The Switch-over

newdoodle

It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies. From its start over ten years ago, Doodle has grown into one of the most popular scheduling tools worldwide, with millions of users and millions of polls created every month. If you meander through the memories in our blog, you’ll notice there’s been a lot of changes over the years, most recently with the launch of our redesign. The redesign brings effortless poll creation and management, as well as a fresh modern look.   

But now it’s time for the grand switch-over. From October 19th, 2017, the old version of the site will be retired, and the new redesigned version of Doodle will continue on as the official version. It’s time to crack a bottle of champagne on the hull and let it set sail.   

gaelle-marcel-357627

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Features

Doodle is the simplest way to find a time for a meeting or an event. First you create a poll with all the options you like, then you send it out to your friends or colleagues. They vote, and in minutes you have the time that best suits everyone’s busy schedules.

Based on feedback from our millions of users, we’ve refined the core features of Doodle and improved the process of poll creation and management. Now, you can set up a poll in only three quick steps. We’ve also polished the time-picker, and combined both date and time selection into the same page. In a snap, your poll is finished and you’ve sent out your invites.

Managing polls is just as easy as it’s ever been with new version. There’s one intuitive menu at the top of the page where you can find everything you need. Want to add another date or make it a hidden poll? A few clicks and your poll is updated and upgraded. As the votes come in, Doodle automatically highlights the best option with a star, so you can find it with a glance and set the date.

Doodle offers a direct calendar connection, so that the final option appears in your calendar automatically. It’s also easy to recognize scheduling conflicts when creating and participating in polls.   

step 2

Premium Doodle

Doodle offers several plans full of advanced features specifically designed for business professionals and teams.

With a Premium plan you’ll be able to send out private polls, with their own individual links, ensuring that only those you’ve specifically invited can participate in your poll.

This is also necessary to employ the Doodle’s handy ‘who is missing?’ feature that allows you to quickly view who has and who hasn’t participated in your poll. And what if you’re missing a few participants? With Premium Doodle you’ll be able to quickly see who you’ve invited to the poll and send out reminders directly to your participants encouraging them to make their selection before the poll closes. Premium business users can include a company logo or background and send out their polls without the ads, ensuring that their polls have a more professional quality.  

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 11.56.17 AM

Even more to come  

First we improved poll creation and management by streamlining the process to make it even more user-friendly. Next up is adding a little shine and design to the dashboard and improving the login and sign-up processes. We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of Doodle as much as we do. Keep your eyes peeled for the new developments on the way.    

Doodle, Meekan, and the future

For those of you who aren’t already in the know, Meekan is the world’s smartest AI scheduling assistant. A short while ago, we were happy to welcome Meekan into the Doodle family, and since then we’ve been working on some exciting things. You can read more about the beginning of this great relationship here. Together, Doodle and Meekan are the future of scheduling.

meekanbydoodle

What can Meekan already do?

Meekan can connect everyone’s calendars, and propose the best times to meet, all through a simple chat interface. Meekan learns about your schedule and the times you regularly meet with certain people, and then proposes the best times to meet. He also knows your routine so he won’t schedule anything too early or too late. And it’s not just you either, Meekan will do the best to make your whole team happy, already knowing and learning everyone else’s schedules. You can chat with Meekan over Slack, Microsoft teams, or Hipchat and he’ll do the rest by suggesting the best, and other possible times to meet. Sound good? It’s simple to get started.

It’s already so easy to have Meekan schedule your meetings. Did you know it’s also just as easy to move meetings around or reschedule? Find yourself in traffic on the day of a morning meeting?  No sweat, just ask Meekan to push the it back 15 minutes to account for the delay, and he’ll send out emails to let everyone know.

meekan2

Scheduling and more   

In the future, even more will be possible and Meekan’s capabilities will stretch beyond organizing meetings. He’s already great at finding when you can meet, but soon he might also find where you can meet. Let’s do a thought experiment together shall we?  Imagine you need to book a meeting with your 15-person team and ample meeting space in your office is a hot commodity. You can simply say “Meekan, let’s get the team together next week.” In seconds, Meekan finds the optimum time for everyone to meet, and books an empty conference room. Matty Mariansky of Meekan is confident about the future, “We want him to do everything that an office manager can do. Taxis, buses, new office supplies. Order pizza bot to bot. ‘Send the humans some pizza,’ he’ll say.”

