Doodle Kick-Off – let’s bring people together

Spring is here – for Doodle this is the time for the yearly Kick-Off, to clear our heads and bring some fresh wind into our office.

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The Doodle team on Rigi Kulm, the highest peak of Mount Rigi in Switzerland.

Where do you start when your teams are based in three different countries and you want to bring everyone together? First of all, find a date that suits everyone. Peanuts with Doodle. A few clicks later and the date was set – let’s do this!

The teams from Tel Aviv and Berlin packed their bags and flew to Zurich.

It became a little cozier in our Swiss office. The whole team in one place: counting 35 people, 10 nationalities and feeling like 20 different languages. But one mutual goal in mind: our Retreat Day!

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Our aim was to get out of the office and up in the mountains. For our workshops we rented a location on Mount Rigi. The journey featuring a mountain railway, a wonderful sunrise and a view on snow covered mountains were reason enough to start the day early yet motivated.

But first coffee – afterwards we started our morning with intense power-workshops. When the Engineer meets the Sales Manager and discusses our product… and the Product Manager receives a different view on how to approach our users.. We communicated, interacted, designed, developed, presented and last but not least laughed a lot. Courageous ideas, crazy approaches and one question: What can we improve?

Now it’s all about implementation. It’s going to be an exciting year for everyone!

Who still was in need of some more action had the opportunity to go sledding in the afternoon. Still healthy and well supplied with fresh air we brought the day to a close with a delicious dinner and a couple of beers. Some might correct: got set for the night 😉

Android: Notifications & App Shortcuts

It hasn’t been very long since Google rolled out their annual Android update (7.0). This year we were treated to some sweet Nougat and along with it came some thrilling new features, e.g. improved battery life with Doze on the go, customizable Quick Settings, and  Daydream Virtual Reality.

Here at Doodle, we’re focusing on your productivity so  we were most excited about the new split-screen mode and notifications. We’ve already shown you the very convenient multi-window view, but you might not know about our bundled notifications. With Android Nougat 7.0 we bundle your Doodle notifications per poll so that each notifications can be expanded to give you detailed information on the activity of your poll. On top of this you can use any notification to leave a comment on the fly via Direct Reply.

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Google’s most recent Android update (7.1.1) makes Nougat even sweeter. Pressing and holding an app on the homescreen or inside the app drawer now reveals a list of App Shortcuts. Doing so on the Doodle app allows you to quickly create a new poll. In addition to poll creation shortcuts, we introduced another shortcut that will lead you to your most recently visited poll.

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What do you like most about the Android Nougat update? Leave us a comment below if you would like to see something else in our Doodle app!

Increase your productivity with Android 7.0 Nougat and the multi-window view

Doodle apps are always kept up-to-date! Before the official release of the Android 7.0 Nougat, we’ve been working really hard to support all the major features within our Doodle Android app.

One of these features is the ability to run more than one app at a time on screen. After the multi-window view is activated, you can switch back and forth between different apps without even closing Doodle. The user interface adjusts automatically to the screen size and shows as much content as possible. To activate this new feature, long-press the Recent Apps key with an app already open.

This is useful, for example, if you are in your Doodle poll and want to take a quick look at the event location to view nearby restaurants/undergrounds. You could also check the travel time from your position to the venue. Furthermore, you can even keep the poll open while you chat with your poll participants about the public transit schedule. Or why not watch a music video at the same time?

Go to this website to read everything about the newest Android 7.0 functions in detail.

What do you like most about the newest Android update? Leave us a comment below if you’d like to see something else in our Doodle app! Make a suggestion to be considered to win a year of our Premium service.

Alexander Thiele & The Doodle Team

How to Oktoberfest with Doodle

Over 200 years of tradition continues this weekend in Munich, and it’s not too late to start planning! Organizing your Oktoberfest plans is a piece of cake with Doodle.  Create a poll, invite all of your favorite Volksfest enthusiasts, and find the best date to meet.  The whole event starts on September 16th with the hosts tapping the first barrel, and runs through October 3rd.  There’s plenty of time to catch the festivities when everyone can attend.  Using Doodle, it’s easy to keep track of who can come and when.   

Oktoberfest in Munich

Oktoberfest in Munich

Here are a few other things to keep in mind… 

Hugeness – With millions of visitors every year, and the whole Theresienwiese grounds being as massive as they are, you can lose your mates in a blink.  So pick a spot to meet and stick to it!  There are so many tents, large and small, but the biggest is Winzerer Fähndl, which boasts seating for almost 8,500 people (inside!).  The 13 other large tents are of near-comparable size.  Most of the attendees are coming from Bavaria, but a large percentage are visiting from other EU countries or from overseas.       

