Doodle Online Scheduling Software Review

Doodle
4
4 of 5 stars 1 review
  • Pricing
    (4.5)
  • Features
    (3.5)
  • Support
    (4)
User Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Arrange meetings in no time
  • Transparency
  • Zero learning curve
  • Free version handy enough
  • Mobile app highly functional
  • Ads are not intrusive
  • Apt privacy features

Cons

  • Low level of customization
  • Only paid plans have automation features

ABOUT

Myke Naf seemed the quintessential ‘jack of all trades’ until he founded Doodle. At that point, he was working as an independent consultant, as well as a lecturer at his alma mater, ETH Zurich – a public university for engineers and scientists. Before that, his career switches saw him swing from an educational consultant to ICT Chief Security officer at Zurich Airport. In keeping with his penchant for novelty, his work locations were as far out as Bhutan and the Philippines. Perhaps, one common thread that tied all his roles together was exasperation with meetings or poorly planned ones at least.

Eventually, he teamed up with software engineer Paul Sevinç to deliver an online scheduling software in 2007. While it was originally intended for personal and business use, they soon realized that it was something the world had been waiting for. So, they launched the idea as a business. The first users made the app go viral, and every user who wanted to conduct a meeting invited other people. They, in turn, became users, inviting others, and so the juggernaut started rolling.

From the beginning, they worked on keeping the product free. After the first round of funding in 2008, Myke Naf and Paul Sevinç began bringing in revenue by displaying ads. In 2011 they had 10 million users. They doubled that to 20 million by 2014, offering the service in 20 languages. That same year, Swiss media group Tamedia upped their minority stake to a majority, and the founders Myke and Paul moved on to other projects. In particular, they were involved in nurturing the Swiss startup scene.

Today, Doodle has more than 30 million monthly users, which includes more than 300,000 business users. Top MNCs like Google, Amazon, and Disney are among its top clients.

How does it work?

Consider the most mundane scenario. You’re visiting a city, which also is home to many of your relatives. While you don’t have the time to drop into each person’s home individually, you do have a few hours to spare over the days you’re there. Typically, you’d probably get all your relatives’ numbers into a WhatsApp group, titled something as dull as ‘Dinner with family!’. So, you announce to the group that you’re free at these times on those days. As you can imagine, the debate on when to meet could go on inconclusively, and the longer the debate rages, the higher the chances of your group being put on mute.

The smarter way to meet

Here’s a smarter and faster way to solve this problem. Invite all your relatives to a Doodle poll. Give them a set of options and ask them to pick which time is most convenient for them. You can also ask them for suggestions on places to eat in the poll. The process is easy for you, as well as your relatives. In addition,Myke Naf seemed the quintessential ‘jack of all trades’ until he founded Doodle. At that point, he was working as an independent consultant, as well as a lecturer at his alma mater, ETH Zurich – a public university for engineers and scientists. Before that, his career switches saw him swing from an educational consultant to ICT Chief Security officer at Zurich Airport. In keeping with his penchant for novelty, his work locations were as far out as Bhutan and the Philippines. Perhaps, one common thread that tied all his roles together was exasperation with meetings or poorly planned ones at least.

Eventually, he teamed up with software engineer Paul Sevinç to deliver an online scheduling software in 2007. While it was originally intended for personal and business use, they soon realized that it was something the world had been waiting for. So, they launched the idea as a business. The first users made the app go viral, and every user who wanted to conduct a meeting invited other people. They, in turn, became users, inviting others, and so the juggernaut started rolling.

From the beginning, they worked on keeping the product free. After the first round of funding in 2008, Myke Naf and Paul Sevinç began bringing in revenue by displaying ads. In 2011 they had 10 million users. They doubled that to 20 million by 2014, offering the service in 20 languages. That same year, Swiss media group Tamedia upped their minority stake to a majority, and the founders Myke and Paul moved on to other projects. In particular, they were involved in nurturing the Swiss startup scene.

Today, Doodle has more than 30 million monthly users, which includes more than 300,000 business users. Top MNCs like Google, Amazon, and Disney are among its top clients.

