Scheduling a Meeting Made Easier
For anyone who has scheduled any kind of meeting with more than one person knows how much of a headache it can be. The problem only compounds when more people are involved. Part of the problem, is not everyone—even within the same company—uses the same digital calendar program. Or for that matter, some still use a paper calendar.
I have been collecting a few apps and add-ons to help make the process of coordinating a meeting, just a little easier. Some of the are add-ons for browsers, others for Gmail and some are standalone apps. All of them should help ease the burden when it comes time to schedule the next multi-person get-together.
Schedule once works is the most versatile of the applications in this post. You can use it as a Firefox add-on that works with your Gmail account, from your Google Calendar and as a standalone service.
How it works
ScheduleOnce works basically the same no matter which method you use it:
1. Select the approximate times you would like to schedule a meeting.
2. When you have everything set, you will receive a unique URL which you will send to the other people who will be attending.
3. The other potential attendees will click on the link you email them. Each of them will see the times you have set as potential times. They will select when they are available.
4. When you get replies, you are sent an email. You can see who has replied and who has not.
5. When you start getting replies, you can go to the organizer’s link you were given to finalize the meeting time. ScheduleOnce will have the best time for the majority highlighted.
Where to get it
Arrange.cc is an email based web app. It works in a similar way as ScheduleOnce, but is managed start to finish via email.
How it works
1. Send an email to all the potential participants and add firstname.lastname@example.org to the email recipients
2. A link will be sent to you, the originator. Click the link and set the parameters of the meeting. You will be able to choose several dates and times, the length and add notes. You also set a time, in hours, for them to reply to your meeting request.
3. Once the parameters are all set, an email with a reply link is sent to all of the invitees. They choose their availability from the list you created.
4. Once the time is set, a confirmation is sent to them. The confirmation has links got them to add the appointment to their email client of choice.
intro image ASurroca