Emailing a group of people to find out the best time to schedule a meeting or event is probably the least efficient way to do so; inevitably you start a long thread of “This time works for me but not that time on Tuesdays and Thursdays” and “Monday is OK but I PREFER Friday” and on and on. That’s why I included Doodle in chapter 6 of my book. Doodle’s a web-based polling application, where you can suggest a list of meeting or party dates (among other things), email out the link, and recipients simply check off their preferences and Doodle does all the calculations for you–no parsing of messy email threads required.
Recently I was a judge in a contest the folks at Doodle held for the best use of their API. My first pick for winner, Doodlendar, took home first prize. Developed by two students in Zurich, Doodlendar puts your Google Calendar side-by-side with your Doodle poll, so you can easily see your schedule as you make or respond to a poll. Doodlendar even lists the possible event dates on your GCal as pending so that you don’t schedule over them before the final date is chosen.
Thanks to Doodle management for the opportunity to review some really nifty implementations of this underhyped but useful tool’s API. Congrats to Doodlendar for bringing home first prize. Here’s the full announcement of the winners and runner-ups.