Doodle and Meekan, unified

How many ways can you schedule a meeting? For the moment, 7000 and counting. That’s how many ways Meekan has learned that you need to find time for a meeting. And this number is growing every day. The next big step is a unification of the brains of Meekan with the simplicity of Doodle. Think about the scheduling tool you already know and love, with the brains of the sharpest AI chatbot in the world. Take a moment to imagine how simple and effortless scheduling will become when your robot assistant already knows your desires at almost the second you realize them, and has the ability to carry them out. We’ve got some important developments coming, and we’re almost ready to announce them. For the moment, take a second to dwell on the fact that science fiction isn’t as far away from reality as we think, and it’ll make work a whole lot easier.  

The best Travel Apps in 2017

May we introduce you to our #DoodlerOfTheMonth in August Turner Barr, who is working his way around the world. Traveling across the world he has been using different apps that simplified his organization radically. Doodle’s definitely been one of his secret weapons to easily catch up with people around the world:

alex-vasey-225633.jpg

With smartphones and tablets and readily available Internet everywhere these days, travel has never been easier. Don’t get me wrong, you still have to worry about stepping in a puddle and being run over by a tuk-tuk whilst abroad, but by and large, there is an app that solves many of your travel woes before you even step foot on a plane. Part of me misses the glory days of lugging around a huge guidebook and looking like a helpless puppy in the street looking for accommodation, but then I snap back into reality and realize how much more time I get in a hammock or sipping piña coladas.

Below is my list of go-to travel apps that I have personally road tested. Most are free, some are paid, but having them and the peace of mind is well worth it.

Travel Planning Apps

TripIt
(FREE or $.99)
TripIt is a great tool for keeping yourself organized. You can organize departure times, booking codes, etc. To make it happen, all you do it forward you info to plans@tripit.com and they organize it all for you in one place. The Pro version includes reminders and flight status alert features.

Doodle
(FREE or Premium Plans)
Are you tired of the constant back and forth debate in email chains or WhatsApp messages? Doodle’s got your back. Doodle solves this problem by allowing you to get the date/time in a diary form with one message. All you have to do is suggest the possible date with the app, email or iMessage, and Doodle allows participants to vote. You can also run polls, which is a great way to create democracy instead of anarchy with loved ones.

Accommodation Booking Apps

Hotels.com
(FREE)
I have used hotels.com all over the world and scored some amazing minute deals. They even have a program that gives you the 10th stay free.

Priceline.com
(FREE)
Like hotels.com, Priceline offers some amazing hotels with great discounts. Likewise, they have some price matching guarantees that give you peace of mind.

Booking.com
(FREE)
Offers some cheaper hotel options that the former apps. You don’t have to pay ahead of time usually.

HostelWorld.com
(FREE)
The go to apps for finding hostels around the world. This puppy has made budget travel an entirely different beast by letting you reserve without headaches.

AirBnB.com 
(FREE)
One of the biggest travel game changers by making a category (VRBO) more accessible. I have stayed in some incredible places for a fraction of what a hotel would be. Live like a local.

kendra-kamp-285218.jpg

Flight Booking Apps

SkyScanner.
(FREE)
Probably the biggest flight comparison site out there. This aggregator allows you to find the cheapest flights out there by looing at a whole month at a time to find the cheapest dates.

Hopper
(FREE)
A wonderful little app for those who are looking for historical prices and figuring what is a good and what isn’t a good deal. Lifesaver.

 

Flight Tracker Apps

FlightRadar24
(FREE or FlightRadar24Pro $2.99)
More interesting than a must, you can live the life of an air traffic controller with this app. You can see live air traffic feeds from around the world and airplanes in real time on maps. Provides flight statuses, departures and arrival times.

