Category Archives: Premium Doodle

Investment in Calendar Tools – Tamedia and Doodle Talk Strategy

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Tilman Eberle (VP Marketing at Doodle AG) talks to Samuel Hügli (CTO & Head of Ventures at Tamedia) and Gabriele Ottino (Managing Director at Doodle AG) about the future and the global expansion of Doodle. The aim is to break the 500 million user mark in the coming years while developing an attractive paid product.

Tilman: How important is Doodle to Tamedia, Switzerland’s biggest publishing house?

Samuel: Doodle is important to Tamedia on several levels. The tool is already being used by an enormous number of people – 200 million per year, to be precise. And Doodle is no longer just a leisure tool, which was its original purpose. Instead, it has become essential in many businesses.

“We believe Doodle has enormous growth potential.”

My assistant, for example, could no longer imagine life without Doodle, as it would take her so much longer to organize everything. And millions of professionals worldwide feel the same. Last but not least, Doodle is the only global brand in Tamedia’s portfolio.

All in all, we believe Doodle has enormous growth potential, particularly in terms of the number of users, new areas of application due to additional functions, and the overall value of the company.

Tilman: In what ways is Doodle’s international orientation evident?

Samuel: It starts with the team: Doodle has offices in Zurich, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Belgrade. As a result, there is a multicultural climate within the company, which is something we fully support.

“Our product development team is like a think-tank.”

I believe the Doodle team is special, not least because we combine many different ways of thinking. We receive frequent feedback from Berlin and Tel Aviv, which provides us with insights that we would never have gained by ourselves. This is a huge benefit to us. Personally, I believe that our product development team is like an international think-tank. And that’s important. After all, our users are also based in different parts of the world.

In Switzerland, Doodle is known and used by almost the entire internet population. But there are now many more users abroad than in the domestic market. However, there are some big differences between the countries, and not just in terms of the number of users; for example, we believe the US market is much more receptive to professional paid services. These insights will also help us with the internationalization of Tamedia as a whole.

Tilman: What plans are in place for Doodle over the coming years?

Gabriele: We will gradually increase the number of features that Doodle offers, in particular for professional users. Consequently, the tool will meet more and more application requirements for daily office life. Doodle already offers appointment scheduling in small and large groups, as well as text polls. Furthermore, calendar integration makes it possible to synchronize appointments and invite participants directly from the calendar.

“Things will start to get really exciting in product development in the coming months.”

Premium Doodle offers reminder functions and branding for companies, MeetMe supports 1:1 meetings, and the intelligent chatbot Meekan assists Slack and Microsoft teams. All these areas will become really exciting in the coming months and years.

Samuel: At the same time, we are aiming for massive growth and have set ourselves the target of reaching 500 million people with the tool in the next few years. This will also see us invest heavily in a new Premium Doodle tier alongside the free offering. Doodle is in the midst of transformation: from a media platform funded by third parties via advertising to an SaaS platform paid for directly by users. But users of the free module needn’t worry: the basic functions of Doodle will always be free of charge.

“We want to reach more than 500 million people per year with Doodle in the next few years.”

Tilman: How does Tamedia support Doodle financially?

Samuel: We have recently agreed to invest in Doodle on the basis of an ambitious and strategic growth and development plan. This shows just how much faith we have in its potential. We’re looking forward to the results.

Tamedia is taking a calculated entrepreneurial risk here – one look at our overall portfolio clearly shows that we are trying to break new ground with Doodle.

Tilman: What will the developments mean for Doodle?

Samuel: Doodle will experience dynamic growth and development at all three locations. This will be followed by further exciting moves. We want to take this opportunity to show that the time is right for paid use of productivity tools. And we are not the only ones who think so: Monday, Atlassian, Dropbox and Evernote have gone down the same route.

“We are proud that every single person at Doodle is able to make a real contribution.”

Gabriele: We have also managed to fill some key positions in recent weeks: Jack is responsible for the product in the role of CPO, and Jens manages our engineering team as CTO.  At the same time, we are expanding the data analytics and engineering teams considerably. We are fortunate to have so many top-quality candidates to choose from. And we are proud that people are able to make a real contribution at Doodle, instead of being just a small cog in a big corporate machine.

Tilman: How does this benefit Doodle users?

Gabriele: Users benefit from increasingly efficient functions for organizing meetings. Of particular importance are the modules based on artificial intelligence from our subsidiary Meekan in Israel, which can be used to schedule appointments much more quickly and easily. We call this ‘smart scheduling’. Users can choose between different solutions, all of which are geared towards making it easier to plan, create, and hold meetings.

“Calendar automation also opens up a vast array of possibilities for new applications!”

We, along with more than 10,000 users per day, use the Meekan solution for smart scheduling. It never ceases to amaze us how quickly and cleverly the bot finds the best time slot for a meeting. This opens up a vast array of possibilities for new applications, especially with regard to automated calendar management and the personalization of suggested time slots.

Samuel: The more than 200 million satisfied users – many of whom are real fans of Doodle – allow us to invest further in the development, design and support of Doodle and Meekan.