Food – Traditionally, only local brews are allowed to be tapped and sold at the festival, but there’s much more than Paulaner (and 5 others) to be enjoyed.  We’re talking about all of the amazing Bavarian cuisine available to accompany the brew.  Aside from Schweinshaxe, a pork knuckle that’s marinated and roasted until the skin gets all crispy and delicious, there’s weisswurst (white sausage), roast chicken, pretzels, spaetzle (like mac and cheese), and much more.  Don’t forget to hit up the money machine beforehand, it’s cash only in the tents!   

Travel and Safety – It’s not really recommended to drive to the Wiese by car, because parking can be a bit of a nightmare.  No worries though, the grounds are easily accessed by public transit.   Once you arrive at the gates be prepared for a security check.  Everyone gets checked before coming in, and due to a recent ban, no big bags or backpacks are allowed beyond the gates.  Safety is taken very seriously; at the busiest times of the festival, there can be up to 450 security officials on duty (and some in plainclothes).  Best to avoid conflict with drunkies and keep an eye on your possessions anyhow!   

Have the best time at Oktoberfest!

– Your friends at Doodle

We proudly present: our new Doodle iMessage App for iOS 10

Scheduling a meeting or activity with a group of people can involve a lot of back-and-forth communication that ends up complicating the planning process. With Doodle’s iMessage app, you just select some possible dates for an event and let the participants vote on which options work best for them. The app also includes templates, which make it easy to create a Doodle poll for specific time periods like this weekend or next week with just one tap. Once the results are in, you can see which time works best for everyone and confirm it.

No accounts are required, and you don’t even have to leave your iMessage conversation to plan and confirm an event! Users of iOS 10 can quickly install and use the app, and users of older versions of iOS can still participate and vote using the usual Doodle link.

Download Doodle for iMessage now 

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We look forward to your feedback!
Your Doodle team

“Hi Meekan!” — Doodle welcomes Meekan, the scheduling assistant chatbot

The Doodle Team is thrilled to announce that the Israel-based startup Meekan is now part of the Doodle family! Meekan’s chatbot supports users as a virtual assistant with easy and fast scheduling — a perfect fit to enhance Doodle’s already powerful online scheduling service.

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Driven thoroughly by artificial intelligence, Meekan acts as a virtual scheduling assistant and is controlled by a conversational interface. In response to a simple request, the chatbot automatically matches up the schedules of all members of a group chat within seconds and proposes prioritized dates. The Meekan chatbot is adaptive and remembers prior preferences and practices of its users to optimally plan and adjust schedules. Unique to this industry, Meekan is 100% driven by artificial intelligence, with no humans involved “behind the curtains”.

Meekan was established in Israel in 2013 by Lior Yavor, Eyal Yavor and Matty Marianksy and has been supported by Hong Kong-based venture capital investor Horizons Ventures up to now. The Meekan scheduler is already in use as a robot assistant in the instant messaging applications of Slack and HipChat.

As members of the Doodle management team, the founders Lior Yavor, Eyal Yavor and Matty Marianksy will continue to be responsible for the development of Meekan. Lior Yavor, CEO of Meekan: “We very much look forward to working with Doodle, a strong international brand with more than 26 million users a month worldwide. With the chatbot feature and other developments, Doodle will still be the first choice for scheduling in the future, both for personal use and for business purposes.”

For further details, please refer to the press release.

 

 

Schedule your workouts with Doodle

Kit_RichAmong other things, Doodle can be used to schedule workouts with other people, and now that we’re in the summer months, many people are starting to pay more attention to their fitness routines.

Because of this, we thought it would be interesting to interview some fitness experts from around the world. Let us start by talking to Pilates Expert Kit Rich from Los Angeles:

What technology do you use during your workouts, and how does it help you?

The only app I use for working out is Strava. I always want to see how far I’ve gone and my pace, stride and sometimes I look at other Strava members runs for inspiration. It helps me because I love the accuracy and the awareness. My method, which you can find online, is all about 3 miles or 30 minutes everyday so Strava helps me figure out how I’m improving within this framework. Here’s a link to understand my method.

When do you like to schedule your workouts?

I always work out in the middle of the day because it’s the only time I usually have a break from clients. Only on weekends can I find time in the morning to workout. 

Canadian Health and Wellness Coach Sophie Gray

Our 2nd interviewee is Sophie Gray from Alberta Canada. You can read more about her and her tipps for getting fit on Way of Gray where she sells online workout programs incorporating full length follow along workout videos. 

WayofGrayKitchen-180Asked about technology she uses during her workouts she answers: ‘I actually simply use my good old iMac Calendar to schedule in my workouts! I find that by scheduling them in, just like I would any other appointment, I am much more likely to stick with them! 

Being self employed, keeping a schedule is incredibly important to me. Each Sunday I schedule my week out, and incorporate the time I’m working out as well!

This way I always make time. I personally workout in the morning, before I get to work! ‘

Thank you Ladies for sharing these insights with us. Scheduling a workout with Doodle is easy, no matter whether you are working out with a fitness coach, or whether you are exercising with a group of friends. More information on current fitness trackers can be found here.