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.”


New management, same Doodle

January 7, 2014

2014 will bring some changes to Doodle: Both founders (Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç) will step down during the next couple of months and let a new team take charge.

On February 1st, Michael Brecht will join the Doodle team as the new CEO and lead the company with a management team consisting of current Doodle employees.

Also during 2014, Switzerland’s largest media group Tamedia, which already owns a 49% stake in Doodle, will acquire the majority of the company and invest to further fuel Doodle’s international growth.

What will change for you as a Doodle user? Nothing.

15 million people worldwide use Doodle on a monthly basis. They will all be able to continue using Doodle: The core group scheduling product, the premium experience with additional functionality, the 1:1 scheduling tool (MeetMe), and the customer appointment solution (BookMe).

The new management team behind Doodle

Doodle’s new CEO, Michael Brecht, has more than 20 years of experience in the IT and online world and has held several international positions: As a Managing Director at Germany-based CompuNet, he was responsible for building the UK business. After that, he founded urbia.com, an online portal for families and children, which was later acquired by media house Gruner & Jahr. After living in Australia for several years, Brecht founded and led 52weine.de, a shopping club for wine lovers.

In his new role, Brecht will be working closely with Doodle’s management team, which has had a major impact in many of Doodle’s past successes: He will work closely with VP of Sales Tiziano Obrecht, VP of Product Management Malte Schiebelmann, and VP of Engineering Christoph Bäni, who will take over all things technology from Paul E. Sevinç.

Doodle’s founders, Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç, are happy about the handover: “We have been privileged to build a great team and – together with it – a profitable, growing, international business. Now it’s time for us to leave and let new people take charge. We’re sure that Doodle will break many more records in the future, and our users can keep relying on the best scheduling service.”

Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç

Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç

Michael Brecht

Michael Brecht

Tiziano Obrecht

Tiziano Obrecht

Malte Schiebelmann

Malte Schiebelmann

Christoph Bäni

Christoph Bäni


Mobile Doodle relaunched

December 18, 2013

For quite some time, we’ve been receiving feedback from our users about the lack of the table view on the mobile version of our website. Many of you have requested it because it offers a much better overview of who is available and when.

Well, we’re happy to say that we’ve now brought the unique table view to Mobile Doodle. We’ve also updated the interface, which makes Mobile Doodle much clearer and more like an app. Check it out!

It’s important to note that only newer phones and specific browsers are supported yet. We’ll add support for more devices over the next couple of weeks. Also, Mobile Doodle focuses on the basic features of Doodle, so if you need access to additional features, please check out our iOS and Android apps.

MobileDoodleScreenshotEN


Doodle Mug Design Contest: Scheduling without Doodle is like … #DoodleMug

December 17, 2013

We want to create a (our first!) Doodle Mug, and we’d like your help! Our team will be designing the mug, but we need suggestions for the text that will be on it. There will be two mugs:

Mug “w/”:
“Scheduling with Doodle is like ___________”

Mug “w/o”:
“Scheduling without Doodle is like ___________”

If you have some clever ideas for one or both of those phrases, then we want to hear from you!

To submit your suggestion, please send a tweet using the hashtag #DoodleMug and cc @doodletweet and tell us what it is. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014, and we’ll announce the two winners shortly after that time. Each winner will receive a $250 Amazon.com gift card, a 1-year Premium Doodle Solo account, and — of course — a free set of mugs. Both winners will also have their Twitter account names included somewhere in the design, and the mugs will be available for anyone who would like to purchase one.

We can’t wait to see your suggestions!

Scheduling with or without Doodle


Interview with David Allen to conclude Productivity Experts series

December 17, 2013

We hope that you’ve enjoyed the interviews and blog posts from productivity experts that we’ve been publishing over the past two months. There’s a lot that can be learned from that content, and we think that it will help you to kick off 2014 in a productive way. Please explore the Productivity Experts category of our blog to get caught up if you missed any of the posts.

