Tag Archives: tips

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 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.

Manage Your Workspace Manage Your Life

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

The Great Debate

People with tidy workspaces are more persistent than their messy peers according to a study by the Harvard Business Review. It may seem that a cluttered desk might make you appear as if you’re working harder, but you could be undermining your own ability to stick to a task. Two groups of students were placed in two different offices, one clean and orderly and the other cluttered and chaotic. The students in the clean office stuck to the directed task for on average 1.5 times longer than the other group. So perhaps your colleague with the empty desk is on to something. When you limit your distractions, you end up getting work done.

But what about the opposite? Does clutter spark creativity? As it turns out, individuals placed in a messy room generated more ideas than those in a tidy room according to a recent study by the Association for Psychological Science. The ideas generated were also deemed more interesting according to neutral judges. Scientist Kathleen Vohs also found that disorderly environments encourage freedom from tradition, which can lead to fresh insights.

Clutter Styles

So which is true? Perhaps both approaches are true simultaneously, lending credence to the concept of ‘clutter styles.’ Whatever the case may be, a tidy desk or a cluttered one, it’s important to understand in which environment you work best, and then take steps to develop a system around it. By recognizing your clutter style, you can identify what you need to do to optimize your productivity. If your piles of papers and books keep you comfortable, then make a space for them. If you need a tidy environment to keep those ideas flowing it’s best to keep those papers and books on the shelf where they belong.

Something to Agree On – Phones Away

As it turns out the presence of your smartphone may occupy some of your limited-capacity cognitive resources which leaves less room for other cognitive processing. If your phone is on the table you could be paying attention to it even when it’s not ringing, and this is preventing you from focusing on the task at hand. The research by Adrian Ward et al. transcends the tidy versus messy debate; putting your phone away is something everyone can do to better stick to the task at hand.

Whether your productivity is enhanced by a bit of chaos in your environment or you’d rather keep a neat desk to stay focused, it’s best to understand how your workspace contributes to your overall productivity. Furthermore, keeping that phone out of sight is a surefire way to gain a little more focus.   

 

One Problem Everyone Has and How to Cope

Heart-pounding, knee-knocking stress. Your palms sweat and your head gets light.

It’s the fight-or-flight response that kept our ancestors alive when they were out hunting to make sure that they weren’t the ones being eaten. Nowadays, we don’t have to worry about being chomped in two by a T-Rex, but we do have bills, family matters, or upcoming deadlines.

Job stress is the primary source of stress in adults. And it’s been increasing in recent years. It’s not that surprising considering the sheer number of projects (30-100) the average business person has at one time or the fact that you’re interrupted up to 7 times an hour on average.

If you’re one of the 40% of workers reporting that your job is very stressful, you could be experiencing:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep trouble
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • And the list goes on and on

We’re all staring down a heaping pile of TPS reports. Everyone feels stress, but it’s what you do with it that matters. You could cope using methods that have a negative effect on your life like binge-eating fast-food or overindulging in alcohol. Or you could adopt some ways to manage that stress.

Identify what’s causing it

If you identify stressors in your life, you can better assess what is important and what needs attention, and what doesn’t. Put everything you can control into one box and everything you can’t control into another. Shawn Achor refers to this as the Island Experiment in his book The Happiness Advantage. He suggests that you take effective action on the items in the first box and throw out everything in the other. Seems liberating doesn’t it?

Get together

We all need some help sometimes. Find someone in your life to chat with about what’s stressing you. You can talk to a colleague about a problem they can help with. Or maybe you can vent to a friend about an annoying colleague. I find that the sheer act of talking about your problems helps to reframe them in a way that makes them seem more manageable.

Stay positive

Stress is influenced as much by what’s happening inside as by what’s happening outside. Reflecting on what you’re grateful for and reminding yourself of it throughout the day is one way to stay positive, even when things aren’t going so well. You can also reduce the negativity around you by keeping better company. Negative people and their negative thoughts are only going to exacerbate the stress you’re already feeling. You can put them in the ‘forget about it’ box I referred to earlier.

Everyone feels stress, but that doesn’t mean that it has to control our lives. Identifying what’s causing it, relying on your friends, and staying positive are all great ways to keep stress from taking over.

One Trick to Improve Your Quality of Life

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Photo by Robert Wiedemann on Unsplash

*Yawn*

*Sips coffee*

Sleep is serious business. Your sleep patterns (or lack thereof) can have a dramatic effect on your life and your work. The nature of work is changing, and technology is intruding more and more upon our body’s natural circadian rhythm, so it’s more important now more than ever to reclaim this most precious resource.  