As easy as a click

Doodle also integrates with apps like Zoom and Slack to make your life easier. It’s easy to use and has a bunch of useful features. Thankfully, it does not come overloaded with more features than you’ll ever need – like a lot of other apps do. This desire to keep things simple has contributed a great deal to Doodle’s popularity. For example, Doodle was the first app to use the ‘Capability URL’, allowing anyone with a URL to access the app without having to log in. This philosophy permeates all aspects of the app and will enable you to focus on the real work, and let the coordination happen in the background.

PRICING

Doodle’s plans can be divided into two broad categories, free and premium. The free plan allows you to arrange meetings quite well. There are four premium plans, each adding some more features, with an increase in cost – useful if you’re a large company, or your primary role is to coordinate between people.

All the premium plans enable you to share multiple bookable calendars, which means you can offer different time slots for different people, say for internal and external meetings. You can also save some of your slots for priority clients. Automatic sync between your calendars in the paid versions is also a big help. Do note that the Team plan costs $30 for every five users, and can go up to a maximum of 20 users. Beyond that, you’d need to switch to the Enterprise plan.

Plans

Free

Premium

Starter

Pro

Team

Enterprise

Price Per User Per Month (Annual Payment)

$4.49

$5.99

$30

On request

Users

1

1

1

5

Free Trial

14 days

14 days

14 days

14 days

Create Meetings

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Create Surveys

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Connect Calendars

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Confidential Participation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Export Polls As PDF / Excel

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bookable Calendar

One

Multiple

Multiple

Multiple

Multiple

No Ads

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Auto Calendar Sync

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Deadlines & Reminders

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ask Additional Information

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Zapier Integration

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Scheduling Assistant

Yes

Yes

Yes

White Labelling

Yes

Yes

Yes

Personalized URL

Yes

Yes

Yes

1-on-1 Meetings

Yes

Yes

Yes

Doodle Bot on Slack

Yes

Yes

Manage Users and Permissions

Yes

Yes

Priority Support

Yes

Yes

Onboarding & User Training

Yes

Yes

Bespoke Terms

Yes

Dedicated Success Manager

Yes

99.9% Availability SLA

Yes

Premium Support

Yes

Single Sign-on

Yes

FEATURES​

Meetings

Meetings are where it all began for Doodle, and you’d have never imagined that setting one up could be so easy. All you need to do is enter the title, like Product Review Meeting. You can also key in a little note that summarizes what the meeting is about, or why it is essential. Then you put in the dates as well as time slots that you think are best suited. Finally, just enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite. The app will then indicate the optimal time to meet. You can even send the URL to someone, after turning the link sharing on. Participants can choose one or more convenient options. What’s more, in the paid versions, you can limit the participants to making just one choice if desired.

1-on-1 meetings are even better. You can fix time slots on a calendar, which is then sent to the person you want to meet, who will be able to respond with a choice. Further, you can accept, reject, or even ignore that choice. Helpfully, all times are displayed in the time zone of the person viewing the information.

Surveys

You can create a survey in just four easy steps. First, you enter the title, and maybe a note or a location. Then you enter the survey options, which could be time or text choices. Third, you can tweak the way a participant can answer. They could answer ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘If needed.’ You can limit the number of votes per choice so that once an option crosses a certain threshold, the poll closes. You can limit the number of votes per participant to one, and keep their details hidden from other participants.

In the paid versions, you can set deadlines, send automatic reminders, and ask for participants’ contact details.

Bookable Calendar

This feature is especially useful for those in sales or business development. You can share a calendar with a potential client, indicating when you’re free, and when you’re not. The calendar is arranged as per the time slots you choose. Your potential client can choose a time slot convenient for him.

If you’ve opted for a paid version, you can set up multiple calendars to share. For example, you can have calendars with different time slots, for instance, one with 30-minute slots, and another with one-hour slots. You can then share the appropriate one with the client based on who gets priority. In addition, you can even have different calendars for employees, board members, etc.

Calendar Sync

You can connect your calendars with Doodle with a single click. It works with Google, Office 365, Outlook calendars, or with an ICS feed. The free version only allows you to connect your calendars so that they are visible in the app, which allows you to observe your schedule before making an appointment or fixing a meeting.

On the other hand, the paid versions sync seamlessly with your calendars. So, if you’ve made a change to your calendar on Doodle, it will be noted in your other calendars too. Of course, your appointments will only be visible to you.

