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I’ve recently discovered a neat tool called Doodle – what it does is it simplifies scheduling when you have a bunch of folks involved as well as a bunch of dates to choose from. And it’s free!

Here’s an example of how I’ve used it: there is a group of about 10 people that live in another town, and I’m going to be in their neck of the woods next month. I want to arrange a gathering of all of us, and I want to know which dates and times work best for all of us. Normally this would result in an email nightmare, going back and forth, spreadsheets to keep track of who said yes and no to which dates, etc. etc.

Well, with Doodle you can set up an “invite” of sorts that shows everyone the dates and times in a grid, and folks can check off yes, no, maybe and even leave comments. Once all results are in you can tally which was the most popular day and voila! Super simple.

There are lots of other nifty little tools available as well:

  • you can email only those folks who haven’t responded yet to remind them to give their answer
  • you can connect Doodle to your calendar so that you can respond to polls and meeting requests directly from there
  • Doodle works with your mobile device
  • you can create your own personal profile page (called a MeetMe page) where folks can view your availability and can submit meeting requests for 1-on-1 meetings

There is also a paid version of Doodle that gives you a bit more flexibility on how your invites are designed, keeps them secure, connects to calendars, sends automatic reminders, etc. etc.

So, after just a couple uses I’d recommend Doodle to help you save time with your scheduling.