Scheduling meetings


9 May 2010


I don’t go to many meetings as I find they are largely a waste of time. In fact, I have the following poster on my office wall to remind everyone who walks in not to ask me to attend a meeting!

But I’m now a chief investigator of an NHMRC grant and I have to meet with other members of the team from time to time. We’ve started using Doodle to schedule our meetings, and it is so good I thought I should share it.

Doodle is a cloud-based way to schedule a meeting (or any event). Here is how it works.

  1. The person organizing the meeting selects some potential times and dates on Doodle, and then sends an email to all participants with a link to a page where they can register their availability.

  2. Each person who receives the email clicks on the link and adds their availability to each of the possible times/dates.

  3. The meeting organizer can then see a simple table showing when the best time for the meeting is.

This simple procedure saves a lot of emails and phone calls trying to sort out the best time.

I’ve since discovered some other web-services that are similar. The best of these seems to be ScheduleOnce – I’ll be using it from now on. Of course, I’d still rather not go to any meetings, but if it is really necessary, using ScheduleOnce saves some time in scheduling when the meeting should be held.