Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Doodle me this

This semester I've been introduced to an amazingly useful website called Doodle. Doodle has made planning an event incredibly easier. You can use it to determine what time everyone wants to go to a movie, what movie they want to watch, etc. After you set it up via 3 easy and intuitive steps, you only have to share the URL to the poll with your friends and they can give you their preferences on whatever you are trying to decide. They can also edit their responses without registering or doing anything special.

Although this site has been fabulous to use, there are a few things that bother me. For instance, anyone can edit any entry into the poll. Hopefully you are only using Doodle to schedule an event among people who are unlikely to be underhanded, so it shouldn't be an issue. I would assume that no one would use the site for something important (in the grand scheme of things), but it's still possible. On the flip side, many people do not seem to realize they can edit or delete their entries as the links are on the top left side while the poll itself is on the bottom. I would love to see a slightly more intuitive link placement.

I was also surprised when I entered 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 as my labels and then in the poll ended up with 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM, and 8:00 AM. If I had been thinking I would have realized that since they are trying to interpret my input into times that such a thing would happen, but being from the USA I didn't really think about it (come on, who really thinks in military time?). For the poll I was creating it would have been obvious that they were meant to be PM times if no label had been added, but oh well. I don't think this is necessarily something that they have done wrong, but it would be nice if there was some explicit statement that AM and PM would be tacked on to the input for those of us multitasking like mad and therefore not really thinking things through.

So, what's the point? You should use Doodle! Especially if you need to schedule a movie outing among many people and you aren't particular on the time or day. Or really, any time you need to schedule anything in grad school among more than 3 people you should use Doodle and save yourself a headache. It even tallies each option for you so it's easy to see the most popular one! With all of the organizing I do throughout the year, this site may become my new best friend.

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