Archive for the 'Numbers' Category

Doodle crosses the 20M user mark

January 29, 2014

We’re happy to announce that Doodle is now used worldwide by over 20 million monthly users! In the past five years, we’ve seen a tenfold increase in our number of users, and our free scheduling service is especially popular in our home market of Switzerland, as well as in Germany, France, and the US.

The key growth driver continues to be the viral nature of the service, as Doodle inventor Michael Näf explains: “Anyone taking part in a Doodle scheduling poll for the first time will immediately notice how much time and stress the service saves them – and how easy it is to use. In addition, almost every poll automatically generates new users, which spreads Doodle to even more people.”

One Doodle poll every two seconds 

More than 17 million scheduling polls were created by Doodle users in 2013. Even small groups can save about 15 minutes per poll, which means that Doodle saved more than four million hours for our users last year.

20 million Doodle users

More growth in 2014

As we announced earlier this month, a new management team is taking control of Doodle in February, and later this year, Tamedia (Switzerland’s largest media group) will acquire the majority of the company and push forward with the international expansion of the service.

The two founders, Michael Näf (current CEO) and Paul E. Sevinç (current CTO), are handing over the managerial control and leaving with a good feeling: “We are delighted to be passing Doodle on to such a competent team. The fact that we are leaving the brand with 20 million users is a nice parting gift and reaffirms that the Doodle concept works superbly.”

Study reveals time spent with scheduling

July 8, 2013

Is it possible to save time while scheduling by using an online scheduling tool such as Doodle rather than alternative tools such as phone calls, email, etc.? Many of you who have used an online scheduling tool would likely say that it is definitely possible, but an experimental study that was performed for a Bachelor’s thesis at ETH Zurich has provided data to support this point.

For this experiment, a group of 96 people were selected to use Doodle and alternative scheduling tools to setup a private dinner with 4-6 participants, a business meeting with 6-8 participants, and a private dinner with 10-15 participants.

General scheduling results

Included below are the general results that were observed regarding overall scheduling behavior.

Iterations
Estimated average
Time needed
Estimated average
Private Dinner – 4-6 Participants 8-12 14-17 minutes
Business Meeting – 6-8 Participants 12-16 20-25 minutes
Private Dinner – 10-15 Participants 10-15 46-50 minutes

The back and forth communication is the most substantial time killer while scheduling, and the number of iterations and time needed grow right along with the number of participants. It was also noted that gender, age, and education have no impact on the time that it takes to get something scheduled.

Detailed scheduling results  

The following data highlights the differences in relation to the amount of time that is needed for scheduling when using Doodle instead of alternative scheduling tools.

scheduling_02

Time needed without Doodle
Estimated average
Time needed with Doodle
Estimated average
Private Dinner – 4-6 Participants 20-25 minutes 5-10 minutes
Business Meeting – 6-8 Participants 26-30 minutes 13-17 minutes
Private Dinner – 10-15 Participants 90-120 minutes 31-35 minutes

As you can see, Doodle users schedule smaller meetings in less than half the time that is required by people who use other tools, and on average, they save about a quarter of an hour (11-15 minutes).

Even more time is saved in larger groups. For example, a meeting/event with 10-15 participants can be scheduled in approximately 30 minutes with Doodle while non-Doodle users need 1 1/2 to 2 hours to do the same thing.

So the next time that you think you’re saving time with Doodle, you’ll know that it’s not just in your head!

Doodle polls reveal how culture impacts online collaboration

February 20, 2013

A recent research project by representatives from Harvard and the University of Zurich has uncovered some interesting details about the way in which various cultures impact international collaboration on the Internet.

To investigate the influence of national culture on people’s scheduling behavior, the team analyzed more than 1.5 million anonymized  meeting polls from 211 countries that were initiated on Doodle.

Here are just some of the highlights from the comprehensive project:

  • People from countries with strong economies schedule more meetings.
  • Countries that plan their events far in advance (such as Switzerland and Germany) take the most time to respond and decide on a time.
  • In comparison to individualist societies (such as the US), community-oriented countries (such as China and Japan) respond to meeting polls earlier and make more of an effort to select times that will work for the entire group.
  • Only 2% of meeting polls contain 5, 10, or 15 minute meeting time options (such as 4:15 PM).