Now that we’ve come to the conclusion of this series, we have one more big interview to share with you, and it’s with David Allen. As you probably already know, David is one of the world’s leading productivity experts, and his Getting Things Done time management method and book have redefined how we think about productivity.

Doodle’s Co-Founder & CEO (Michael Näf) recorded the following interview with David, and they talked about productivity, scheduling, and future trends.

Enjoy!


Interview with Michael Sliwinski

December 13, 2013

What projects are you involved in?

In order of priority: Nozbe, productive magazine, my blog, promotion of my book (#iPadOnly) and an additional business opportunity I’m pursuing now.

How did you get interested in productivity?

I needed to get organized, read gtd book by David Allen and couldn’t find a tool for myself so I built my own. Nozbe. Used it from 2005-2007 by myself and launched it in 2007 to show everyone else. This is how it all started.

More details here: http://www.michaelsliwinski.com/interview

How many meetings do you normally have each week?

3-5 meetings with my team, 1-3 meetings with other people (interviews, etc.).

What are some of your favorite productivity tips/apps?

My core consists of the cloud apps. Nozbe, Evernote, Dropbox and Gmail. All of which are integrated together (Nozbe syncs with all of these). I work mainly on my iPad so over here I also use writing apps (editorial, AI writer), social apps.

It’s really important to migrate to the cloud as like this I have access to all of my stuff from any device connected to the internet.

What’s the most recent adjustment that you’ve made to your personal productivity routine?

Switching exclusively to the iPad was a big thing for me. Works great. I had to re-learn many of my old habits and adjust to a totally different working paradigm. On a normal computer first you manage the files, then apps. On the iPad it’s the other way round. I write about it in detail in my #iPadOnly book.

Do you measure your productivity? If so, how do you do it, and what is your metric?

It’s mainly the amount of good focused hours per week. I use an “un-schedule” technique where I write everything I have fixed to do this week (appointments, meetings, etc) and fill out the missing blanks with focused hours as much as I can. It’s great for me to have 4-5 focused and productive hours each day.

What do you think the next productivity trend will be?

The apps will be smarter – they will be able to tell us what it is we should be doing now. This is coming and at Nozbe we’re getting ready for it. First step is the all platform support. This is where Nozbe already is… But next will come the “smarts”. I’m really excited about it. ;-)

You can learn more about Michael Sliwinski through his website, and be sure to follow him on Twitter, too.

 


Interview with Clare Evans

December 11, 2013

What projects are you involved in?

I mainly work 1:1 with clients over the phone from all around the world, so these take up a good chunk of my week. I’m also re-writing my online time management course to provide more user interaction and a more personal experience. I’m also in the process of writing two books.

How did you get interested in productivity? 

When I started my own business I realised that there were a lot of people out there who didn’t know how to make the best use of their time and how to organise themselves effectively – something that I pretty much took for granted.

How many meetings do you normally have each week? 

I’m not heavily focused on meetings. I have between 6-8 1:1 client calls/meetings each week, 1-2 networking meetings each month.

What are some of your favorite productivity tips/apps? 

I love apps like FocusBoosterapp.com or Pomodoro.me which enable you to focus better and work in short bursts of 25-30 minutes. Also my one top tip is to plan your day. Just 5-10 minutes can make a real difference to how much you can achieve. Focus on what’s important, prioritise your tasks and work towards your goals.

What’s the most recent adjustment that you’ve made to your personal productivity routine? 

Well, I was recently diagnosed and I’m being treated for cancer. So this has meant a major adjustment to my own work routine and way of working. I have more time to focus on my health and social life as I step back a bit from work. I’m still working with clients but in shorter bursts as my energy levels permit. It makes it even more important to focus on the priority tasks in the now more limited work time I have. I enjoy my work so I’ll continue with it for as long as possible while I’m going through chemo and radiotherapy.

Do you measure your productivity? If so, how do you do it, and what is your metric? 

