Doodle – helps schedule group meetings

July 29th, 2011 by Monika Jankowska-Pacyna

Doodle, an online service that enables users to coordinate times and to schedule meetings, is gaining popularity and currently has over 8 million users per month.

It is a free Web-based service (a premium version is also available) and requires no registration and no software installation. It can be particularly useful to users who want to arrange a conference call, plan a family reunion, or to plan a group appointment.

When trying to coordinate a meeting with a smaller group we would usually use email or calendar invites, but what happens if you need to organize a meeting with more participants?

That’s where Doodle can help. You can propose several dates and times and poll the participants to indicate their availability online. With one look, you’ll be able to see what the best time is for the meeting and schedule it accordingly.

Here is how it works:

  1. Visit http://doodle.com/ and click on Schedule an Event or Create poll

  2. Doodle - create
  3. You will be asked to provide general information such as title, location (optional), description (optional), your name and your email address (recommended – the system will send you a link to administer the poll)
  4. Next you can select dates and times
      
  5.  Choose if you want to send a basic poll or select more advanced settings
  6. Finally, you can choose if you want to send the link on your own or if you want Doodle to do it for you.
  7. Click Finish to send the invitation using your own e-mail address.

Doodle will then provide you with participation and administration links. It will also send you copies of these links in two emails if you provided your email address. The administration link will help you administer the poll, make changes and delete the poll. The participation link will be designed to share with those you want to invite.

Now, you simply send off this link with your invitation and wait for their responses.

Here is a snapshot of poll results showing the availability of four participants:

It is very clear that Monday at 2 pm is the best time to meet for the entire group.
Imagine the power of this tool if you are trying to organize a meeting with a larger number of participants.

If you really like Doodle, you can create a free Doodle login to connect your calendar with Doodle and start and answer meeting requests directly in the calendar interface.

An ad-free professional version of Doodle for individuals (Solo) or for companies and organizations (Business or Enterprise) is also available. It offers premium functionality and theming possibilities.