Ugh.  I’m sure many of you have experienced it. The dreadful ongoing exchange of emails when trying to schedule a meeting or conference call. “I can’t do it then, but how about x day?” This back and forth can go on for quite some time, clogging up inboxes with an inefficient flurry of email exchanges between the “attendees.” One really useful tool developed for just such a problem is the online scheduling software, Doodle.

Doodle allows a meeting planner to create a poll with his or her available times and dates.  The poll is then sent out to the other meeting participants who select, from the poll, the times and dates they are available.  Doodle keeps a running tally as each participant responds.  One subtle advantage is that those who respond later are able to see the dates around which there is a consensus. This can help nudge them towards availability.

In the course of several rounds of email exchanges to schedule conference calls, I was reminded of this tool and thought I’d share it with you.  I hope you find it helpful.