On a detailed level – not anymore. I’ve used Rescue Time to monitor my computer/online activity in the past and recommended it to clients. I use time logging with clients to help them measure productivity. I set goals each year and use those to measure my productivity and results. These break down in to my monthly and weekly activity which I also monitor. I love using checklists and worksheets to track my activity, so I enjoy seeing the totals add up each week and compare results across the month and year.

What do you think the next productivity trend will be? 

We’re already shifting to the importance of stress management and work life balance in our daily lives and I think this will continue to grow – despite people being pushed to do more and more work in less and less time. It’s not the most productive way to work.

People want more control over their lives, so there may be even more a shift to flexible work patterns and working from places other than the traditional office – for both individuals and corporates. Technology is helping us to work anywhere and with the tools available makes it easier (sometimes) to share our workload and keep track, although technology can sometimes be more of a master than a slave.

You can learn more about Clare Evans through her website, and be sure to follow her on Twitter, too.

 


Interview with Claire Burge

December 9, 2013

Claire BurgeWhat projects are you involved in?

I head up the international company Get Organised in Ireland. My business partner Tracey Foulkes is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Together we started a spin out company called Sorted Circus which will be launching early next year. Both Get Organised and Sorted Circus are productivity companies. We help people work smarter through training and productivity apps. I am also a food photographer, author of a book about creativity and a regular productivity blogger. Oh I definitely can’t leave out the downhill mountain biking … that’s the part that keeps me sane and highly energised.

How did you get interested in productivity?

It’s not so much that I became interested in productivity. Rather it is something that I just practice naturally and I realised others were interested in it. I really love systems and understanding the in-between from the starting point to the end goal.

How many meetings do you normally have each week?

I have a minimum of 5 sales meetings every week and at least two networking meetings with various groups that I belong to.

What are some of your favorite productivity tips/apps?

My favourite apps are:

  • Wunderlist
  • TeamworkPM
  • idonethis
  • Google Drive
  • Sprout Social
  • OnePageCRM
  • Billfaster
  • RescueTime

And of course … Doodle without being biased ;) I have been using Doodle since late 2008.

My favourite tips are:

1. Only use email for inbound sales related communication.
2. Use team and project management tools (social tools) to manage your teams and clients.
3. Never check email before you have completed at least two tasks that require a lot of mental effort and that are directly related to the bottom line of your business or the company you work for. This is a rule that I apply every day.
4. Have a master list and a daily list.
5. Start working towards living an email free life.
6. Take one day of every week off. And I mean completely unplug for that day.
7. Have a goal wall with filter words on it. 

What’s the most recent adjustment that you’ve made to your personal productivity routine?

I started playing volleyball again and I committed to reading a poem a day. Exercise has always been vital to my mental sharpness but I wanted to move back into a team sport that allowed me to strategise as well. Volleyball does both those things. Reading a poem a day is teaching me to understand things conceptually but to verbalise them in summarised ways.

Do you measure your productivity? If so, how do you do it, and what is your metric?

I most definitely do. I use RescueTime to do this. RescueTime allows you to categorise productive and non productive activities. It then measures you and gives you a weekly productivity score.

Another key metric that I use, because I am a business owner, is 5 sales meetings and 3 proposals every week. If I am reaching those two goals every week, I know that the business is headed in the right direction. For people who do not run businesses, I would say it is important to ensure that every day you are doing two things that relate directly to becoming better at what you are paid to do. In other words: add worth where it really matters.

What do you think the next productivity trend will be?

Great question. I think there are two trends that are unfolding in parallel.

The next big trend directly related to productivity is wellness. Corporate Wellness has been confined to health and a little bit of mental wellbeing to date but employers are slowly starting to realise that taking that approach is a very limited view. Productivity is about mental and physical wellbeing as well as the ability to work smart. Functioning productively is something everyone can do. It is a skill that can be learnt, but people need to be taught. This is where Productivity Wellness Programmes come in and this is exactly why we have developed Sorted Circus for our corporate clients who want to fill this gap for their clients.

