Pheil: Online tool makes scheduling meetings with multiple people a breeze
Time for Cake
I remember the day I started using Doodle.
My phone call ended with the point of contact at our new client’s company saying something like this: “Sounds great, Erin! Let’s get the kick-off call scheduled. As we discussed, we’ll have the head of marketing, Dave from I.T., Don our primary developer, a few members of our board of directors and myself on the call with you. Don’t worry — I’ll coordinate a good time for everyone.”
Within the next hour I had an email in my inbox from said point of contact. The email had been sent out to a total of eight people, and ended with the question, “When does everyone have availability for the kick-off call next week?”
Over the next two days I was CC’d on over 20 emails in which the various attendees offered, rejected and re-offered potential times for the call. Just when they thought they’d nailed down a time that would work for everyone, one or two people would send a follow-up email chiming in saying that time actually wouldn’t work for them, how about an alternative time? Then the email replies would start all over again.
As someone who’s uber-vigilant with my (and my clients’) time, I vowed to stop the madness and never allow such nonsense to happen again.
Since that day, whenever I’ve needed to schedule a call or meeting with four or more attendees, I’ve used Doodle.com.
Doodle.com is a simple online tool that transforms the hassle of “manual” group scheduling into a simple, efficient process.
When you need to organize a meeting or conference call, you create a new Doodle “poll.” You set the length of the meeting, then enter all the dates and times you’ll be available. You then send an email invite out to all the attendees.
The attendees then go to your poll and check the boxes for the times they have availability. As attendees omit time slots, those slots are marked as unavailable in red so each subsequent person who logs into the poll focuses only on slots that will work for everyone else.
You can start using Doodle immediately for free, or you can sign up for a premium account (ranging from $39/year to $479/year). Doodle Premium allows you to instantly see who hasn’t responded to a poll, send auto or manual reminders to people who’ve not yet responded, and require additional information from attendees (such as emails or phone numbers).
Learn more or set up your first poll now at http://www.Doodle.com.
Erin Pheil is the owner of TimeForCake Creative Media — the Web Strategy company voted #1 in Best of Summit. Visit the timeforcake website at http://www.timeforcake.com or email Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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