Doodle.com is a website I wish I had thought of creating myself. It satisfies the conundrum most of us face when trying to rally our friends together for a social event: how do I find a time when everyone is free? As the event organizer, you can create a poll, send it to your friends, and immediately see if and when everyone is available.
Here are the reasons I love Doodle:
1) It's free.
If it were not free, I wouldn't use it.
2) It's super easy to set up a poll as an event organizer.
It has taken me approximately 3 minutes to set up polls, about as long as it might take to send an email requesting the same information.
3) Poll respondents do not have to create a Doodle account to answer your poll.
I think this helps guarantee most, if not all, guests will reply.
4) There are lots of poll options.
I haven't experimented with all these yet, as the default poll settings generally have worked well for me so far, but I appreciate options such as, "Ifneedbe," another choice respondents can select in addition to the traditional "yes/no." The "Ifneedbe" option is apparently the only way a group of my girlfriends and I could find a weekend when all of us are available for a trip.
5) The poll tallies for the event organizer exactly who is free when and encourages more democratic scheduling.
I sometimes find that trying to schedule a group event via email can lead to scheduling bias. Because I don't have the raw numbers (compiled by a computer) starring me in the face, I might unintentionally choose a date that is not actually the most convenient one for the greatest number of people. There's something about seeing the unfiltered scheduling results on Doodle that makes me feel a little more democratic.
6) People respond to Doodle polls quickly.
The few Doodle polls I've administered get 100% participation usually within a few hours. This is way different from email, which I feel like people open, mean to respond to, don't respond to immediately, and therefore ultimately forget to respond to at all. There's some interesting psychology behind this one, no doubt, and here's my personal theory. To make an analogy, email is like an essay test, and Doddle is like a multiple choice test -- people just think multiple choice is easier, so they do it first. If you want fast results, use Doodle.
I haven't been this excited about an online tool in a long time. Enjoy!