Faint insights into (mostly) the world of automation

Doodle Best Practices

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Doodle is a neat tool for scheduling efforts of people across systems. I use it a lot both for UAB and IEEE activities. Once one builds an account it becomes even more valuable remembering the meetings you are setting up as well as the meetings you have responded to that are hosted by others. Doodle can also handle 1) time zones and 2) “if I have to” as well as yes/no meetings . With an account, one can link a Doodle .ics feed into one’s calendar to remember promises made.

Best practice 1 — Meeting planners shall use timezones. It may only seem “friendly” to do this when meetings are across timezones but it really is mandatory since folks who use .ics feeds have their calendars messed up if the wrong timezones are fed in. This is settable on the screen where one fills in the data. The timezone should be recognized by Doodle, i.e. don’t use ET for EDST or EST.

Best practice 2 — Meeting planners should consider the use of “if need be” to allow folks to give the maximum information in trying to find a meeting time. This is set in the Options tab after the schedule is established.

Best practice 3 — Meeting planners shall go back to mark the final meeting time choice. This locks in the date and time and removes all other tentative times from .ics feeds thus clearing those non-needed time slots from the attendees calendars. This action is done using the administer link.

Updated 2 June 2011 to note that psuedo timezones like ET should NOT be used.