The second trend that I see unfolding is the reality that creativity is becoming more and more critical as a skill in the workplace. We are facing a future we couldn’t have predicted 10 years ago which has resulted in jobs, careers and challenges no one knew would exist just three or so years ago. In order to be truly productive, you also need to be highly creative. Creativity is also a skill that can be learnt.

 

Author and business owner Claire Burge heads up the international productivity companies Get Organised and Sorted Circus. Both Get Organised and Sorted Circus’ primary goals are to help people work smarter and to keep them accountable. Claire’s industrial psychology background gives her a deep understanding of the workplace and how humans function optimally within it. Her serial business experience in various industries gives her a deep understanding of the challenges of day-to-day business management. Straight talking, solution-finding, productivity nerd and very tech-savvy are some of the terms most widely used to describe her. Connect with her on http://www.claireburge.com.


Interview with Stacey Vulakh

December 6, 2013

Stacey VulakhWhat projects are you involved in?

Professionally, I’m about to undertake a rebrand of my website and public profile. Business is always shifting and my goal is to ensure my web and social presence accurately reflects who I help and what I do.

I’m also involved in a few business community projects that are ongoing. One of which, a silent auction for a women’s professional organization called Women In Consulting.

Personally, I’m gearing up for autumnal projects including planning my children’s 4th birthday party and Halloween, an upcoming trip to Disneyland, Thanksgiving, and of course, Christmas.

The details of the holiday season combined with entertaining are numerous but I love project managing.

How did you get interested in productivity?

My interest in productivity is 75% innate and 25% environmental. I do believe we’re born with certain proclivities and organization and productivity just happen to be two of my innate skills.

That being said, about 4 years ago I noticed a big need in the marketplace for time management amenities for professional women. With all the opportunities available and the “have it all” mentality, women are determined and won’t settle for anything less than what they want. Contemporary women want more and the only way to have more of anything is with solid time management and pristine productivity skills.

How many meetings do you normally have each week?

With clients, networking events, social meet-ups, and community involvement I limit my meetings to between 12-15 per week. Any more and I’m unable to adequately tend to daily business and personal needs.

What are some of your favorite productivity tips/apps?

Oh, there are so many…

- Wunderlist for keeping simple, basic lists.
– Evernote for keeping historical lists, blog musings, recipes, and volumes of data. I like to clip and save photos in a “gift idea” folder.
– Getheadspace.com is my new favorite for all things meditation.
– Doodle.com for scheduling. Really, it’s such an easy and effective scheduling tool. I use it personally for girls’ gatherings and professionally for meetings.
– Pocket is great for saving web pages to read later. It syncs across all devices so when you have a moment to read, all your clippings are in one place.

What’s the most recent adjustment that you’ve made to your personal productivity routine?

By far, the most impactful recent adjustment I’ve made is to begin meditating on a regular basis. Immediately following the first ten-minute session, I felt more clear and alert and my surroundings appeared to be in vivid color. I love the feeling of being refreshed and calm.

Do you measure your productivity? If so, how do you do it, and what is your metric?

This may sound silly but the most significant barometer is how I’m feeling. I know when my work has been productive vs. “busy” or ineffective. There’s a spring to my step and a momentum that carries me forward when I’m in flow and highly productive.

From a more technical standpoint, I’m part of a mastermind group that meets monthly. Knowing I need to provide an update and be held accountable is often the impetus for getting me to move on a specific project.

Additionally, seeing a crossed off to-do list can be effective, too, provided the tasks were significant and meaningful.

What do you think the next productivity trend will be?

That’s a good question…imagine how much more productive we’d be if we knew what the future is bringing…

You can learn more about Stacey Vulakh through her website, and be sure to follow her on Twitter, too.

 


Interview with Tara Rodden Robinson

December 4, 2013

Tara Rodden RobinsonWhat projects are you involved in?

