I remember the day I said to myself “I know there’s a better way to do this and I’m finding that better way TODAY.”
My phone call had ended with the point of contact at our new client’s company saying something like this:
“Sounds great, Erin! Let’s get the kickoff call scheduled. As we discussed, we’ll have the head of marketing, Dave from I.T., Don our primary developer, a few members of our board of directors and myself on the call with you. Don’t worry—I’ll coordinate a good time for everyone.”
Within the next hour I had an email in my inbox from said point of contact. The email had been sent out to a total of 8 people, and ended with the question, “So, when does everyone have availability for the kickoff call next week?”
Over the next 2 days I was CC’d on over 20 emails in which the various attendees offered, rejected, and re-offered potential times for the call. Just when they thought they’d nailed down a time that would work for everyone, one or two people would send a follow-up email chiming in saying that time actually wouldn’t work for them, how about an alternative time? Then the email replies would start all over again.
As someone who’s uber-vigilant with my (and my clients’) time, I vowed to stop the madness and never allow such nonsense to happen again.
When working to develop or improve websites for our larger clients, calls and meetings with multiple attendees are inevitable.
Thus, since that day (described above), whenever I’ve needed to schedule a call or meeting with ~4 or more attendees, I’ve used Doodle.com.
Doodle is a simple online tool that transforms the hassle of “manual” group scheduling into a simple, efficient process.
When you need to organize a meeting or conference call, you simple create a new Doodle “poll”. After you set the length of the meeting and enter all the dates and times you’ll be available, you send an email invitation out to all the attendees.
The attendees then go to your Doodle poll and check the boxes for the times they have availability. As attendees omit time slots, those slots are marked as unavailable in red so each subsequent person who logs into the poll focuses only on slots that will work for everyone else. Like so:
You can start using Doodle immediately for free, or you can sign up for a Doodle Premium account, which can run anywhere from $39/year – $479/year.
Upgrading to Doodle Premium allows you to instantly see who hasn’t responded to a poll, send out automatic or manual reminders to people who’ve not yet responded, and require additional information from attendees (such as emails or phone numbers).
If preventing meeting/conference call scheduling madness sounds like an oh-so-very-nice-thing for you, learn more or set up your first poll now at www.Doodle.com.