One of the more annoying tasks that many of us encounter on a nearly daily basis is attempting to coordinate a meeting or phone conference amongst a group of people. Generally, an agreed upon date and time is arrived upon only after a flurry of emails have gone back and forth between participants.
Scheduling a meeting can sometimes feel more complicated than the actual meeting itself. Many times I’ve found myself thinking, “There must be another way to do this.”
The good news: there is; actually, there are many. With the growing popularity of cloud computing, a number of creative Web 2.0 scheduling applications have been released that help to streamline and simplify the process of determining a mutually agreeable date and time for a meeting.
MeetWith.Me is a web based scheduling application that allows you to share your calendar and make public only the free blocks of time. No sign up is required — you simply email a link to your pre-assigned MeetWith.Me page to meeting participants and allow them to choose a time to meet.
Jiffle is a very similar web-based calendar-sharing application that allows you to share your free blocks of time with other participants and is compatible with Outlook, WebEx and Google Calendar.
WhenIsGood is another meeting scheduling application that allows groups of meeting participants to quickly and easily determine a meeting time. Again, no sign up is required. One person chooses her availability by blocking out times on a calendar and after sends other participants a link to the web page where the calendar can be viewed. The other participants then input onto the calendar the times that work best for them based on the original sender’s availability.
Finally, Tungle is a newer offering that provides an all-in-one calendar syncing and scheduling application. Unlike the other applications, Tungle does require you to create an account and sync your calendar with the program. As explained at Lifehacker:
With Tungle you can quickly jump from your existing calendar application to sending invites to your team members, checking their calendars even if you all use different applications and optimizing everyone’s schedule for the best meeting times.
All in all, there are a number of innovative, web-based scheduling applications available, at least one of which should meet your needs. Give them a try and let me know which one works best for you.