The full report can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/DoodlePaper-pdf.

Do the results match your experiences?

Doodle crosses the 15M user mark

January 14, 2013
We’ve reached yet another milestone: Doodle is now seeing 15 million users each month. Hence, our userbase has grown by around 50% since the end of 2011. We’re very happy to have reached this mark. It also shows the continued need for simple, usable solutions in the online scheduling space.
This new user milestone gets 2013 off to a good start — and it is a good opportunity to quick look back at a couple of highlights from 2012:
  • BookMe – New service that helps service providers streamline their booking process online
  • New iPad/iPhone App – Developed to support the increase in popularity of mobile scheduling:
  • Initiators Survey – International survey reveals that Doodle’s users are very active
  • Doodle Snapshot – Contest featuring pictures of events scheduled with Doodle
  • Doodle Unplugged – New scheduling product from Doodle runs on a piece of paper
We’re looking forward to an exciting Doodle year with all of you!
Source: Google Analytics

Organizing Doodle’s research

October 25, 2012

We always want to improve Doodle’s services, and we regularly carry out scheduling research projects to help with these efforts. Not only do these user / online population surveys help us, but the results contain interesting data on scheduling and time management that we like to publish on our blog. We’ve now combined our research over the last few years in a new archive (Doodle Analytics), and we hope you enjoy learning from the data as much as we have!

New Findings: A small number of initiators organize most of the meetings

July 26, 2012

Do you have the feeling that the last team meeting or dinner with friends wouldn’t have taken place if you hadn’t taken the initiative? If that’s the case, then you’re probably one of the initiators who organizes more than half of their personal and business meetings without any help. The portion of these initiators among Internet users is 22%, which is about the same size as the portion of “loners” who never take care of these tasks. Additionally, 55% of Internet users may organize some of their meetings, but for the most part, they’re “herd people” who allow themselves to be herded by other people. These are just some of the results of a recent survey that was conducted on behalf of Doodle*.

Despite what you may think, people with higher educations, income, and job positions are more likely to be initiators. These people are normally busier than others and have more appointments per week and more contacts that they manage. Also, when they get annoyed by scheduling, they use Doodle to get quick and easy help because the portion of initiators among Doodle users is almost twice as big as the portion of initiators among Internet users**.

Initiators are:

  • People with higher education and income
  • Mostly managers, office workers, and freelancers
  • Not really determined by age or gender

Initiators are twice as likely to agree with the following statements:

  • I know a lot of people
  • I like to connect people
  • I like to organize things for the group
  • People act on what I say

Initiators use:

  • Private social networks more often (social media)
  • Business social networks much more often
  • Sites about new tools and technology more often

Initiators attend more group events:

  • 50% have 3 or more group events per week (compared to 25% of non-initiators)
  • Less than 10% of initiators have fewer than one meeting per week

“Loners” don’t organize any events by themselves:

  • They make up 23% of Internet users and 3% of Doodle users
  • 73% of them have less than one group event per week
  • Many of them “don’t like to organize” (72%) and “don’t know a lot of people” (61%)

Both initiators and other respondents indicated a clear list of things that are annoying when organizing events for others. 93% are annoyed by at least one of the situations below, and chasing people who aren’t answering is the clear winner.

Business meetings are the most frequent group events that the respondents attend, followed by volunteering events and dinner appointments. The initiators don’t favor a particular event type, but they just have more of each.

*Toluna Group Ltd. on behalf of Doodle (June 2012): International survey among Internet users by means of online panels in the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Switzerland (2,050 respondents)

**On-site surveys of Doodle users (May 2012 – 777 respondents and June 2012 – 501 respondents)

Doodle stats indicate that summer is over and Christmas is just beginning

June 20, 2012


The chart above includes a collection of keywords that were extracted from Doodle polls in an anonymous way, and the activity patterns reveal that it’s already late to plan events during the summer. On Doodle, summer takes place in May and Christmas happens in November, at least when it comes to scheduling. It’s natural that planning happens up to two months before the actual events take place, but it’s interesting to see that this is reflected so clearly in the stats from millions of events that are scheduled on Doodle each year.