Deadlines & Reminders

This feature is a paid one and helps automate your meeting processes. You can set deadlines so that invitees to meeting polls and surveys know when they need to reply. You can also set reminders to go out so that your plans can come to fruition on time.

Scheduling Assistant

Doodle even helps you create a meeting poll by generating three suggestions on the best time to hold a meeting, which is a premium feature that saves you time and effort. To get suggestions, you need to click on the green ‘Add time suggestions’ button while creating a group poll. The app goes through your calendar and that of the invitees, to find mutually convenient time slots. Further, you can accept these suggestions into the poll options, delete, or modify them.

Zoom Integration

If you often hold meetings on Zoom, you’ll love this Doodle integration. Once you click to connect this popular video conferencing tool, every meeting scheduled on Doodle can have a Zoom conference link. Unfortunately, this feature only works when your app is connected to Google Calendar or Outlook as of now. Besides, once enabled, a Zoom link appears with all your meetings. You cannot display such a link for just a select few meetings.

Doodle Bot on Slack

This feature is beneficial for those who live within Slack. Doodle Bot is nothing but a small app window that appears within your Slack interface. This allows you to do just about everything you do to plan and schedule your meetings without leaving your organization’s communication platform. You can set up polls, schedule meetings, and even invite people from outside the organization to participate.

INTEGRATIONS

Doodle currently has three ready-to-go integrations. While this number may seem like too little, the Zapier integration adds a whopping 1500 apps to the list. So, no matter which app you use to keep track of work, you’re likely to schedule meetings within them too. Further, you can also use the API to build an integration of your own.

Here are the integrations:

  • Zoom
  • Slack
  • Zapier
  • Doodle also syncs with these calendars:
  • Google
  • Outlook.com
  • Office 365
  • CS feeds

More About Doodle Online Scheduling Software

Setup And Ease Of Use

The app is straightforward to set up and does not involve a drawn-out registration process. You just need to enter your name and email, and you’re good to go. Perhaps the only setup you need to do is connect to your calendars.

Doodle’s ease of use is perhaps unmatched. You can easily invite even your grandmother to a poll. She may never have heard of email, but that’s no bother. Just send the poll URL, and she too can be part of any plans you make.

Device Compatibility

Desktop Browser

Android App

iPhone App

iPad App

ü

ü

ü

ü

Doodle runs across web browsers, as well as mobile devices. The mobile app is feature-rich and has everything you’ll need to schedule meetings on the go.

Online Security

Doodle is hosted on AWS and is certified under the following internationally recognized standards – ISO/IEC 27001:2013, 27018:2014, and 27017:2015. All premium plans use SSL encryption to ensure data safety between users’ devices and servers.

The company takes users’ privacy very seriously. Only email ids and tokens are stored. No other personal data, including calendar details, enter Doodle’s databases. Also, Cloudflare is used as an extra layer of DDoS safety.

Doodle does not have any live support in the free and cheaper versions. However, you can send in an email to the support from the website. Conversely, the app is so simple to use, and there is adequate help you can access through other means.

Customer Support

Help Pages

The website hosts a comprehensive set of help topics, arranged very methodically. The resources page also has product guides and industry reports.

Webinars And Videos

While Doodle does conduct webinars from time to time, there is also a good selection of videos, with their Youtube channel hosting 15 videos.

PROS AND CONS

PROS

  • Arrange meetings in no time
  • Transparency
  • Zero learning curve
  • Free version handy enough
  • Mobile app highly functional
  • Ads are not intrusive
  • Apt privacy features

CONS

  • Low level of customization
  • Only paid plans have automation features

CONCLUSION

Doodle is a democratic way to conduct meetings. It’s easy, transparent, and saves a lot of time as well as heartburn. You can get people together, arrange 1-on-1 meetings, and offer your calendar to just about anybody you do not want to inconvenience. It demotes a ton of otherwise confusing email threads to the recycle bin. Besides, it takes no time to learn or master. Once you start using Doodle, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

It’s hard to find fault with Doodle. Any suggestions for improvement could only relate to making it more customizable. A few more app integrations could also add value to the product.

So what’s Doodle’s greatest quality? Like in life, the best things in Doodle are free. It costs absolutely nothing to get people together in the best, most pleasing way possible. And the savings are extraordinary. Besides the time and effort saved, you get happy groups that have been invested in the process right from the beginning. Now, isn’t that priceless?

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