99% of the time, my response when asked a question is: "google it". The 1% is reserved for when someone asks how they can quickly schedule a meeting over the web. My response? Doodle it.
We continue this month's theme of Enterprise Collaboration by taking a look at a Swiss export that aims to "eliminate the chaos that comes from scheduling". While Doodle does simplify scheduling meetings online, the product is a few features shy of being "enterprise" caliber.
What is it?
You and three of your friends all work in the same high-rise office building, but on separate floors. It's your turn to schedule the monthly lunch/get-together. You've got the who. You've got the where -- the same sushi place you always go to. You just need the when.
You could start an email thread that will quickly get out of control with inadvertent "reply-alls" and an overwhelming number of snarky comments. You could use text messages that are less flexible than email and lead to severe thumb sprains. I won't even mention calling everyone -- do people even use phones to talk anymore?
Or, you could use Doodle.com to: Create, Invite, Confirm.
Create, Invite, Confirm
Sounds Interesting, Is There More?
Unfortunately, or fortunately -- if you really like things to be simple, what you see above is what you get with Doodle. While I could see a distributed team using a tool like this to schedule status meetings or design reviews, I don't see Doodle supplanting Google Calendar or Outlook.
Aside from a dedicated version of Doodle called MeetMe that allows users to publish their availability for others to schedule meetings with them, there is not much more to offer.
Where Do We Go from Here?
Doodle has been around since 2007 and there is an established user base. Furthermore, the online meeting scheduler just got a full user experience overhaul including a slick ajax UI.
My advice would be to pull the polling feature out of the meeting scheduler and make it a dedicated offering. I can easily envision a distributed project team using a quick poll to make decisions on items that need input from the full team. Polling functionality is often found inside enterprise collaboration suites, but a standalone version available to anyone on the web (like Doodle) would be compelling.
What Do You Think?
I am looking for Doodle users, or "Doodlers", to fill the comments below telling me I am wrong and that Doodle has tons of features I have overlooked. If not, then please share your experiences and where you think Doodle fits into the enterprise collaboration spectrum.