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends 7 hours of sleep per night needed to promote optimal health in adults. There are numerous other factors (such as genetics) that can influence exactly how much sleep you need, but 7 hours per night is optimal. A lack of sleep is associated with all kinds of negative health effects.   

More than the overall health trouble a lack of sleep can cause, it can have a significant impact on your performance at work, resulting in a lack of focus and more errors on the job. It can even impact your performance as much as alcohol according to this research from the Harvard Business Review. Too little sleep can be dangerous, and that’s pretty scary stuff.

A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that regular sleep patterns resulted in higher academic performance in university students compared to their peers with irregular sleeping patterns. The difference in performance was not affected by the total duration of sleep. Even if these two groups of students ended up sleeping the same amount, those with a sleep routine tended to have better grades. So when you get your 7 hours, make sure they’re part of a routine. Catching up on sleep doesn’t factor in.

Your sleep habits affect your quality of life, your work, and your overall productivity. So what can you do about it?

  1. Try your best to stick to a regular schedule. Go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time. When you get into a proper rhythm, you’ll feel more awake and focused. Even enjoying the luxury of sleeping late on the weekend can throw off your routine.  
  2. Set an alarm if need be. Schedule your sleep. We’re big on scheduling here at Doodle, so trust us with this. Plan a little reminder to get you to hit the sack at a decent hour.
  3. Exercise. The three pillars of a healthy life are sleep, diet, and exercise. They’re all interrelated. A proper workout will not only improve your overall health, but it will also leave your body ready to recuperate, as exercise helps reduce stress and improves sleep quality.  

 

Meet Anywhere in the World

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Photo by Slava Bowman on Unsplash

There’s no question that Doodle is the best way to organize a time to meet. It wouldn’t be the best time-finding tool if we didn’t take into account one vital issue.

Time zones. Your 8 o’clock or my 8 o’clock? Wait, when are we meeting again?

We’ve taken care of all of this already. Just in case you had any questions, I wanted to share the details with you.

There are two time zone settings you’ll encounter when polling.

Poll time zone

During step 2 when you create the poll, you will set the “poll time zone.” If you have an account, the poll should automatically take whichever time zone you have in your account settings. Check yours here. If you don’t have an account, the poll time zone is taken from your IP address. You’re free to click on the time zone during step 2 and choose another if you wish. This will be the time zone of your poll and the time zone of your event.

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Display time zone

Consider the following from the perspective of your participants.  When viewing a poll, you’ll notice the “display time zone” just under the title of the poll. This time zone will be unique to the person viewing the poll, depending on their location. The poll should adjust the time options according to the person’s account settings or IP address. The poll time zone remains the same and the display options are changed for each participant. You can also click on the time zone and change it if you like. 

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For Example

I’d like to have a conference call with some colleagues overseas. I’m in Berlin and I’ve created a poll with some options that I think might work for everyone. The poll time zone is Berlin. When my colleagues in New York open the poll, they’ll see my Berlin times adjusted to their time zone (see above). The 11am option they choose will be my 5pm, taking into account the 6 hour time difference. When the phone rings at 11am New York time, they’ll be ready to answer it.  

What about the apps?

When you create a poll with time slots in the app, Doodle will take whichever time zone you have your phone set to as the poll time zone. Likewise, when viewing a poll in the app, the display time zone will be adjusted according to your phone settings. There’s no need to adjust the time zone, we handle this for you automatically.

You can also check out our FAQ here for more details.

Get the word out! Send invites

Noticed anything different lately?

You’ve been contacting us via email and Twitter with loads of comments and suggestions over the last months. Guess what? We’ve listened.

Pulling from the feedback of millions of users, we’ve spent the last year working tirelessly to bring you this new and improved version of Doodle. We hope you’re enjoying the refined process of poll creation and fresh look of the site.  

I’m here to bring you some fresh tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your scheduling experience. Let’s go!

Send invites: With new Doodle we offer you two different ways to share your poll with others. Once you’ve added all your options and completed your poll, you can click ‘invite’ at the top of the page to see the participation link of your poll. You’re free to copy this and share it as you like. You can also click ‘email’ and send out your invitations directly from Doodle. Moments later your invitees can open the link from their inbox and make their selections in you poll!

Go ahead and give it a try.

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