Viral solution par excellence, Doodle has passed from user to user and has today become a universal tool for making appointments. Gaëlle Recourcé, Scientific Director and co-founder of Kwaga, is one of more than 10 million Doodle users every month.
How it works - How did you hear about the Doodle service?
Gaëlle Recourcé - I once received an invitation to respond to a Doodle survey. Since then, I have never used anything else to set meeting dates. The need is simple: organize a meeting with others. Doodle simply answers it.
CCM - In what context do you use it?
GR - My job leads me to organize innovative research and development projects, in collaboration with multiple partners and teams from outside the company. They are academics, industrialists, scattered between Paris, the regions and abroad.
To move the projects forward, I need all these people to meet in the same place on the same date. Doodle naturally imposed itself.
CCM - How do you go about scheduling an appointment?
GR - I connect to Doodle.com, I create a new "survey", specifying the subject of the meeting, the place, the description, my name and my email address. In the next step, I propose a set of time slots, dates then times.
The tool offers me to refine the survey with optional parameters:
- allow participants to respond with "only if necessary" on one of the time slots,
- keep the answers confidential,
- force participants to choose a single date,
- close the survey when the maximum number of users is reached.
I then get a link that I can email and share on Facebook and Twitter. A second link allows me to access the survey administration, to change, close or delete it.
The participants to whom I have sent an email just have to click on the link in the email and select the date (s) on which they are available. When all the participants have made their choice, the common availability dates emerge clearly in the survey results.
CCM - What features of the tool do you prefer the most?
GR- I appreciate the simplicity of use, very spontaneous, which does not require any training or familiarization.
Another strong point of the tool: it is not necessary to register, whether you are the creator of the survey or the participant. However, there is the possibility of creating an account, free of charge, to access preferences and save contact details. By pre-registering, it is no longer necessary to identify yourself for each use.
CCM - Have you tested other solutions before?
GR - I used to go through email exchanges. Problems: some recipients reply to all, others reply only to part of the recipients, there are those who change their minds or simply cancel. Organization by email is tedious!
When it comes to creating an appointment within a structure, there are tools, calendar sharing for example. But for meetings with external collaborators, Doodle is for me the only suitable solution.
CCM - In your opinion, what functionalities are missing from the tool? What improvements would you like to see incorporated?
GR - The procedure for reverting to preferences or selected dates should be clarified. These are features that seemed unclear to me the first time they were used.
It would be interesting to be able to notify participants in the event of cancellation of the survey or new proposed dates. But these improvements would require participants to register or at least to enter their email address, thus removing total anonymity, which gives the tool its interest.
CCM - What type of business would you recommend it to?
GR - All of them, I work with academics, large and small companies from all countries. In particular, it will adapt very well to the needs of VSEs and SMEs. Its free service and the time saving it represents ensures the company that uses it responsiveness and productivity gains.
Start-up created in 2009.
Founders: Philippe Laval and Gaëlle Recourcé. 8 collaborators.
Kwaga activity: management of emails.
Creator of the WriteThatName software, which automatically updates the address book. Based on linguistic processing, it analyzes emails, detects signatures and extracts information.
Follow the WriteThatName account on Twitter.
Based in Zurich, Doodle was established in 2007.
Founders: Paul E. Sevinç and Michael Näf. 10 collaborators.
Doodle is an online appointment scheduling service.
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