Currently, I’m hard at work writing a book. The Sexy + Soul-full Woman’s Guide to Productivity is aimed at helping women to do more of what they love. For this, they need certain skills in managing all the other demands they face to make time, space, and other resources available for being creative, passionate, artistic, spontaneous, generous, and whatever it is that their hearts are calling for them to be. At midlife, women naturally begin to ask themselves: “What do I want?” and place much greater importance on realizing, or at least pursuing, their own deepest inclinations. The Sexy + Soul-full Woman’s Guide to Productivity is intended to help them do just that.

In addition, I just launched a new podcast–a talk show style program called The Tara Show. The show is a unique blend of conversation, stories, and sound. I, along with my regular contributors and guests, explore topics ranging from leadership, sports, personal productivity, spiritual growth, and much more. You can hear it by visiting https://soundcloud.com/thetarashow.

How did you get interested in productivity?

Through my own desperation! I was overwhelmed with all the demands on my time and needed help. I discovered David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done, and after a couple of false starts, learned how to practice his methods. It saved my life!

How many meetings do you normally have each week?

It varies. I try to keep some days completely meeting free so I can have big chunks of interrupted time. I also attempt to clump meetings together on one or two days. On average, I’ve got three to seven meetings a week.

What are some of your favorite productivity tips/apps?

I use Remember the Milk to manage my tasks and I depend on Evernote for practically everything else. I’m a Mac user so I use iCal and the other native Apple apps for contacts, email, and the like.

What’s the most recent adjustment that you’ve made to your personal productivity routine?

How I start my day is incredibly important to me. There are a number of actions that if I don’t get them done early, they often don’t get done at all–like walking the dog and practicing yoga. And I hate feeling rushed! So if I’m going to get all my “chores” done before I start work, I have to be very well organized. I sat down and thought through what I wanted to do, what order made the most sense to do things in, and when I wanted to get to work–from there, I worked backwards to determine what time to get up. By taking the time to think things through, I move at a pace that feels relaxed, yet gets me out the door at the right time.

Do you measure your productivity? If so, how do you do it, and what is your metric?

Yes and no. I pay attention to completion. For example, I recently completed a significant work of art: a mosaic that was given as a gift to my church. From the inception of the project to its completion was a rather long journey and when making art, it’s not about checking off tasks so much as reaching milestones in the creation of the work. By staying focused on completing milestones, I was much more attentive to the process and less on product. And that worked very well for me.

Now, in writing my book, I’m using a similar approach. When a project is large and rather amorphous, a product mentality just doesn’t work. What would I put on my task list: “Write book?” No, it’s more about being involved, meeting milestones, and putting together small actions of completion that add up to a larger completion later.

Frankly, I’m wary of productivity metrics. In my view, personal productivity is really about two things–neither of which are measurable and both of which are of inestimable value: reliability and freedom. I practice task and time management so I can follow through on commitments and promises to myself and others–that’s reliability. And I practice productivity so I can have the freedom to do more of what I love with the people I love. Both of these are about relationships–which is all we have, in the end. When we’re old and gray, it’s our family and friends that will matter most, not how many times we got to inbox zero.

What do you think the next productivity trend will be?

Two things. First, social technologies are going to change the way teams work together and how people manage tasks. For example, with new “Twitter-like” communications tools, email will be less and less important as a way of delegating actions and making requests. These new tools require the sender to break action items out from each other, meaning that the sender does a lot more thinking about what’s really needed and does some of the processing that used to be done by the recipient. I predict that this will change the way people work together dramatically by clarifying requests and making follow through more transparent.

Second, there is a significant move toward more “compassionate management.” This more humane and human way of treating employees is long overdue. Younger employees value meaning and purpose, along with autonomy, far more highly than workers of the past. I believe when managers treat people with compassion, workers will experience being valued and appreciated which will motivate them to be organizational citizens: caring, engaged, helpful, collaborative–people who bring their heads, hearts, and hands to work. And that, in my view, is highly productive.

Tara Rodden Robinson is an executive productivity coach, author, and artist. You can learn more about her by visiting her website: http://tararobinson.com/


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