How to Use Doodle to Coordinate Schedules

My girlfriends and I are in the midst of planning our annual reunion, and once again we’re using a nifty tool called Doodle to schedule it. Doodle is one of those cool little planning things I take for granted ever since I was introduced to it, but I realized recently that not a lot of people know about it. Consider this your introduction.

What’s Doodle?

Doodle is a cool (free) online tool that allows you to coordinate schedules with many folks all at once. It’s simple, free, and fun.

How Does it Work?

The organizer, or “host” signs up for an account, and creates a “poll”. The time frame on the scheduling poll is up to you. Are you looking for a time to host a conference call during one particular day, or are you (like us) trying to find a good weekend to get together in Spring 2013?

In our case, we’ve set it up to show which which weekends 8 different people can go to a reunion. (And no, one friend is not actually named Bilingu.)

Then, the host simply emails out the link to the poll to all the folks that need to answer. Each person who receives the link then clicks over and checkmarks what times, days (or weekends) they can make a particular event.

As for us, you can see that we’re already having scheduling problems. As in, there is no one weekend all eight participants can make it. That okay, we’ll just changing the parameters of the poll (read: extend the dates) until we find a good date.

Given how many babies, weddings, and work trips my friends and I are facing in this season of life, Doodle is approximately one million times better for scheduling than exchanging eight million emails.

Have you tried Doodle? Would it work as an easier way for you to schedule an upcoming event or regular appointment? 

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4 thoughts on “How to Use Doodle to Coordinate Schedules

  1. Doodle is a practical too, but I notice that when I create a Doodle it compresses a whole weekend…Friday, Saturday and Sunday is one cell! I don’t understand how this is a default setting…and perhaps the only setting as far as I have been able to find. The Doodle ‘Help’ is no help at all. Is there something I am missing??! Thanks

  2. When you are with friends and want to plan a fun weekend to hang out together and quickly need to see when you are available, there is a simple app called Weekender that is great for that. It shows a ‘weekend only’ view of your existing iPhone calendars. At one glance you can see what normally requires you to click around for minutes in your regular iOS calendar. Long weekends are specially highlighted, so you are sure to be prepared for them with a great trip with friends. The weekender app also lets you kickstart fun weekends by inviting friends to do something together on a particular weekend.

  3. You can also use for scheduling. It has an option called “Tables of Votes” that is very similar to Doodle but that it allows polls on any subject and not only on dates (e.g. select a place for a dinner). It can be configured so that participants can also propose options and are not restricted to selecting the initially proposed ones. It can also be configured so that participants have to identify themselves through a social network before being allowed to participate.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Claire! I love scheduling tools, so I’ll definitely have to give Doodle a try. My friend just invited me to and it’s pretty great for scheduling meals with friends. Just another one to check out.