Doodle: The One-Step Solution to Scheduling Meetings

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Now that more people than ever are teleworking, it’s important to stay connected through meetings. By now most companies are using virtual conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Hangouts to maintain face-to-face interactions. This is a good time to lessen some of the stress of scheduling meetings for your team.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re scheduling a meeting with five individuals on your team. You start by proposing a date and time for this week via email. Four people respond within the day to confirm their availability. The fifth individual responds a day later that the proposed time will not work for them. To provide more options, you send another email suggesting three time frames for next week. As colleagues start to respond with varying availability for next week, the fifth individual responds to the first email thread because they are now available on the original date proposed. By now, however, another colleague isn’t available on the original date. Things are getting complicated. There are now 10 emails in your inbox related to this thread, your team has interrupted their workflow twice to check availability, and you still don’t have a date on the calendar for your meeting.

There are several steps to making the process of scheduling meetings easier and less time consuming. For example, colleagues can make their calendar availability visible by the team so that everyone has a general idea of availability before proposing times. The most efficient option, however, is to let Doodle do the work for you.

Doodle is a scheduling tool that utilizes a poll system to identify times of availability among groups to select a date and time that works best for everyone. Through Doodle, you can communicate meeting details, propose as many dates and times as you wish and invite participants via email--just one email, no back and forth--to weigh in on times they’re available.

When an individual is invited to participate in the Doodle poll, they can select available times with the tick of a checkbox, which is indicated in green the dates they’re available. A double tick indicates a “Yes, if need be” vote and is represented with a yellow checked box. Individuals can also view times that other participants have selected. Once everyone has participated in the poll, Doodle takes all of the guesswork out by showing the organizer which timeframe(s) are most open for everyone.

Aside from cutting down on hassle and confusion that comes with communicating availability via email, Doodle automatically identifies time zones for meeting participants so it removes the confusion of considering team members’ locations and specifying which time zone you’re proposing the meeting to be held.

Doodle is free, but you can go further with Doodle Premium, in which there are four different pricing options available. A 14-day free trial allows users to try out different capabilities and determine which options you need for your organization. No matter which option you choose, consider the time and money you could save by streamlining the process of scheduling meetings, avoiding confusion and rounding up your team with a few simple clicks. Busy executives hire assistants to schedule their meetings in order to save time. Small business owners, especially those just starting out, often can’t afford assistants and especially can’t afford to waste time getting lost in the details of dates and times. By utilizing a scheduling tool like Doodle, you and your team will have the capacity to focus constantly on productivity and drive efficiency in your workflow so that everyone can focus on the responsibilities they were hired to do and you can focus on running a successful business.

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