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We’ve covered a lot of scheduling software here on WWD. For example, I wrote about When Is Good, a lightweight solution that offered very basic, easy-to-access scheduling for busy folks, and there are many other services available, too, as apparent from the “Calendars and Schedules” section of this post. A new service, ScheduleOnce, advertises itself with the tagline “Find a time in no time” and claims to deliver “more scheduling power for your Google Calendar.”
If I believed the hype from all of these scheduling services, I’d have to assume that we were all just careening around haphazardly, making and breaking so many appointments and meetings that we lose all sense of time and date. In practice, I think that most of the time the most scheduling software I need is my iPhone (s aapl) and its built-in Calendar application. That said, there are definitely times when scheduling using Google Calendar (s goog), which I already use for group-related activities, would make more sense.
Using ScheduleOnce’s Google Calendar Firefox Add-on, that’s exactly what you can do. Just install the add-on via the ScheduleOnce web site, restart your browser, and then log into your Google Calendar to get started. From there, you can use the ScheduleOnce control panel in your sidebar to pick Tentative Availability times which are then optionally connected back to your Google Calendar. Once you’ve chosen your available times, ScheduleOnce generates a link that you can email to other potential attendees so that they can choose from the times you suggest.
Once invitees reply, you’ll be notified in the ScheduleOnce sidebar window. You’ll also receive a notification email from the web app with a direct link to allow you to view what times your invitee has chosen. When you click on it, you’ll be presented with a view of which times overlap, as indicated by a green block on ScheduleOnce’s daily agenda display. Connecting to your Google Calendar, selecting a time, and clicking “Schedule Meeting” will confirm the chosen slot and send a notification to all attendees. It’ll also add the event to your Google Calendar and those of your fellow attendees, so long as you all have the ScheduleOnce add-on installed.
It doesn’t sound complicated, and it isn’t in theory, but in practice I had to do a whole lot more reloading and reauthorizing than I should’ve probably been required to do. Whether this is a problem with the way ScheduleOnce is written, or with the Google Calendar developer API, I couldn’t say. All I know is that I found myself thinking somewhat wistfully back to the days of When is Good, when times were simpler. But if you absolutely abhor manually entering things into your Google Calendar, give ScheduleOnce a try. It is free, which definitely helps make up for its little quirks.
Do you use scheduling software, or, like me, do you prefer to do things manually?