Thing 19: Doodle and online scheduling

thing-19

Photo credit: DoctorButtsMD: CC BY-SA 2.0

In the last Thing we looked at tools for collaborating with others online and we considered the limitations of such technologies. As Webinars and Hangouts happen in real time, one of the limitations might be finding a time when all your participants are available. Fear not! There are tools for this too.

One of the most popular scheduling tools is Doodle. Doodle is free, easy to use and doesn’t require any registration (although it offers added features to registered users). For this Thing, please explore Doodle and, if you can, give it a try for scheduling something.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Go to http://www.doodle.com/.
  2. Click on the ‘Schedule an event’ button.
  3. Follow instructions for Steps 1-4, each time clicking ‘next’ to get to the next page. Decide on the dates that you are free and the time slots within each date that you are free and add them in the chart.
  4. At Step 4 you need to decide whether you want to send an email to your colleagues yourself or whether you want Doodle to do this.
  5. If you have chosen to send the poll out yourself then check your emails from Doodle and follow the clear instructions in them.
  6. Send the link out and wait for responses!

Exploring further

You can integrate Doodle with other online tools, including your Microsoft Outlook calendar, Google calendar or iCal; Doodle can sync meetings you set up with these calendars and update based on poll results. Doodle’s calendar integration page provides more info on how to set these up.

Doodle isn’t the only online scheduling tool, although it is one of the most popular. You might want to explore other options such as Meet-o-Matic or Scheduly.

If you’ve had a proper nose about, you will have noticed that you can use Doodle for more than scheduling dates. Imagine you’re holding a dinner party and want to know what the majority of guests would prefer to eat. Can you think of a more research-appropriate use of this function?

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