Tilman: Sam, you’re in charge of the Technology & Ventures division at Tamedia. Are there any plans to integrate other start-ups into the Tamedia portfolio?

Samuel: In Ventures, we’re always on the lookout for new start-ups. We want to support these companies with our expertise, our network and our financial resources. We are currently planning to invest in the fintech segment in particular.

“Alongside the existing areas, we are currently planning to invest in blockchain start-ups.”

In particular, the blockchain technology that is used at many of these start-ups offers us completely new possibilities as a media company in terms of content sales, licensing and even content packaging with other partners. We want to be on board early, in the hope that one or two of these seedlings will eventually grow into a big tree.

Branding Options for Professionals

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Visualize your company’s branding here…

With Doodle Premium you can customize your polls to best show off your brand or company to your clients and colleagues.

Every poll you create and send out can have your company logo and a background image to add a professional finish to your polling.   

Imagine your polls with ZERO ads and painted with your company’s colors (see above).

How does it work?

You can find the branding options in your account settings at the top of the page. You’ll then see the two options to add images to your polls. Your company logo will replace the Doodle logo on all your polls.

You also have the option to compliment your company logo with a background image. The color of your background image will also be reflected on your poll itself in the border around the table.

Doodle Premium is the most powerful professional scheduling tool around. If you’re not already on board, start your 30-day trial now.

Try it out

UPDATE: Invitation status

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You may have noticed a bit of an upgrade with the Doodle Premium ‘Who is missing’ feature. Not only can you see who you’ve sent your invitations to but you can also check:

Who received the invitation
Who opened the invitation
If there was an issue with delivery

Now that’s quite an upgrade! You can see if your invitations made it where they were going and if your invitees read them.

So how does it work?

When you send your invitations via Doodle (choose ‘Invite Participants’ and select ’email’), you’ll see all the names/emails of your invitees listed on the poll with a sealed little envelope. If that email didn’t get to where it was supposed to go, you’d notice the little envelope will have an exclamation point letting you know. You’ll also notice that once your invitees check the invitations, the envelopes next to their names will be opened!

If your invitees received the invites but haven’t had a chance to participate you can send them a quick reminder message. Use the ‘send reminder’ button at the top of the page.

Doodle Premium is a powerful professional scheduling tool with loads of advanced features. Take a look!

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Doodle at AMP 2018

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Photo by Jace Grandinetti on Unsplash

We’re so excited that our very own Michael Wuergler presented at this year’s AMP conference in Amsterdam.

AMP is an open-source project that aims to make the web better for everyone by creating faster web pages that perform better across all platforms. Most recently, Google has been working to bring the power of this framework to Gmail, and they asked us to develop a few applications for the new prototype.

Now, emails will no longer be static blocks of HTML that age and grow moss in your inbox. With this technology, developers will be able to create engaging, interactive email experiences. Your emails will be more dynamic; they’ll live and change with time. AMP for Email will make it possible for your emails to remain up to date every time you open them.

What does this mean for Doodle?

It means that you could get poll updates directly in your inbox. And I’m not talking about notification emails; I mean that your original admin email will update itself when people make their selections in your poll. You’ll be able to have a running tally of who voted for what in your poll as it’s happening. You could even choose a final date and close the poll right from your inbox. All without opening your browser. Finding a time to meet will be faster and easier with the ability to manage polls from your email.  

We’re waiting for Google to roll out AMP for Email, and then we can move to bring you all our cool AMP related projects.

If you’re interested in AMP and want to see Michael’s presentation you can check out the video below. He starts at about 6:30.

 

Doodle for Teachers and Students

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Doodle is the premier scheduling tool for educators and students.

We get feedback all the time from teachers and professors about how much they love Doodle and how useful it is for them. Here are a few of our favorite tips!

One-to-ones

Lots of teachers and professors use Doodle to schedule one-to-one meetings with their students. It’s simple. Create a poll with all the available 15-30 minute time slots and send it out to your students. You can set a limit on the poll that each option can only be chosen once, so you avoid double bookings. The poll can also be hidden to keep everyone’s names and choices anonymous. Create a Doodle poll and let those one-to-one meetings schedule themselves. If you have recurring meetings, you can just duplicate the poll and reuse the same email addresses. What a time saver!

Classroom voting

If you need to take a classwide poll to find the best day to go on a field trip, for example, you can send out a poll with all the options and let the students decide. If you use the hidden poll feature, you can remove any bias. Date polls are a great way to make decisions collectively.

Teamwork

If everyone needs to get together for group projects, free text polls are the best way to go. Create options like Group 1, 2, etc. and let everyone choose their own. Don’t forget to set limits, so the groups don’t end up too big! You can also print the list, or export it as an excel file, and have all the information down on paper.

These are just a few examples of how Doodle is employed in the classroom. We hope they’ve given you a little inspiration for creative scheduling and polling for the classroom.

How Slack Made Doodle More Productive

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Slack is the premier communication tool for us at Doodle. It’s hard to imagine what work was like before it. Now our workspace is more than just our offices in Zurich, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Belgrade. All of us are connected on another plane, where work, communication and progress, are streamlined. We love Slack for all kinds of reasons, but here are the top 5.

