Med-e-Forms specializes in PDF-based document solutions for health care providers, but it also offers a range of free Excel workbooks, including Free Excel Contact Appointment Scheduler. This free spreadsheet template for Microsoft Excel automatically schedules appointments based on your contacts list and office hours. It keeps track of contact data, referrals, and the date, time, and length of appointments. It's optimized for physicians or health care providers in small, private practices, but lots of businesses can use it, too, and even customize it to their own needs.
Opening this workbook in Excel didn't exactly dazzle us--more like daze--but that's not the workbook's fault so much as it is the nature of using Excel's cell-based structure to record the data. Once you develop an eye for scanning Excel's cells for the data they contain, it not only makes perfect sense but is extremely efficient, which may be why the business world relies upon it. But this workbook isn't exactly a thing of beauty, even as Excel templates go. It opened with an Instructions sheet that described how to configure the Contacts sheet. Moving to the Contacts sheet, we saw several familiar names like "Fudd, Elmer" provided as examples of contacts and referrals. The data extends through four quarterly Schedule sheets, and the template tracks appointments by the minute. The instructions describe which fields are fixed and which can be customized, and of course the usual Excel features apply. We started by naming and saving our schedule and customizing it with our personal data. With templates that offer sample entries, you need to make sure that you remove or change any sample data that doesn't apply to your schedule or, worse, your billing. We entered and changed data as needed, and the template automatically updated the appropriate cells.
Of course, Free Excel Contact Appointment Scheduler won't call or e-mail your patients or clients; for that, you'll probably still need a patient, pleasant receptionist, or at least some expensive software. But if you already have Excel, here's a useful option that's a lot easier on the bottom line.