I loathe the expression “work smarter, not harder.” To me, it implies you were not working smartly in the first place. However, here’s a free and easy way to cut down on the tedium of scheduling meetings and the e-mail volume that can result from a simple meeting invitation. Recommended a few years ago by a colleague who regularly coordinates international conference calls, Doodle.com allows you to input date and time options so meeting invitees can simply click to choose their preferences. You send out the link and, once your invitees have responded, you can immediately see which meeting date and time is most convenient. There’s also space for respondents to post comments.
I’ve used Doodle.com personally and professionally for planning conference calls spanning multiple time-zones, group projects, a 20-year reunion, community group meetings and my semi-regular book club. No more piecing together a meeting time by sorting through a dozen e-mails that say: “I can on Friday but only at 2 pm and next Monday and Wednesday are good” or “I’m on vacation on the 12th but back at noon on the 17th.” You practicaly have to build a spreadsheet to figure it out. Use your time more productively. Better yet, use that time you saved to go for a coffee with a co-worker, for a walk around the block, or to pat yourself on the back because you’re just so darn smart.
Please note: This post was not commissioned by Doodle.com. It’s just a site I like and thought might be helpful for you. I also didn’t provide a step-by-step guide or an extensive discussion of other features. The instructions on the site are very easy to follow.