One useful scheduling app!

The process of getting groups together, even small ones, for meetings is a massive time waster. Mixed messages and long email threads all conspire to drive organizers crazy!

In the business world, depending on which team calendar system you use, scheduling can be easier as you can often check on your colleagues’ schedules and either book them into meetings, or at least have a good idea what time may work. For outside meetings, or teams where there is no group calendar, Doddle ( may be a better way. And it is a way I am somewhat smitten with right now.

If you need to plan an event, meeting or get-together, simply create a poll in Doodle, such as: “When can you make a birthday dinner?” You then give the participants several choices.

Participants answer the poll, indicating which days and times work for them. (There are even subtleties such as “If I have to make it.”) The organizer is then left with the results of the poll and can choose the best time for the majority of the participants. No more long email threads and the confusion of shepherding a group. In a word, brilliant!

You can use it on a one on one basis as well. How many times have you crafted an email outlining options for a meeting or coffee appointment? Doodle offers a feature called “MeetMe” which will let you offer your partner the option to select from your free time. Friends and co-workers can even use the MeetMe option to request a meeting with you.

It does have connectivity with most calendars and contact systems including Outlook and Google Calendar. Events are automatically exchanged between the two systems and availability is noted.

There is a free version with fairly full-featured functionality, and 3 tiers of premium service. The premium service starts at $39 a year, and includes the obligatory lack of advertising, customization options and mobile features.

Doodle is an app that makes sense, and makes your life easier. What more can be asked?

Photo © Neustockimages

Steve Dotto is Canada’s most respected geek. For over 15 years, as host and executive producer of Dotto Tech, a nationally syndicated TV show, Steve has entertained and educated millions of Canadians on all aspects of technology. Steve has a passion for understanding the social impact of technology. His DVD Cybersafe with Steve Dotto , teaches parents and caregivers about the opportunities, dangers and challenges of social networking.