Person 1: “Hey, we should all meet up sometime”
Person 2: “What time?”
Person 1: “I don’t know, what time are all of you available?”
Person 1: “Well, Thursdays work for me. I’m busy Fridays, and Saturday afternoons.”
Person 3: “And for me, I have a soccer game this Thursday evening, and there’s a concert on Saturday”
Person 1: “What time is the concert?”
Person 3: “8:00pm”
Person 2: “Oh yeah, I have a dentist appointment this Saturday too, 3:00pm
Person 1: “Whoa, hold on guys. So when IS everyone AVAILABLE?”
Person 3: “You know what, lemme right this down. Hold on a second while I get my phone out.”
Many a time I have heard that conversation (or had it myself) and wondered, “there must be an easier way to schedule a meeting.” Good news: there is!
Doodle.com is a service that provides “Easy scheduling, free of charge and without registration.” When I first got word of it in an email, I wondered how simple it actually is. As it turns out, it basically does all the work for you!
When you go to create a new event, Doodle asks you the basics. Who, what, when, and where. There’s other options that allow you to further customize your event, like adding a “maybe” option, and limiting the number of participants. If you have an account, Doodle can automatically send the invitations for you!
When people check out your “poll”, as they call it, they enter their name and indicate which dates and times they can make it (see screenshot below.)
What distinguishes Doodle from other event schedulers like Facebook is its ability at handling multi-day events. On Facebook, you can only indicate “Yes,” “No,” or “Maybe.” If the event spans several days or times, how does the event manager know whether you’re only coming on Day 1, Day 2, etc.? This isn’t a problem with Doodle, where you can indicate the specific days and times that you are available.
Now, instead of a long, involved conversation, you can tell your friends: “Hey, I’m thinking about meeting up this week. Check your email, and I’ll give you the link to Doodle where we can schedule it.”