Doodle is a basic free tool with options that can be purchased. It allows managing and scheduling meetings with a group of people. It's very easy to use and very easy to manage.
People vote to choose the time and the day where they are avalaible and afterwards the organizer will have all the information required to plan his meeting. Answers could be as simple as yes, not or maybe, or just clicking in the date and time when the people are avalaible. All can be organized by e-mail or you can also open an account.
In this tuturial we are going to organize a meeting by e-mail. The account process is a little complicated and un-necessary in most cases. I guess that if you organize many meetings all the time then having an account could be beneficial.
Schedule an event.
- Click on the blue button "Schedule and event".
- Fill the form with the general details of your event and clic "next" button.
- Title : The title of your event, choose something representative like "Yearly company picnic"
- Location : It's not mandatory but it could help the new members. The system even confirm the physical address. For example: "Entrance of the Plains of Abraham next to St-Louis Gate"
- Description : Again, it's not mandatory but it helps for newcomers. For example: "Family event, come and have fun with your kids"
- Your name : self explanatory.
- E-mail address : Necessary to manage your event.
- Choose the date of the event. Pick the date from the calendar, there are arrows to choose another month if necessary. The selected dates are shown besides the calendar and they are green in the calendar itself. After that you cant click the "next" button.
- Choose the time of the day for every selected date. By default, there are three times, but you can add more. You can copy the first row too in order to simplify the task. When done click the "Next" button.
- Choose your type of poll. For this tutorial, we chose Basic Poll, then click the "Next" button.
- Share your poll. You can share the poll with the people that you invited from this form or you can share the poll by e-mail. I prefer this option, because people receive the e-mail from me and not from Doodle. Often people don't open e-mails from sites that they don't know and your poll could be never answered. Choose the radio-button "Everyone with a link can participate" and click the "Finish" button.
- Copy your links. You can copy two links from this page, the link that you need to invite people and the link to manage your poll. You will receive the links by e-mail too, therefore it's necessary to use a real e-mail address in step 2.
Send and answer the poll.
You have to create an e-mail and explain the event to your people and ask them to participate in the poll by writing their names and the time when they are going to be available for the event. One person can fill several names within the same form. For example, I usually enter the name of my wife while I answer a poll when I know that we are going to be together, that saves time.
Doodle offers the possibility to say that you cannot participate. In a simple poll, you write your name and click the button "Cannot make it". This helps organizers know if the person received the e-mail or not. In the image below, Sara cannot assist, all the boxes are red and you know that she answered the poll. Mauricio can go on Saturday at 8:00 AM and Sunday at 11:00 AM.
Modify an answer.
You can modify an answer. Things happen and it's a good way to inform the organizer. Move the mouse pointer near the name of the person that you want to modify, click the pencil icon to modify or click the garbage can icon to delete your answer.
Participation is important.
You need answers from the majority of people in the poll in order to take a good decision. That is the most difficult part most of the time. Give at least one week to the people to answer the poll, not everybody reads their e-mail every day. Explain the importance of filling the poll and send several e-mails to remaind the people to answer the poll in order to have a bigger participation.