Doodle.com is an online scheduling tool that allows the user to “poll” a number of people to determine at what time they could attend a meeting, event, etc. Users create a poll with date and time choices for the participants to choose. The idea behind the site is to make it easier to schedule meetings that are convenient for all participants. Participants actually “vote” for the time that they prefer, and the user can choose the time and date that gets the most votes. A poll can be created without registering for the site. In this case, the user is provided with a link to participate in the poll as well as a link to administrate the poll. Registered users are provided with tools to track and manage their polls.
A poll is created by first selecting the date(s) for the event. Then the possible time(s) for the event are entered. Users will then see a small calendar excerpt which shows the date(s) and time(s) available for the event, and can vote for the time that is best for them. The poll can be constructed using answers of yes, if need be, and no. A place for the meeting can also be specified in the time slots. The site offers integration with Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal and Lotus Notes. In addition, the site offers Mobile Doodle and Doodle for Facebook, iGoogle and XING.
Zürich-based Doodle.com was founded in March 2007 by Michel Naf and Paul E. Sevinc. Michel Naf is currently CEO, while Paul E. Sevinc serves as CTO.
Competition to Doodle comes from sites such as Schedulicity and Schedule Online. Both of these tools offer a back and forth approach to scheduling, taking care of the notifying the participants back and forth until an agreed upon time and date for an event is reached. Doodle is unique in its voting system of scheduling an event, which might leave some people in an awkward position. However, the tool has become very popular among large companies, largely due to its democratic nature.
The tools for creating a poll are easy to use and responsive, and the voting process is intuitive and responsive as well. The administration panel for registration users is very easy to use, and the process is self-explanatory. The site displays advertising on the poll pages of users with a free membership. Premium membership removes the advertising.
Registration is not required to use the site. However, registration is required to manage and edit the polls created by the user. The registration process asks for first and last name, email address and password. Validation of the email address is required. A free membership includes standard Doodle features, and unlimited polls and participants. However, advertising is displayed on the user's polls.
A premium membership to the Doodle.com site is offered. It adds the ability for the user to add themes and avatars to their polls, add additional input fields, and removes the advertising. The polls created by premium users can also be branded. Premium membership costs CFH10.00 for three months or CFH28.00 for one year. The site accepts Sofort, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal and MoneyBookers as payment for a premium membership.
The Doodle.com site is recommended to anyone who has to schedule events or meetings. It provides a democratic way of deciding the date and time that is best for the most people. The tool is very scalable, and is suitable for two-person meetings up to company-wide events. The site tools are very easy to use, and the voting process is self-explanatory. All in all an excellent scheduling tool.