Are you available on the….?
Hate ‘em as you may, meetings are a mainstay in business because of the underlying power of conversation. And communication is the lifeblood of a business. However, one of the biggest hurdles is in finding a time that fits everyone’s packed agendas. This is all the more true for a group of people who are not on the same calendar system and network. In my recent past, I had still had executives who preferred the paper agenda, which had to be duplicated for the assistant with varying degrees of timeliness and accuracy. Even in the best of times, setting up a meeting with multiple people can be a nightmare. Finding a slot that isn’t many months too late can be very arduous. You just don’t have a free view of everyone’s agenda at the same time. The $1,000 question is: Who is available when? And/or when is the earliest that a quorum of people are available?
The solution: Doodle
— which has a free and premium version — allows for you to sign up multiple people across a variety of dates and times, regardless of each person’s personal calendar system. It’s also good for scheduling one-on-ones with a large number of individuals. As an administrator, you can track the progress, i.e. who has signed up and who is still missing, etc… The system has some inherent inflexibility (notably in the free version) that won’t make it ideal for every situation. But, a bonus is that Doodle now links into your calendar and contacts to make the process rather seamless for the administrator. And, just this month, Doodle released a new and improved mobile version as well.
For the record, Doodle is a start up based in Zurich, Switzerland (which explains the Alpine backdrop on the site) and was founded in 2007.
P.S. If you are concerned about integration with your system, go ahead and let your IS team know about it.
This post is the third in a series on productivity tools. The first was on Dropbox (sharing files in group work) and the second one Evernote (to help keep multimedia notes). If you have any other favorites, please drop in a comment!