 

Translator

iTranslate
(FREE, used to be $10)
I can’t tell you how many cab rides this one has saved me on before the days of Uber. Still a great way to talk to locals. Surprisingly accurate.

Currency Converter
(FREE)
Everyone needs a way to figure out you aren’t overspending on the vacay. This one is one of the main converters.

 

Maps

Google Maps
(FREE)
The standard bearer gets better and better. The public transport info with cities that have metros make it one of my favorite travel apps on the list.

WAZE
(FREE)
Great mapping app that is better at finding how to reduce your drive time and to find police and accidents on the road.

 

Food

YELP
(FREE)
More USA-centric, but one of the biggest restaurant review apps. Nothing spoils a night out more than a bad meal. YELP comes to the rescue.

aidan-meyer-153631.jpg

TripAdvisor
(FREE)
From activities to restaurants, TripAdvisor is the go-to app for figuring out what is a must see and worth a miss when traveling overseas. It is also really great at finding restaurants abroad more than YELP.

Taxis

Uber
(FREE)
You would have to be living under rock not to have Uber’d before. Some countries have outlawed them, but have their own, domestic versions. I have used it all over the world and it is super convenient to find a trusty ride in a world with some sketchy cabbies. If Uber is unavailable, it is usually worth downloading the local version.

 

Call Messaging Apps

WhatsApp
(FREE)
The most famous texting app and gold standard. Great way to connect with locals as everyone seems to have it.

Viber
(FREE)
Not as big as WhatsApp, but also has a voice feature. Comes in handy.

Skype
(FREE)
The original voice app. While calling home has gotten a lot cheaper, it still gives peace of mind calling from Skype and knowing the rates will be reasonable.

About the Author:
Turner-Street-Sales-in-Rome.jpg

 

Turner Barr is an American travel blogger and novel experience enthusiast. When he isn’t eating weird food in strange faraway lands or dishing out dating advice, he chronicles taking on odd jobs around the world on his blog – Around the World in 80 Jobs.

Doodle beta continues improving

We are thrilled to announce some new enhancements to the beta version of Doodle which have been released yesterday. Invites via email and some significant performance improvements continue to make Doodle even faster and better. Head over to beta.doodle.com and directly try out the latest version yourself!

Doodle has been providing a simple and easy way to decide on dates, places and in fact almost anything for over ten years and is in the process of moving to a newly redesigned version. Whilst giving Doodle a new look we are also improving on the tasks people perform most often when on our site, making them even quicker and easier.

Invite participants via email

After creating a poll, you can now invite participants directly via their email addresses.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 16.01.44

In addition to typing email addresses, you can also copy and paste a list of emails. If you share your poll via email with more than one person, make sure to separate the addresses with commas or new lines.

Step by step to a faster Doodle 

When you create or participate in a poll , the first page loads over a second quicker (more in some cases) than it did before. Our goal is to make Doodle so fast that you don’t even notice any loading – we’re not quite there yet, but this is a big step in the right direction.

We are continuously improving our beta Doodle. Head over to beta.doodle.com to check our out latest enhancements yourself. If you have any feedback, comments or suggestions, don’t hesitate to mail us at jule@doodle.com.

Doodle wishes you Happy Scheduling! 📧 😃

How to Plan a Backpacking Trip Through Europe

With summer upon us, it’s not too late to start planning your Europe backpacking journey with your friends. Organizing, especially amongst a group of friends, can be a pain. With so many countries, places, and bars to see across Europe with so little time, it can be a nightmare planning it all.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your backpacking adventure…

 IMG_7849

Planning your dates – With a continent to explore and everyone one of your friends having a different idea about what to see and do, Doodle can help you plan your travel schedule together. Doodle simplifies the process of agreeing on a date and time for a holiday with friends or family members cutting out the endless WhatsApp chats. Simply suggest the possible dates, send to the participants via the app, email or iMessage and then let them instantly vote on which options work for them. Doodle will do the rest, confirming the best time for everyone. The best times to travel in Europe are in the shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn since European cities in the summertime can be packed tourists and cruise guests.