The blue line indicates the overall global activity of online scheduling on Doodle. At the end of the year, global event scheduling declines in a dramatic way, and there’s also a noticeable decline during Easter and the summer months. With that said, there are definitely regional differences. For example, Americans continue to schedule events during the summer while the French stay away from online scheduling for almost two full summer months before they return to their calendars in September.

Do your scheduling habits match the stats in the chart?

See also Doodle stats I: Mondays for planning, busy weekends

Mondays for planning, busy weekends

May 23, 2012

We schedule meetings on Mondays, and they take place on Fridays and Saturdays. That’s one of the main results from an analysis of all of the meeting polls that are organized through Doodle*. Business meetings with fixed times are most frequent on Thursdays and Fridays, and events that don’t have a fixed time dominate the weekends.

Weekend meetings
We obviously don’t take the break that we deserve because after Friday we continue to be just as active during the weekend. With that said, our data shows that weekends aren’t the time for detailed planning sessions, but instead, they’re dominated by activities that are planned for a whole day or the entire weekend.

Believe it or not, Monday is the least popular day for an event to take place. Does this conflict with our idea of Monday being the typical meeting day? Not really, and that’s because this analysis considers events that need to be scheduled and not recurring events that are already in the calendar.

Mondays are for planning
On the other hand, Monday is the big planning day. There is a clear peak of user activity on Mondays, and the activity level drops slightly during the rest of the weekdays and is very low over the weekend. This is a pattern that is not unusual for Web services like Doodle (compared to news sites or social networks).

This means that schedulers shouldn’t expect replies to their invitations on Saturdays or Sundays, but they can expect replies on Mondays because people are more focused on planning at that time. Just keep in mind that you should offer a range of date options so that your participants have enough to choose from.

*Over 11 million events are scheduled with Doodle every year. We analyzed this data anonymously to discover interesting activity patterns. This post contains the first part of the results.

Survey shows Internet users could organize their schedules in a smarter way

March 29, 2012

A recent survey performed on behalf of Doodle (1) shows that while there are simple tricks and tools that can be used to maintain a lean calendar, most Internet users still organize their calendars in a rudimentary way. Nearly half (48%) of the respondents don’t use any of the tips and tricks, and 85% don’t use online tools for sharing calendar data or scheduling events. Earlier Doodle surveys showed that Internet users waste almost an entire week per year with scheduling, which highlights the huge potential for improved management of calendars and appointments.

Most Popular: One Central Calendar

Three of the tips are used more than the others. The first one is Consolidate, which means using one calendar as the central place for the entire schedule (38% of Internet users do this). The other two popular tips are Declutter (keep random notes out of the calendar) and Separate (don’t mix the To-Do List with the calendar).

It’s also interesting to compare the results in the different countries. For example, Americans are more positive about the tips (45% compared to 40% on average), and the Germans dislike the tips the most (14% compared to 8% of the Americans). The British were the most undecided, with the highest share of neutral answers (52%) whereas the French matched the overall responses in all categories.

Doodle Users Stand Out

A parallel survey of Doodle users (2) showed that they are more than twice as positive about the tips and tricks. 94% of Doodle users take advantage of at least one of the tips, which is a very high percentage when compared with average Internet users. The three most popular tips for Doodle users are Consolidate, Declutter, and of course, Simplify (by using Doodle).

See all tricks and tools that can be used to maintain a lean calendar.

(1) Online survey of Internet users from Germany, France, UK, and US by Toluna Inc. (2,000 people; 500 per country)

(2) Survey of Doodle users in the US and the UK (1,250 people)

10 facts about scheduling

December 1, 2011

In 2011 we conducted a variety of surveys about scheduling, appointment management, productivity, and calendars. The main results are included below (and more detailed in the Doodle Facts 2011). Are you already a schedling pro?

  1. People spend almost four full days per year coordinating appointments
  2. The more appointments people have, the less time they need when scheduling events
  3. Gender has no influence on the time used when scheduling an appointment
  4. It’s hard without a calendar
  5. Half of Internet users stick with paper calendars
  6. Most electronic calendar users aren’t completely satisfied
  7. One out of five people already use an online scheduling service
  8. Two-thirds of the Swiss use online scheduling
  9. 30,000 new appointments on Doodle every day
  10. Mobile scheduling tripled in 2011

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