How to use pencilled-in bookings

There are two Booking statuses you can use when adding a new appointment in Timely.

These status will affect what notifications and reminders the customer's will receive.

Pencilled-in          The appointment time is being held for the customer, but has not yet been confirmed by the customer (or business). The customer will be asked to confirm their appointment in their reminder.
Confirmed The appointment slot has been confirmed for this customer. The customer will still receive a reminder of their booking, but won't be asked to confirm it again.

You can update the Booking status of an appointment when you are editing this in the calendar:

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:

  1. New appointments added to the Calendar
  2. New online bookings


New appointments added to Calendar

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.
  2. Scroll down to the Appointment settings section.
  3. Under Initial status for new appointments, update this to Pencilled-in or Confirmed

  4. Click Save to apply. A pencilled-in appointment will look different to a confirmed appointment in the calendar. Instead of having a single block of colour, there will be striped diagonal lines.
    Pencilled-in Confirmed

Things to remember:

  • When adding a new appointment to the Calendar, the Booking status will automatically be set as Pencilled-In. 
  • 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:


New 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, locate the Initial status for online bookings

  3. Choose which status you'd like to use by clicking on the option.
  4. 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 Decline or Accept. 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 Accept or Decline the appointment.
  3. You then 'Confirm' the appointment in the calendar.
  4. The customer is sent a Confirmation email message confirming their appointment time (or an appointment declined notification).

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

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

Still need help? Get in touch with the Support Team Get in touch with the Support Team