Decide when clients can book, edit, or cancel appointments.

Before you can accept appointments in Acuity Scheduling, you'll need to choose the hours you'll accept bookings from clients. This is called setting your availability, and can be done by you or any contributor with access to Acuity. You can also set limits on how and when appointments are scheduled and add and edit multiple calendars. Each calendar has its own hours of availability.

Before you begin

  • Availability limits the times clients can book online. You or your staff can schedule appointments outside of your availability from the Acuity calendar.
  • Availability is for regular appointment types only and doesn’t apply to classes. Classes are only available at the times that you offer them. When you put a class on a calendar, clients can't book other appointments at the same time on that calendar.
  • If you get started and decide you want more hands-on help setting up Acuity Scheduling, you can hire a vetted expert

How appointments work in Acuity

When Acuity shows your clients open appointment times, several settings work together to ensure you're available:

  • Availability represents the times that you’re available to see clients.
  • Appointment type duration is the length of time the appointment takes.
  • Scheduling limits, which are settings that restrict bookings, such as having a maximum number of appointments per week.

Start times that don't leave enough room for the duration of the appointment will not appear. For example, clients can't book a 60-minute appointment when you only have a 30-minute window, and they can't book a 60-minute appointment that starts 30 minutes before you're done for the day.

Your scheduling limits also determine how many people can book with you for the same time, how far in the future clients can book, if you have a maximum number of appointments each week, and more.

The start time interval that you set determines which start times to offer your clients. On the scheduler, the first time you're available will appear, then add your start time interval to get the next start time, and so on. 

After taking all of these settings into consideration, a list of available times will appear on the scheduler. 

Set and edit your basic availability

For full control over your schedule and when clients can book with you, set your hours for each calendar.

Note: The instructions below include links to Acuity settings separated by the kind of account you use to log into Acuity. Which kind of account do I have?

Set regular weekly hours

If the calendar stays the same from week to week, set regular weekly hours:

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account
  2. If you have more than one calendar, click Edit availability/limits on one of them.
  3. In the Regular weekly hours section, leave I have regular hours every week checked.
  4. Enter your hours in the fields for each day of the week. For help formatting these hours, see Formatting hours.
  5. Click Save regular hours.

Set different hours for each day

If the calendar has different hours every day, first remove regular weekly hours:

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account
  2. If you have more than one calendar, click Edit availability/limits on one of them.
  3. In the Regular weekly hours section, uncheck I have regular hours each week.
  4. Click Save, switch to specific days.

Then use the calendar that appears below to add override hours for specific days. Any days left blank won't be bookable by clients:

  1. Click a day on the calendar.
  2. Enter your hours for that day, then click Set hours. For help formatting these hours, see Formatting hours.
  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until your schedule is complete.

Formatting hours

When entering hours on your calendar, you can set a range of time you’re available, list specific start times, or combine the two methods. Use the table below for help formatting hours.

Format example

Effect

8 AM - 5 PM 

Appointments can start at 8 AM. The last must end by 5 PM.

8 AM - 1 PM, 2 PM - 5 PM

Appointments can start at 8 AM and must end by 1 PM. They can begin again at 2 PM, ending again by 5 PM.

8 AM, 9 AM, 10 AM

Appointments can start at 8 AM, 9 AM, and 10 AM.

8 AM - 3 PM, 4:30 PM, 5 PM

Appointments can start at 8 AM and must end by 3 PM. Appointments can also start at 4:30 PM and 5 PM.

Limit when clients can book or change appointments

Use scheduling limits to choose if and when clients can book, edit, or cancel their appointments.

Scheduling limits control:

  • How far in advance clients can book appointments on your scheduling page
  • If clients can reschedule or cancel their own appointments
  • How close to a booked appointment clients can reschedule or cancel
  • Which time slots your scheduling page offers
  • If clients can edit intake forms after scheduling

Global scheduling limits vs calendar scheduling limits

There are two kinds of scheduling limits:

Some scheduling limits are available as both global and calendar scheduling limits. For these settings, the calendar scheduling limit will override the global scheduling limit, but only for its calendar.

Review the table below to learn more about each setting:

Setting Description Global scheduling limit Calendar scheduling limit
Minimum hours Decide how close to the appointment time clients can book.
Maximum days Decide how far in advance of the appointment clients can book.
Minimum time to cancel or reschedule an appointment If clients can reschedule appointments, also decide how close to the appointment they can do so
Allow clients to 

Reschedule appointments: Decide if clients can reschedule appointments.

Cancel appointments: Decide if clients can cancel appointments.

Edit intake forms: Decide if clients can edit intake forms, and how close to the appointment time they can make changes. 