Transport – Getting around Europe can be a breeze, from cheap discount airlines like Ryanair offering £10 flights to bus companies such as Flixbus offering €5 bus fares between cities. Europe has it all. Despite the number of options, planning ahead will save you lots of money as fares in the summer can shoot up quickly last minute, especially if all your friends voted with Doodle on going to La Tomatina. Make sure to tackle landing cheap tickets as soon as possible so you avoid paying over-the-odds for transportation. Train travel is a great way to travel around Europe since you can purchase a Eurail pass that will allow you to travel to multiple countries using the one, global pass.

Festivals – No summer backpacking journey to Europe would be complete without attending one of Europe’s many festivals. From the world famous music festivals such as Tomorrowland to Spanish cultural festivals such as Las Fallas and Running of the Bulls – there is a festival in Europe for every occasion. But before diving head first into a festival, it is important to pack the proper gear. For example, if you plan to head to Oktoberfest in Munich, make sure you don’t forget to pack the lederhosen, or you will miss out on half the fun!

Budget – While running out of money happens to some, it is not in the life of Doodlers. Before you leave on your trip with your friends it is important to hash out your travel priorities, because there is nothing worse than getting to Paris than finding out you can’t afford to see any of its amazing museums. At the same time, while saving on accommodation can increase the longevity of your journey, don’t be afraid to splash out every now and then on experiences that you will never forget. Create a budget to stick to, and make use of apps such as Venmo or Splitwise to help you split your costs fairly.

Accommodation – There are many ways you can save money on accommodation, such as staying in hostels or booking an apartment on AirBnB and splitting the costs. Apartment shares are actually a great way to save money when you’re travelling in a group since you can buy groceries at the supermarket and cook your own meals at home.

Backpacking with your friends around Europe can be a life-changing experience that you’ll never forget. With the correct planning and communication with your friends, you can have an incredible journey. There may be a few unforeseen hiccups along the way, no doubt, but that is part of the entire travel experience.

 

About the Author

Victoria Brewood is owner of Life Hacks and Tips – a site offering life hacking tips for every situation. She has been travelling the world since 2008, visiting over 50 countries including Madagascar, Iceland and Japan to name just a few. Victoria’s favourite countries to backpack in Europe are Portugal and Montenegro.

On the Cutting Edge: Android Instant Apps at Doodle

Get your mobile out – at least if it runs on Android – and look what we’ve got for you! We are among the first ones Google allowed to implement the new Android Instant App feature. It’s now available for all our Android users!

Google’s Android Instant App technology was introduced last year. It enables you to use certain parts of a native App without having to download it. We’ve been testing the beta version during the last couple of months and now we have it live for you. Give it a spin!

If you happen to be reading this article on your Android phone, try it out immediately by clicking on the following link: https://doodle.com/create

What advantages do I have with the Instant App?

You will immediately notice the improved usability. While mobile websites look the same for both Android and the iPhone, Instant Apps were developed specifically for Android and deliver the same native app experience. It features both the natural interaction elements of a real Android App and its high performance.

That means that even if you’re reluctant to download our app (actually, why would you…?), you can still create polls with the great user experience of a native App. This makes creating polls on your phone even easier!

Last week Google used the Doodle app as a use case and introduced it live on stage at their massive Google I/O developer conference in California. So: we’re again on the cutting edge of implementing new mobile technologies and we’re super proud of our Android development team.

Don’t be sad iPhone users, there are some cool things in our pipeline for you as well 😉

Seek and ye shall find 🐣🐰

easter fb post_EN_header.png

Dear Doodlers

The days are getting longer, the streets are lined with blooming trees and the shy, warm sun announces the long-awaited, coming spring – Easter weekend, come at us!

Or maybe not that fast? Are dates, places, food and beverages set yet? Is everyone in the loop? Who will be bringing what? Stay calm and doodle. Whoever’s still in search of an overview, will find one easily with Doodle. And the foundations have been laid for the actual egg hunt and a relaxing, fun weekend!

Doodle wishes everyone Happy Easter and a relaxing holiday with family and friends.

easter fb post_EN_footer.png