Use Blockout Dates for Predictable Scheduling

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The best way to avoid declines and schedule according to your team members' calendar is by asking your team members to block out any dates they will be gone for the time frame you're scheduling. Once they block out those dates, you'll be able to schedule with less fear of declines!

Check out this video showing you how to use blockout dates then follow the directions below.


Send Blockout Request Email

On the People page, your Teams are pinned to the People tab, making it convenient for you to quickly send them an email.

If you're not seeing My Teams, select Filter to add them and then them to your People tab.

Select the envelope icon to email the people in these teams.

Services has a Blockout Request email template with two buttons that allow people to automatically respond. They can choose I Have No Blockouts, which will send an email notifying the scheduler of no blockouts, or they can choose Block Out Dates, which takes them to the calendar on their profile to block out those dates. Once they block out dates, the Team Leader will receive an email of those blockouts if they've specified that in the settings.

Use this email template to ask your team members to block out dates.

  1. From the email template dropdown, choose the Planning Center Blockout Request template.
  2. The default subject is Planning Center Blockout Request. You can choose to leave that as the subject or change it to something a little more specific.
  3. Define the time frame you'll be scheduling to make sure people block out dates during that time frame.

Once you've added all the necessary information, select Send, and the email will be sent to the people in your selected teams.

Email Previews

Blockout Request

Here's what the email will look like when you send it. People can choose one of the options or choose to log in.

I Have No Blockouts Response

If someone chooses I Have No Blockouts, the scheduler will receive an email like this:

Block Out Dates Response

If someone chooses Block Out Dates, they'll be taken to the calendar to block out dates. The dates they block will be sent to the Team Leader.

If the person who sent the Blockout Request is not the Team Leader, that person will not receive this email.

Check Last Set Blockouts

When you're ready to schedule, see who set their blockout dates by going back to view My Teams on the People page and viewing the Last Set Blockouts column.

Sort the list of people by the date they set blockouts by clicking Last Set Blockouts to see if you need to follow up with others more easily.

Use the Matrix to Schedule Your Teams

Now that you've sent the blockout request and verified people blocked out dates, you're ready to schedule!

Go to the Plans page and select matrix at the bottom of the Service Type.

Enter the number of Plans you'd like to see in the matrix then begin adding people to the plans.

You may not be able to see all the plans on the screen, but you can use the scroll bar to go across to each plan.

If all your team members are blocked out, look at the reason! You can still schedule a team member if they have a blockout in place.

Once you've added everyone to the schedule, either manually or with auto-scheduling, send them an email notifying them of their schedule! Sending an email from the matrix complies the requests for all those dates into one email instead of sending multiple emails for each plan.

If you set up reminder emails, they'll automatically get a reminder before the date of the plan, even after you've sent this email from the matrix.

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