Scheduling meetings, events and activities can become incredibly time consuming when more than two people are involved. Going back and forth with every involved individual, getting back to everyone, asking questions, and trying to manually work out a time that would be convenient for everyone, is usually a hassle that we would much rather avoid – Doodle (currently the most popular scheduling application) can help you do this!

What is Doodle?

Doodle is a scheduling application/tool that has been employed by some of the world’s largest, busiest, and most successful companies (such as the UPS, Coca-Cola, Apple, and Nike, among many others) to help resolve complicated scheduling situations that involve many individuals.

Each individual invited to take part in a poll chooses their most preferred times for a meeting or event, and the Doodle system aggregates the results, and instantly works out which option would be most convenient for the whole group.

How Does Doodle Work?

Doodle is an incredibly user-friendly tool. You are guided through the four main steps necessary to conduct a poll, and once you’ve become more acquainted with the software, it is possible to create a poll within minutes! In the following four easy steps, you can solve many of your scheduling dilemmas.

1. Schedule an Event:

In order to schedule an event, you will have to pick out a title, location, and fill out a short description of the event. You will be the administrator to the polls that you create and live feeds and updates from the poll will be sent to your email address.

Creating a Doodle Account – Although you are not required to sign up to Doodle in order to create a poll, creating an account could help you keep track of all your meetings and events.

Directions to the Location – If you provide an address, “Easy Directions” will be provided using Google Maps

2.  Propose Dates and Times:

You will be asked to choose various dates and times (without a limit on the number of days you select) that you are considering for the event (and that the poll participants will be allowed to choose from). You are also offered a “Time-Zone Support” option that will make the poll easier to understand for participants who may be in different time-zones (this is especially important for events/meetings that are hosted online).

3.  Choose Appropriate Settings:

After you have picked out the dates and times, you are given two options; first to create a Basic Poll, and second, to choose from a variety of settings. These settings include:

a) Yes-No-Ifneedbe Poll: Unlike a Basic Poll that offers you only Yes or No options, this type of poll allows for an “If need be” option, that will give you a better idea about each participant’s flexibility.

b) Hidden Poll: In this type of poll, each participant’s schedule and answers are kept confidential from each other; only the poll administrator will have access to the information provided.

c) Participant Can Only Choose One Option: This poll is more of a registration sheet, in that each participant is only allowed to select one time-slot, and once that time-slot is selected, the other participants no longer have the option to choose it.

d) Limit the Number of Participants Per Option: This poll allows for a limited number of participants to select each time-slot. For example, if the limit is 5, once 5 participants have chosen one option, it will seize to become a click-able option for others.

4.  Invite Participants to the Poll:

You have three options of how to invite participants to your poll; you can either do this by email, Twitter, or Facebook. Doodle also allows you to import your contacts from your email address.

The actual poll itself is displayed in an easy-to-understand format, and allows for different viewing  options as well as comments to be posted by the participants.

Other Features

  • Doodle Mobile: Using your smart-phone, you can schedule events from wherever you are! The application is available at the Apple App Store, and will soon become available for Androids!
  • Calender Connect: This feature allows you to avoid creating conflicting bookings by automatically syncing your Doodle schedules with your Google or iCloud calendars!
  • MeetMe: This Doodle feature allows you to share your schedule with others; it’s an easy way to let others know when you are available, and allows them to make appointments with you quickly and easily.
  • Premium Doodle: Doodle Private and Business Premium Plans have a wide range of additional features that will help make your scheduling procedures even more efficient (such as features to see who is missing from a scheduled meeting and to automatically send reminders to participants).

What You Can Use Doodle For

Doodle is a great way to save time in the planning of absolutely any event, from an informal day out with the extended family to a formal business meeting with your colleagues. In today’s busy world, most people are running on their own schedules, and have their own time management strategies – Doodle provides an easy, quick way to keep those schedules that have to intersect in sync, avoiding potential time lost, inconveniences, and unproductive/unsuccessful events and activities!

To your Success!   Kirstin ODonovan

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