-
Start time intervals Have Acuity choose appointment start times based on appointment durations, or set the timing yourself. If you show start times based on appointment durations, Acuity will use the largest number that can be divided into all of the appointment durations. To learn more, visit Controlling start time intervals in Acuity. -
Minimize gaps

Automatically reduce gaps between appointment times and group appointments to avoid holes in your day. To learn more, visit Look busy and minimize gaps in Acuity.

-
Appointments per time slot Set the number of appointments that can happen at one time on this calendar or appointment type group.  -
Maximum appointments Set the maximum number of appointments that can be booked for this calendar or appointment type group. Choose to accept appointments until fully booked, or set a maximum per day or week.  -

Edit global scheduling limits

Your global scheduling limits apply account-wide.

To edit global scheduling limits:

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account.
  2. Click Global scheduling limits
  3. Make any changes to the global scheduling limits.
  4. Click Save.

Edit calendar scheduling limits

These scheduling limits only apply to a specific calendar, or to a specific appointment type group, if you're using availability and scheduling limits by appointment type.

To add or edit scheduling limits for a specific calendar:

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account
  2. If you have more than one calendar, click Edit availability/limits on one of them.
  3. Click Calendar scheduling limits.
  4. Make any changes to the limits.
  5. Click Save limits.

Add and manage calendars

Each calendar in Acuity represents a separate set of hours when clients can book appointments. Some small businesses only need one calendar. If you have multiple staff members or locations, you can create individual calendars for them.

The number of calendars you can add depends on your Acuity plan:

  • Emerging - One calendar
  • Growing - Two to six calendars
  • Powerhouse - Seven to 36 calendars
  • Enterprise - Unlimited
Tip: If you have calendars for your staff and more staff on duty than capacity for appointments to take place, add Rooms/Resources. For example, you can use Rooms/Resources if you have fewer rooms than staff or equipment clients need to use.

Add a new calendar

To add a new calendar:

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account
  2. Click Add new calendar.
  3. Enter the calendar's name and any details you want to include, such as an image, time zone, and location. Add an email address or phone number to receive the confirmation, cancellation, and rescheduling notifications. Separate multiple entries with commas.
  4. Click Next: Add appointment types & hours.
  5. Select the appointment types on this calendar.
  6. Click Save appointment types.
  7. Enter your availability
  8. Click Save regular hours if you’re using regular weekly hours, or enter each day’s hours if you’re using override hours for specific days.
  9. Click Client Scheduling limits.
  10. Set your scheduling limits.
  11. Click the X at the top right to close the editor. 

Edit a calendar

To edit an existing calendar: 

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account
  2. Find the calendar you want to edit and click Calendar settings.
  3. Make changes and click Save changes.

Delete a calendar

Note: Before deleting a calendar, cancel all of its appointments or reschedule them to other calendars. After you delete a calendar, its appointments won't appear on any calendar. They won't be deleted, but they'll only be in individual client records, making them harder to find. Contributors with view only or view & edit permissions can only view appointments from a deleted calendar if you reschedule the appointments to a calendar they can access.

To delete a calendar:

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account. 
  2. Find the calendar you want to delete and click Calendar settings.
  3. Click Delete calendar.
  4. Click Yes, delete calendar.

Set separate hours or limits for different appointment types

You can divide your calendar into appointment type groups with their own availability settings and scheduling limits. This is useful if you only offer some services at specific times. After you've created these groups, you can set availability and scheduling limits for each of them. To learn more, visit Availability and scheduling limits by appointment type.

Use rooms/resources to manage items required for appointments

Use the Rooms/Resources panel to limit the number of appointments requiring an item that can be scheduled at one time. This limit applies across all calendars. For example, if you're a kayak rental company, you may want to limit the number of kayaks available for rent at a time. 

When you create a resource, you tell Acuity how many of an item you have and which appointment types use it. When a client books an appointment that requires a resource, Acuity deducts one from the resource for that time slot. When a resource reaches zero for a time slot, clients can't book any more appointments that use the resource in that time slot.

Keep in mind: 

  • Resources limit the total number of appointments happening at one time, but they don't allow you to schedule appointments for specific rooms. To allow clients to book for a specific room, create a calendar for each room instead.
  • If you have a calendar for each room, don't use resources to also represent rooms.
  • Resources are for internal use only and are invisible to clients.
  • Classes can use resources, but the entire class subtracts only one from the resource.
  • If an appointment type requires multiple different resources, all of them must be available for clients to book.

To add a resource:

  1. Open the Availability panel: I log in with an Acuity account | I log in with a Squarespace account
  2. Click Rooms/Resources.
  3. Click New resource.
  4. Enter a name and quantity for the resource, then select the appointment types that use it.
  5. Click Create resource.
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