On average, US employees attend 62 meetings monthly. As such, love them or hate them; meetings are an essential part of your workday. Be it virtual, impromptu, boardroom, or coffee meetings, you cannot run away from them. Instead, what you can do is to draw an effective plan to prevent losing any more time than necessary on every meeting.
This is where online scheduling apps like Doodle come into play. It allows you to meticulously schedule your meetings and events. Moreover, it simplifies the entire process, saving time on back-and-forth emails. As a result, you spend less time scheduling and more time focusing on meaningful tasks.
While it can be considered as one of the best scheduling software, Doodle isn’t perfect for everyone, and a look into some user reviews reveals its frailties. For example, the app does nothing more than schedule meetings and events. Besides, with Doodle, there is no way to save a group of contacts. Instead, you have to enter emails manually and share the link every time you want to create a poll.
For these reasons, in this article, we’ll discuss the top 10 Doodle alternatives to help you find an app that’s aptly designed to suit your specific scheduling needs.
What is Doodle?
Doodle is a powerful yet simple online scheduling app built primarily for busy professionals. The solution provides tools that enable users to schedule and organize meetings with ease. It lets you stipulate your availability preferences and poll your team members to see what date and time are ideal for them.
The best part is that team members don’t have to set up a Doodle account to take part in the poll. Doodle allows you to create a public URL that you can share with all team members. Once they click on the link, they can view your availability and request a meeting based on what works for both parties.
Besides, with Doodle, you can check the availability of remote team members across time zones. Moreover, the app integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office 365, Google Calendar, and iCal.
The Cons of Using Doodle
We’ve mentioned that one of Doodle’s shining points is the poll function. Some users, however, claim that this option is limited, and it becomes tedious when suggesting times and dates over a long period. This is especially so if you have plenty of slots for your clients to pick from as the customer-facing interface isn’t very intuitive. Furthermore, other dedicated apps offer better survey functionalities than Doodle.
The timezone is another to get criticism from Doodle users. A faction of the users claims that even though Doodle supports multiple time zones, it’s not conspicuously displayed, hence, difficult to find.
If you’ve outgrown the Doodle scheduling capability, you may want to consider other apps. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Doodle alternatives to help find an app that best meets your needs.
HubSpot’s meeting scheduler is a free appointment and meeting scheduling app for sales and marketing professionals. Unlike traditional meeting schedulers, the application connects to not only your inbox but also your calendar and CRM software. This way, it abolishes the back and forth of meeting scheduling, allowing you to set up meetings with leads, prospects, and customers with ease.
Interestingly, HubSpot meeting scheduler allows you to embed a customized booking link to your outbound invitational emails. In doing so, it enables customers or prospects to view your up-to-date availability and book meeting at the most appropriate time. This goes a long way in reducing no-shows.
Besides, whenever a customer books a meeting, it is automatically pinned on your calendar. Even better, this scheduling tool captures records of new people, thus, growing your contact list.
HubSpot meeting scheduling tool is free, and it works seamlessly with HubSpot CRM, Google Calendar, and Office 365 Calendar.
Calendly eliminates the back-and-forth emails associated with the process of scheduling meetings. It integrates directly with your Office 365, Outlook, iCloud, and Google calendars to determine your availability preferences. The app generates a personalized link that you can share with the customers and prospects. This way, your clients can pick a time when they are available to meet with you.
What’s more, Calendly adds your events automatically to your calendar with the date, time, and duration. It also allows you to set up any type of meeting, including round-robin, collective availability, group, and 1-on-1 meetings.
Other notable features of Calendly include notifications, buffer time scheduling between meetings, daily meeting limits, and minimum scheduling experience.
If you manage one calendar, you can use Calendly for free. However, if you’ve multiple calendars to run, then you’ve to get a paid plan, which starts from $8/user/month up to $12/user/month.
Clara is a machine learning-powered virtual assistant designed for individuals, teams, and enterprises that struggle with scheduling. The app allows you to streamline scheduling and establish patterns that work best for your company.
What happens is that when you sign up, Clara requires you to stipulate your availability preferences. That is, you state the days and times when you are available for meetings and indicate your favorite locations for drinks, coffee, and lunch.
When a client, prospect, or a friend requests a meeting, Clara evaluates your availability to find a suitable day, time, and duration for the meeting. The app can even be configured to select the perfect location and participants for each meeting.
What’s intriguing is that Clara is designed to comprehend human commands. For example, you can command the app to automatically reschedule a meeting when sickness or conflicts strike.
Even better, Clara offers quote-based pricing. You can contact the vendor for a tailored price quote.
Rally is a collaborative scheduling app that does exactly as its name suggests — rally your teammates and ensure better communication. The software enables large teams or remote workforce to agree on the most appropriate day to hold a group meeting.
To achieve this, the app makes it easy to create and share a straightforward poll page for an upcoming event. Attendees or people with the link to the event can discuss and settle on a date that works best for everyone.
