at the selected time, which you can then Confirm or Decline. When the appointment is accepted then the customer is sent a confirmation SMS/Email (if enabled).

Here's how that process works:

  1. The customer makes a booking online.
  2. You receive an email message asking you to Confirm or Decline the appointment.
  3. If you 'Confirm' the appointment, the customer is sent a confirmation SMS or email confirming their appointment time.
  4. If you 'Decline' the appointment, the customer is sent an SMS or email to inform them their time is not available and the booking has not been confirmed.

You can choose leave the appointment as Pencilled-in, without accepting the appointment. In this instance, the customer won't receive any notification that their appointments has been accepted, until their appointment reminder is sent.

For more information on customer reminders and notifications, check out our reminders and notifications guide.


Update the status of a booking

You can manually update the  Booking status of an appointment when you are editing this in the calendar. If you want to quickly update the customer as Arrived or the booking as Completed, there are some shortcuts available too!

Check out our  How to mark a booking as completed guide for more information.

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