The world may be digital but it’s still nice to connect with people and talk things through. This leads to “meeting time email tennis” especially when more than one person is involved, until we’ve agreed upon a meeting date and time that’s suitable for everyone.
This productivity frustration has led to a rise in Cloud services like Calendly https://calendly.com/ and Timely https://www.gettimely.com/ . Those services provide more than meeting bookings, but you might not be aware of two little smart meeting organisers that are accessed directly from your Inbox.
For Microsoft Office 365 only, FindTime is a free meeting poll app you add to Outlook for Web (in your browser) or your Microsoft Outlook software, from the Store icon. With FindTime, you invite people and select a few different dates and times that suit as suggestions for the meeting. The recipients receive an email and vote on what times they can make, what times they can’t make and what times they prefer. The polling aggregates to find the winning time slot, then schedules the appointment in everyone’s calendar for that time, sending you a notification. With FindTime, the recipients don’t have to be on Office 365 but the organiser does.
Boomerang is another great alternative, with a version for Office 365 that’s currently free and a Gmail version with four different plan levels (free to $49.99 USD/month) . Boomerang lets you place an interactive snippet of your calendar into an email, showing times available that people can click on to confirm or give them a snippet view of your availability. It also has some great email extensions, allowing you to schedule when an email is sent. For managing your Inbox, Boomerang also enables you to get a reminder about an email if you haven’t received a reply within a timeframe you set.
Start exploring these email integrations today and put an end to meeting time email tennis!