And for all you Doodle fans out there that aren’t already on board with Slack, you can check out a special offer and get started today.

Channels

Slack channels are fundamental to our work. We use channels for everything. A general one with everyone included. Channels for our different teams; backend, design, apps, and so on. We have channels going for relevant tech news and even the weird stuff we stumble across on the web.

But what makes Slack so vital to our productivity as a company is that we create channels whenever a new topic arises. New project or idea? Start a conversation and add the relevant teammates. Inside of 5 minutes, we’ll have more ideas outlined and overall progress than if we’d scheduled a kick-off meeting and had to wait for a conference room.

Remote work

With the Doodle wheels turning in four different offices, we’re no strangers to remote work and conference calls. We use Slack to communicate in threads rather than emailing back and forth all the time, and we also use it for video instead of Skype or Hangouts.

You can use it for one-to-one meetings, or you can invite others to join. Our favorite part is the nifty sketch feature you can use when you share your screen. The sketch feature facilitates a little more back and forth between teammates when you’re presenting or communicating an idea. It’s funny how often you wish you could draw what you mean instead of describing it. Problem solved. 

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Apps

Slack offers hundreds of app integrations. When you can integrate all of the other tools you use on a daily basis with Slack, it becomes something greater than the sum of its parts. 2+2=5 right?

Google Drive – It’s so easy to manage all Google Drive needs from Slack. There’s no need to toggle back to email to approve access requests or find some lost comment notification. I’ll get every update on the documents I’m working right on my desktop.

Desk.com – When a user contacts us with feedback on a new feature, the message is automatically sent to our support channel in Slack. Our product team can have a look at it and discuss the next steps for implementation. There’s never any shortage of great ideas, and this Slack app helps to keep them coming.

Meekan

Our favorite app for Slack gets its own section. Meekan.

Meekan is the world’s smartest AI scheduling assistant. Meekan can connect everyone’s calendars, and propose the best times to meet, all through chat on Slack. Meekan learns your habits and the times you typically meet with certain people and bases its suggestions on that. No more early meetings or anything after 6. And it’s not just you either, Meekan will do its best to make your whole team happy, having already learned everyone’s schedules.

But Meekan can do more than just set meetings. It is your assistant after all. Ask Meekan to edit, reschedule, rename, or move meetings around too. If you’re late to the office, pull up Slack and ask Meekan to push your first meeting back 15 minutes. It’ll send out a notification letting everyone know. You can ask Meekan how many meetings you have tomorrow or next week, and it’ll give you a breakdown of your schedule.

We Doodlers are flying between our offices all the time. To help us out, Meekan can also check the world’s flight database and find the earliest arriving, shortest, and cheapest flights anywhere.  

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Mobile

All of these great features are available on the go with the Slack apps for Android and iOS. The Slack app is a great way to catch up on what I missed yesterday or to get a start on my workday while I’m on my commute. If you need to alert team members, you can tap the @ to bring up a list of teammates and groups. They’ll get a notification that they need to check out a thread or take a look at a document. With the app, it’s just as easy to swipe and set your status to away if you’re not taking your work home with you.

Slack enables us as a company to share our ideas, our creativity and our progress. It also helps us to send cat videos and weird gifs to each other the second we see them.

Here’s a selection from our random Slack channel.  

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Not using Slack? Get started with $100 off by using a special discount from our team at https://try.slack.com/doodle.

Experience the Benefits: Doodle Premium

Curious about what makes Doodle Premium so special?

Here’s a look at all the cool features and benefits.

Who is missing

With Doodle Premium you can easily keep track of who has and who hasn’t participated in your poll. When you send invitations via Doodle (by clicking Invite participants at the top of the page and then ‘email’), you’ll notice that every email address you send the invites to will appear on the bottom of the poll. These email addresses will act as placeholders until your participants make their selections, and then they’ll disappear. With just a glance at your poll, you can easily see who needs to be reminded to participate.

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Send reminders

If you want to send a quick email reminder to those who haven’t participated in your poll, you can do so with one click. Click the ‘Send reminders’ button at the top of the page to view a list of the non-responders. You can edit the list if you like and add a custom message.

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Branding

If you take a look at our Premium plans, you’ll notice that all the business options include customized branding. You can add your logo to your polls as well as a custom background. With Doodle Premium Business plans you add a professional look to all the polls you send out to your clients and your team.

Additional information requests

Additional information requests allow you to acquire more information from your participants when they make their selections in a poll. When your participants save their selections in your poll, you can ask them to provide their email address, phone number, or postal address. It’s a pretty nifty feature if you want to start a contact list for a newsletter (for example) or if you just want to make sure you can get back in touch with everyone after your event.

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User management

You can have Premium Business plans with as many users as you like. If you purchase a Business plan for teams, you’ll be able to add others to your account and them to create polls with all the same Premium benefits. It’s as simple as adding their email address to your user management page here. Then they can see who is missing, send reminders, and add information requests.

Also, keep in mind that all Doodle Premium plans are ad-free! Take a look at our Premium plans.