Online Meeting Schedulers

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Contents

Introduction

Ever try to schedule a meeting only ending up wanting to pull your hair out? Hair.png

Coordinating the schedules of a busy group of people is difficult to say the least. However, thanks to the wonders of technology, there is another way - online meeting schedulers.

Online meeting and appointment schedulers are automated tools and web services that help you pick a range of dates on a calendar and then notify your colleagues electronically so they can pick the times and dates that work best for them. You then view the responses, confirm the best time, and you're done. Too easy, right? Instead of playing phone tag, or going back and forth with emails, these collaborative tools can help you find the best time for a meeting without all the headache. This wiki’s purpose is to help you learn just how simple using a web app to schedule a meeting really is and explore some of the best applications on the web.

Historical Perspective

The developmental histories of many online meeting schedulers are very similar. Timebridge, which began in 2007, originally focused on helping professionals schedule meetings. Although many others also began with the purpose of assisting busy professionals, Doodle began with the intent of helping individuals organize personal meetings and events. Although Doodle began offering their meeting scheduling service in 2003, Doodle officially became a business in 2008.

Similarly, ScheduleOnce was officially released in 2006. Although these services were all released about the same time, and all relatively recently, the market for online meeting schedulers has increased significantly. This has led each online meeting scheduler to create new features in an attempt to stand apart from the others.

What Do You Need in a Meeting Scheduler?

Invitations: Will my scheduler send automatice email invitations and updates?

Time Zones: Does my scheduler support scheduling over different time zones?

Email Import: Will my scheudler import my email contacts? (It better!)

Website Integration: Will my scheduler allow embedded widget integration?

Pro Features: What are the free features of my scheduler? Do I need premium options? Can I afford premium options?

The chart below is a comparison of the most popular online meeting schedulers (circa 2012).

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See Also

Evaluation of the meeting schedulers led the authors to select TimeBridge for demonstration purposes.

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The first PodCast in the series explains many of the initial considerations in meeting planning, and the second PodCast discusses the history and future of online meeting schedulers.

https://www.box.com/s/drlgfoku11bn49erhyq8 Link to PodCast https://www.box.com/s/0we17le4cu8eabykbjem Link to PodCast2

Conclusion

In conclusion, most of the online meeting schedulers offer the same functions packaged in different ways. There are many good options for online meeting schedulers that are free with excellent features, ease of use, and the ability to help you improve meeting scheduling efficiency. Do your homework and select a scheduler with a dependable interface compatible with your applications of choice and a simplicity that makes it stand out from the rest. Remember, there are no right or wrong choices, only the best choice for you.

References

http://www.masternewmedia.org/online-meeting-and-appointment-schedulers-comparative-guide/

http://gigaom.com/2008/03/07/timebridge-makes-meeting-scheduling-easy/

http://readwrite.com/2009/09/04/the-top-ten-apps-for-scheduling-a-meeting-online

http://www.doodle.com/about/milestones.html

http://www.scheduleonce.com/about-scheduleonce

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/09/26/swiss-simple-scheduler-doodle-launches-bookme-appointment-service-online-bookings/

http://lifehacker.com/5479031/meetwithme-tells-people-when-youre-available-while-keeping-details-private