Nov 2, 2015

Cool Tool: Doodle

Whenever I attempt to arrange a group meeting, finding a mutually agreeable day and time is slightly less difficult than forcing the planets to align. Long email chains, cumbersome spreadsheets, and even my favorite Google Forms tend to take more time to organize than the actual meeting.

Enter one of my new favorite tools: Doodle. Doodle presents itself as an "easy scheduling" tool. With or without an account, meeting planners can post suggested dates and times and share a direct link to the poll to participants. Link recipients can enter their name and select the days and times that work best for them. Once a few responses have been recorded, you can "Select Final Options" which quickly filters for the times that have the most agreement among participants.

With a little customization, Doodle can be used to do more than just narrow down a mutually convenient time. It can also be used to schedule multiple individual or small group meetings. Consider these optional settings (can be combined):
  • Yes-No-If Need Be: Allows respondents to show where they may have flexibility in their schedule.
  • Hidden Poll: Only the poll creator can see the answers.
  • Participant can choose only one option: A good choice when attempting to schedule small meetings with a lot of people.
  • Limit the number of participants per option: Another good choice for limiting the audience of a session.

Three account plans are available: Free (individuals), Private (individuals), and Business (for teams). Private and Business have a relatively low annual fee per user, which takes away advertisements and includes SSL encryption, and efficiency features. Business accounts also get custom design options, custom domain, and user management features. While large organizations will benefit greatly from the additional features, occasional meeting organizers will find the free plan good enough.

H/T Bruce Duboff, @brdbrutus