Most importantly, Rally allows would-be attendees to discuss meeting details and plan the agenda. This way, everyone comes into the meeting better prepared for agendas, hence, boosting the effectiveness of meetings.
The best part is that Rally is an open-source tool and free to use. As such, businesses can use, customize, and redistribute the app at no cost.
NeedToMeet is arguably one of the easiest scheduling apps for individuals, teams, and enterprises. With this application, no account is required to schedule a meeting. Instead, the app allows you to outline a meeting’s purpose, mark your availability on a calendar, and select the participants.
You can then share the meeting link with the attendees and allow them to indicate their availability. Once everyone responds, NeedToMeet picks the most appropriate date for the meeting. Additionally, the app allows premium users to schedule meetings right from their Microsoft Outlook account.
NeedToMeet offers a free plan which is pretty decent for individuals and small teams. Besides, there are premium plans for large teams and enterprises that want to share a calendar. The two premium plans, namely Advanced ($12/year/user) and Premium ($19/year/user.
Pick does, as its name suggests. It scans all participants’ Gmail calendars and picks the open slots and analyzes them to surface slots of mutual availability. This works particularly well for businesses that leverage the top-down approach to schedule meetings.
Alternatively, you can set your availability and share a custom URL with the participants. This way, participants can spot open slots and schedule meetings based on their availability. Once a suitable date is found, Pick sends a calendar invite to both parties. Fortunately, the app integrates with both Office 365 and Google calendars.
Pick offers straightforward pricing. You can use the app without limitation when you pay $9/month.
7. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is perhaps one of the most popular scheduling tools on the market. It offers basic scheduling options that are convenient, particularly for teams that utilize GSuite. Primarily, Google Calendar simplifies scheduling processes, empowering you to schedule meetings with team members without having to use too many third-party apps.
Google Calendar allows you to set up a meeting with ease via the “Meet With” tab. You just click the name of the other participant(s) to view their calendar against yours. Then, click on an open slot to schedule the meeting with your participants.
On the other hand, it’s a breeze to set up a meeting with participants who aren’t part of your GSuite. All you need to do is share your Google Calendar outlining your availability preferences via the participant’s email. The participant can then pick a time slot that will be mutually suitable.
The best part is that Google Calendar is free to use.
Calendar is a free scheduling app that enables teams, small and big, to save time on scheduling. The app works seamlessly with Google and Apple calendars – two of the most commonly used scheduling tools–to make your day more fulfilling. Built to facilitate smart time management, the app even automatically transcribes each meeting to ensure nothing is missed.
There are two ways to schedule meetings using Calendar. First, with the app, you can send out emails outlining your availability. This way, participants can pinpoint their preferred date and time based on the available slots. The app then determines the ideal time for all attendees and schedules the meeting before notifying everyone.
Second, with the Calendar app, you can create a personal URL where participants can confirm your availability. They then send a request to meet with you, leaving you at liberty to accept or reject their request.
Calendar is completely free to use.
If you use Google Calendar and Gmail to schedule meetings, here is an app that blends the power of the two tools. Assistant.to eliminates hassles associated with scheduling meetings for the scheduler and the participant. With the app, you can easily select the meeting day, duration, and location from within Gmail’s compose screen.
Besides, with Assistant.to, there are no more double bookings; the app keeps your availability up-to-date. The way it works is that once the recipient clicks the invitation link, they can view all your open slots at a glance. This way, the app makes it easy for participants to find a mutually suitable time.
Interestingly, the app automatically detects and converts the time zone to quash any hint of confusion with the meeting details. Also, once a date is agreed upon, both parties receive a notification email. Assistant.to integrates with Hangouts, Cirrus Insights, GoToMeeting, Join.me, WebEx, and UberConference.
Assistant.to is 100% free to use.
YouCanBook.Me offers one of the simplest ways to let clients know your availability. The app connects with your Microsoft or Google calendar, giving you a personalized booking page. You can share the URL to let clients view availability slots and book a meeting with you.
Once you confirm the meeting, the client receives a notification of the same. Besides, you can set the app to send reminders to your clients to minimize the rate of no-shows. Most importantly, YouCanBook.Me detects the client’s time zones and automatically converts them to match your local time.
YouCanBook.Me offers simple pricing plans, which vary based on the number of calendars you manage. Pricing starts from $8/calendar/month.
Which is The Best Doodle Alternative?
There you have it, an analysis of the top 10 Doodle alternatives. As you may have noticed, all the apps are designed to accomplish one goal: streamline the scheduling of meetings and events. However, they differ in many ways, from the way they facilitate scheduling, the apps they integrate with, the extra functions they offer, and price. When you compare productivity software reviews, many of the mentioned apps appear in their list as they offer high-quality features.
The best alternative to Doodle largely depends on your needs. If, for example, you need an app that can do more than create meeting schedules, say build a contact list, then try the HubSpot Scheduling app. On the other hand, if you want an app that can set buffer times between meetings and events, Calendly is an excellent option.