Help me choose software in order to book meetings in a small group with an online calendar.
October 22, 2011 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Help me choose software in order to book meetings in a small group with an online calendar.

I need to figure out some kind of shared calendar/meeting booking arrangement. There will be two administrators and about five regular users. The administrators should be able to see the five regular users' whole calendars synced from Outlook (doesn't have to include what the person is specifically doing, could just be "Mary is busy"). Then the administrators will be able to find a meeting time that is available for all five users and send them an invitation of some kind to a meeting - so, no "meeting polls" needed.

I think maybe I can use Google Calendar or Doodle for this, but I've never used either. Please let me know if either fit my requirements - and if so, how to set it up. Or if there is some other site you would recommend, that will be great too (must be free, though). I would prefer Doodle to Google Cal since they won't need to use their personal emails or have to set up an extra email, since this is for a work thing.
posted by coraline to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
The only tricky part you describe is finding a meeting time that is available to all users. If your users diligently enter all their existing busy blocks into the calendar tool, then finding open spaces is easy. If they all use different calendaring tools (or no tools at all) for their personal time, then it gets dicey as you might imagine.

We use Google Calendar here at work and it works great. We just had to make the rule that "if you have something personal scheduled during normal work hours (9 - 5 M-F) then please block it off on your calendar so we know you're not here." The people who already use Google Calendar for their personal stuff (i.e., everyone with an Android phone) slotted in with no trouble. Those who used day-planners, etc., only have to bother the Calendar when they're scheduling a doc appointment during the day, etc.
posted by introp at 11:01 AM on October 22, 2011

Hey introp, thanks for your reply. I think maybe I didn't make it clear in the original post: the software/program/whatever has to be able to sync with the users' Outlook calendars, so that they don't have to manually go into the program and plot in anything.
posted by coraline at 11:05 AM on October 22, 2011

Do you use Exchange with Outlook? This is built in to the system.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:15 AM on October 22, 2011

Sorry, I didn't realize the Outlook bit was a requirement; it looked like an example use case to me. I can't say anything with respect to Outlook; we ditched that two years ago and haven't looked back since. :/
posted by introp at 2:31 PM on October 22, 2011

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