Tag Archives: Doodle

Tuesday’s Tools: Calendars & Appointments

One of the best parts of starting a new year is to break out that fresh, new calendar you just picked up for half-off at the store only selling calendars for December. Calendars help us get organized and refreshed with each new calendar year. The clutter that accumulates leading to the end of the year is now forgotten as we move forward.

We should all take advantage of this opportunity to try out an online application or two that will make our schedules easier to maintain in 2012…

Google Calendar is the premier online calendar that lets users share their calendars with the world or just a select few. The sharing options make it possible for one to share a calendar with others in their Google contacts list. For public sharing, there is an active URL and even an embedding option for those who want their calendars to accessible from any site. Users can manage multiple calendars using Google Calendar easily through a seamless color-coding system. I am able to share calendars both for work and family without crossing the two. Additionally, these calendars are accessible from any online device.

For those looking to break free of Google’s grip on their online lives, there are other options available. Yahoo! has an online calendar. Calendar tools from the likes of Keep and Share, Clock Share, and Famundo all feature similar usability without requiring a Google account.

Just looking for some basic calendars to check dates and other timely events? Try TimeAndDate.com. Besides some basic and printable calendars, Time and Date also offer weather, sunset, sunrise, timers, and calculators. Plus, users can customize their own calendars.

Sometimes, we need a way for others to schedule appointments or meetings. As with online calendars, there are several tools that can also make these tasks easier. ClickBook and CheckAppointments are free and easy-to-use online scheduling tools intended for small businesses, but there could be many uses in terms of scheduling meetings with parents or colleagues. Other online scheduling tools include GenBook and Acuity Scheduling.

Of course, maybe the most popular online scheduling tool around these parts is Doodle. With Doodle, users the ability to schedule meetings with a variety of people and schedules in one place. Simply set up a “Doodle poll” to figure out what times and dates are best for your participants. The results will help you schedule a meeting time that will work for all those involved.

Of course, many of us still use our desktop calendar and email tools for all of our scheduling and calendar management. There’s nothing wrong with this practice. It may even be the most efficient use of resources for you. To get the most out of your Microsoft Outlook software, check out the tips from Microsoft’s own site. For iCal users, try iCal World’s list of tips. If you’re still in the hunt for the best desktop calendar tools out there, check out Lifehacker’s top-5 desktop calendar applications.

What tools do you use to maintain your schedules and calendars? How could these tools be used to improve communication between you and students, parents, or colleagues? Are there ways in which teaching students to use these tools valuable to their own time management?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tool: Doodle

I wish I would have thought of this post about a month ago because the information may have saved several teachers from relying upon slips of paper or multiple e-mails to confirm parent-teacher conference appointments. Doodle.com offers a very easy way to set up a poll to schedule a meeting with multiple people.

The “schedule an event” feature allows you to find a common open meeting day and time for several people. This is great for committee meetings or event planning. Or, you could use it to offer an opportunity for people to “sign up” for a time to meet with you, such as parent-teacher conferences.

The “make a choice” poll allows you to gather all individual preferences or choices in one place. For example, if you are the head coach for your daughter’s soccer team, then you can use Doodle.com to find out which day is best for your players to practice by setting up a “make a choice” poll.

The “meet me” feature allows you to schedule 1:1 meetings and will sync with your Outlook, Google or Doodle calendar. This is great for scheduling after school tutoring sessions and advisory appointments.

Other great features include:
• the ability to view the information as a table or in a calendar
• the ability to export to Excel or PDF
• notifications sent to your email when participants provide information – you may turn this feature off
• immediate results
• the option of hiding results from participants
• it is very easy to set up and very easy to use
• registration is not required to use the site – registration is required for creating and editing polls
• it is FREE!

As mentioned before, this post could have been more helpful earlier this year. However, there will be plenty of scheduling challenges in the future. Therefore, the next time you face the tedious task of schedule a meeting or event, consider using Doodle.com. It will help to simplify and expedite the process.

Cara Wylie is an area instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.