Coordinating Kids? Use Your Noodle To “Doodle” A Poll

doodle.gifWhich weekend’s best for a slumber party? Who’s carpooling to the game? What’s your summer camp schedule? We all know how tedious it can be synchronizing different people’s agendas to find a date that suits everybody.

Doodle is a cool polling tool that’s free, fast, and ‘idiot proof’ for people like me who can’t spare even a second to learn a new ‘calendar.’

No registration hassle; you get an email, click a link, check which date/time suits you, and submit. Done. Easy. Anyone that’s ever watched teens grapple over which movie to see en masse will appreciate a pre-planning poll. You might even get the kids out the door before the last showing and the fridge being ransacked…Trust me, I’m not a ‘tech toy’ type, so this is perfect. I have NO time for systems that promise to “organize” me requiring “learn the gizmo” be added to my “to do” list.

It has to be a genuine time-saving, user-friendly mechanism that eliminates umpteen phone calls, and ‘reply all’ group e-mail confusion. (w/NO skills past e-mail for technophobes in my parent posse)

I initially found Doodle through Michele Martin’s Bamboo Project blog which is always a thinking person’s resource for ideas, whether for business, nonprofit or just mind-stretching mental floss. I plopped a query into her comments, ‘How does Doodle differ from Google Calendar?’ and received an enthusiastic firsthand e-mail rave:

She said, “What I like about it is that it’s SUPER simple–just set up the poll with the dates/times you’re considering and then people “vote” on when they’re available. The SITE then tells you the best date/time for your meeting based on people’s votes. You don’t have to do the coordination of figuring out when everyone’s available…No thinking!”

Ah, now we’re talking!

My brain is media mush from all the data pinging around, so clearly this appeals, much like the simplicity of “Jott” to remember to write things down.

I’ve already leap-frogged way past kids’ social lives and parent wrangling to apply this to our nonprofit.

Now I can query teen volunteers for their most available work day…Recruit student stringers…Plan Advisory Board retreats…Even schedule the best date for a virtual auction online using CMarket. (a handy nonprofit fundraising alternative to those labor intensive school auctions that squeeze the lifeblood out of parent volunteers)

I think I’ll even send it along to my Age of Conversation co-authors too, so we can all poll our topic for our next book, next year!

Say goodbye to fancy schmansy groupware requiring everyone to be on the same page…Just Doodle your choice and fergedddabowdit!

p.s. So far it’s been getting solid feedback as a viable convenience…(I checked my trusty Lifehacker site, and sure enough, they’d already written about it, made it on the ‘LifeHack’ list)

Just one more thing though…Is it possible we can all learn to spell ‘calendar’ correctly, folks?

It’s not like “cucumber”…regardless how often online forums and mainstream media attempt this creative spelling…

Once a writer, always a writer. I know, nag, nag, nag…

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