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Update: 20220309

Sigh, I spoke too soon. It looks like my feature has disappeared again, and worse, they are now also pushing the scheduled date back to a calendar with an option not to do so (if you connect a calendar). It was a good tool for me before they “evolved it.”

I have left this article in hopes that a solution may occur.

Like other calendar tools, Doodle has features to support establishing a meeting time. The primary focus is appropriately on the meeting planner, but Doodle also has valuable features for the participant. This note looks at those features available to the participant if the participant subscribes to Doodle.

The features that are available to the subscribing participant include

  1. Receiving a meeting request that is aware of the participant’s calendar(s)
  2. Having the non-conflicting times automatically selected as a suggestion
  3. Seeing the proposed times against the user’s calendar entries
  4. Have a local calendar populated from an .ics feed
  5. Ability to click on one of these proposed times to find the link to Doodle to allow deleting this choice from the available list
  6. See the proposed times disappear except for the one chosen for the meeting

In a Doodle code update, I would note that features 4, 5, and 6 disappeared for a time but thankfully returned. This disappearance prompted this article to make sure that these features are appreciated and that everyone is considering taking advantage of them.

I attend many more meetings as a participant than an organizer in my world. As a participant, I get many requests for multiple times as the meeting planners try to find times that work for everyone in a worldwide pool of volunteers for a technical professional organization. It is easy to determine my availability for the first meeting request but becomes more difficult as the number of pending meetings grows. The polls for meeting times can be active for 7-10 days. By subscribing to the Doodle feed, I can have entries in my calendar to know where I have already answered “available” incorporate that into planning and other meeting responses. The ability to get back to the open poll and change my entry allows me to deal with a new activity that I wish to put in a slot I have already indicated availability for updating the meeting planner’s information. Finally, who wouldn’t like all the non-chosen times to disappear automatically from their calendar!

I have written a couple of times (Doodle Best Practices, Scheduling a Doodle Meeting) to provide information to the meeting planner to support the participant. The most crucial point is to select the final meeting time in Doodle, so the other times disappear. When this does not happen, I either email the meeting organizer or delete my (other) responses from the Doodle poll.

If you are a Doodle subscriber and a frequent meeting participant (who isn’t?) be sure to check out these features if you are not already taking advantage of them.

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