Tuesday Take-Away: Tools to Ease Scheduling Woes

Have you ever notices that the number of emails it takes to schedule a meeting seems to increase exponentially with the number of people you invite?  With our electronically organized days, it seems to get harder and harder to find a common time to meet, particularly when setting up meeting with people outside your company or organization.

While most calendar services give you the ability to see individuals’ free/busy times within your organization, scheduling meetings with others gets more tricky.   Fortunately, you have some tools.

With a new feature, appointment slots, in Google Calendar, you can block off and share blocks of time, enabling others to schedule appointments with you at your convenience. The user interface is simple and lets you create a single large block of time or multiple appointment windows.

By sharing a link with others, they can select a block of time and schedule a meeting with you for a mutually convenient time.

If you want to give it a try, click here for a full set of instructions.

Appointment slots in Calendar work well for arranging meetings with individuals, but what if you are trying to schedule a group?

We have found that Tungle to be an effective, free service.   Tungle lets you invite one person or many to a meeting by providing them multiple times when you are available.  Each person responds with their availability, then you pick the meeting time when all, or most, (or the most important) attendees are available.  At that point, everybody receives a confirmation of the booking and a formal meeting invite.  Tungle syncs with your Google Calendar and, if you want, your contacts.

Using either or both of these tools, you can reduce the time and stress involved in scheduling group meetings.