With 20 million users, Doodle is the worlds largest and most successful tool for scheduling group events and we continuously work on improving our product. During the past weeks we worked on improving our calendar connection for Doodle.
Doodle’s calendar connection is one of the preferred options for people to choose Premium Doodle. We received a lot of feedback from our users regarding our synchronization feature and over the time one thing stuck out: Users do not want tentative events to be synchronized making their calendar unclear.
That’s why we chose to change this feature and only use the sync functionality with their final event from now on. This keeps you calendar tidy and you are still able to find all important events at a glimpse. Tentative events that were already synchronized will be smartly removed with the next synchronization initiated by yourself.
[Update as of 11 June 2014]
When we published the blogpost above, we were keen to getting some feedback from our Doodle users. And yes, we received a lot of feedback here on the blog and through our support hotline which we appreciate. It is the open communication which helps us improve our Doodle application.
Because of your comments we were able to understand how you use the calendar integration and which factors are important to you. Based on the overwhelming feedback from you to keep the temporary calendar entries up we decided to wind back the current version. With our current release, we now offer you the choice with every Doodle synchronization, whether you’d like to enter provisional dates in your calendar or whether you would like to only enter the final date(s).
Thanks again for everybody’s constructive feedback so far and for any comments on the changes within this release.
Your Doodle Team
If you’re an Apple user, then you probably know that iCloud enables you to store your content (including calendars) online and seamlessly share it with your other devices. As a Doodle user, you can now connect iCloud to Doodle so that your calendar data is synchronized with Doodle and iCloud.
This is great news for Apple users because the cloud-based integration means that the calendar data will always be available, current, and automatically shared with other devices.
To set it up, all you have to do is activate the option, sign in to iCloud, and you’re done. This feature does require a Premium Doodle account, and you can get additional information from this page.
Please try it out and let us know what you think!
Connecting your calendar with Doodle has a number of advantages. Watch the video at the end of this post to learn more about them.
Many of our users ask us how to connect Doodle with Outlook 2013 or with Outlook.com. And here’s how:
Update: Please refer to our extensive support section on that topic.
Let us know what your experience is. Either in the comments or via http://doodle.com/about/contact.html.
Integrating your Facebook events in Doodle can have two major advantages:
- You get reminded of events you might want or plan to attend while scheduling.
- You prevent scheduling some other event/meeting when one of your Facebook events takes place.
Here’s how it works:
- Register for a (free!) Doodle account, if you don’t have one yet: http://doodle.com/open.
- Visit your Facebook events list: https://www.facebook.com/events/list.
- Click on the cogwheel in the upper right corner and select “Export”.
- Choose either your friends’ birthdays or upcoming events (or both, if you wish), right-click on the respective link and choose “copy link address”.
- Visit the calendar settings in your Doodle account: https://doodle.com/mydoodle/manageAccount.html#calendars.
- Paste the link you copied above into the “calendar feed URLs” textfield.
- Make sure to replace the “webcal:” at the very beginning of the URL with “http:”.
- Click “Add”.
From now on, whenever you create a new scheduling poll or participate in a poll, you can choose to use the calendar view and have your Facebook events displayed.
Please let us know if you use this feature or if some other form of Facebook integration might make sense for you.
MeetMe subscriptions peaking after Tungle’s announcement to shut down
Yesterday, Tungle announced the retirement of their service and recommended to switch to Doodle instead, which was also picked up by TechCrunch. We know that such a change is always a pain but we welcome all Tungle users warmly and hope that they soon feel comfortable with Doodle.
As we already see in our stats, most Tungle users who give Doodle a try look to MeetMe as a replacement for Tungle. At Doodle, MeetMe is one of the more advanced features and a pure 1:1 communications channel to fix appointments quickly. It is particularly useful when have your calendar connected, be it Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCal.
Group scheduling on Doodle, however, is handled via an event “poll”. This is basically a table of time slots in which all participants indicate their availability independent of the calendar system they use. Each participant can individually decide whether to connect an electronic calendar in order to let Doodle prefill choices and to see the own availability right in the same interface. But you don’t need to do so – you don’t even need to sign up for using Doodle.
We want to thank Marc and his team for having been a great challenger and for generously reffering to us. It was great to see a Canadian and a Swiss company shape and push the idea of online scheduling over the years. We wish you the best of luck and are looking forward to seeing your handwriting in Blackberry 10!
With our latest release, access rights for third party applications (so-called OAuth tokens) don’t expire any longer at Doodle. This is an advantage for the following users:
In these cases, users remain logged in constantly. They no longer need to do recurring, cumbersome renewals of their login status.
Instead, we now offer our users a way to revoke access rights in the “Manage account” section of MyDoodle.
This change has no effect for all other forms of calendar integration or m.doodle.com because they are not independent applications.
Being able to connect one’s calendar to Doodle is a great feature–and one we recently invested into making faster and more reliable. It works best with Google Calendar (both via individual Google accounts and via Doodle’s Google Apps integration), but our goal is to also play well with Apple and Microsoft.
Until there are calendar APIs for Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s Office 365, we want to provide Doodle connectors for iCal and for Outlook. The iCal connector already works reasonably well even though it is still in beta. While the Outlook connector also works well for the majority of its users, it does not work well at all for a large minority of its users. And in the case of the Doodle’s Exchange integration, the situation is even worse: it kind of works for a small minority and does not work at all for a large majority.
We apologize for this unsatisfactory state of affairs and are going to remedy it as follows:
- The Exchange integration is going to be discontinued (by May 2nd) in order not to eat up more precious time that is better spent on Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook.
- The Doodle connector API is going to be modified according to the actual use of the Outlook connector. One important reason for the problems that the large minority of Outlook connector users experience is that some of the assumptions that we had made for Doodle’s connector API turned out to be wrong.
- We try to outsource the maintenance of the iCal connector and the Outlook connector. We have developed them ourselves in order to verify (and, as it turned out, falsify) the Doodle connector API, but we are experts in Java and Web development and not in Mac or Windows development.
If you are a Google Calendar user, all is good. If you are an iCal user, keep updating the Doodle connector as it is maturing. And if you are an Outlook user, please remain patient (we realise that you have been patient with us already!): the Doodle connector API in general and the Outlook connector in particular are slowly but steadily going to improve over the next weeks and months.
by Paul E. Sevinç, Co-founder & CTO