Whether you are scheduling an appointment with a client, a networking group meeting, a trial strategy conference with an associate, or a weekly review with your assistant, the combination of schedule changes, telephone tag, and endless emails makes scheduling any meeting almost impossible. More time is wasted scheduling most meetings than is actually spent in the meeting itself.
One new tool to remove some of the hassle from the scheduling process is Tungle, a free, web-based scheduling service that will allow you to schedule meetings via email with one or more participants at a time.
Sync with your productivity software
Tungle syncs with popular calendar programs including Outlook, Google, iCal, and Entourage, and there is even an application for the iPhone. Choose the meeting times and invite as many participants as you want. Participants do n0t even need a Tungle account. Instead, they will get a link to your meeting on Tungle and can choose the times when they are available. You can choose to receive an email to approve the final meeting time or just allow Tungle to schedule the meeting and put it on your calendar for you.
One of the best features of Tungle is that it will automatically update your meeting availability; if you add a new appointment to your calendar while a meeting invitation is pending (but not booked) for a conflicting time, Tungle will mark that time as unavailable.
If you schedule appointments with participants in different time zones, Tungle will automatically adjust the time zone for you. Each person will receive an email with the time in the correct time zone and Tungle will display the calendar based on the time zone of the participant viewing it.
Let others see your availability
Tungle will also provide you with your own personal link to allow others to see when you are free and to schedule an appointment with you directly online. The details of your calendar will not be displayed to others; the calendar will merely reflect when you are free and when you are busy. Provide your ‘tungle.me’ link in an email or even on LinkedIn, Facebook or your blog and let your clients or others schedule an appointment online directly with you.
Tungle’s features are particularly helpful for solos or small firm practitioners. Instead of going back and forth trying to find a time, allow clients to schedule appointments directly or let a virtual assistant schedule appointments using your ‘tungle me’ link. Your calendar details will be secure, the appointments will appear on your calendar automatically and you can stop wasting time scheduling and focus on providing excellent service to your clients.
(Thanks, Andrea Cannavina!)