If you like ‘Doodle’ to book meetings, you’ll love Microsoft’s ‘Scheduling Poll’ tool (formerly FindTime). It comes with Office 365.
‘Scheduling Poll’ uses your internal calendar and contacts to search for mutually available meeting times. Open an email, add your contacts, select ‘Scheduling Poll’, choose available dates and send the message. Then the magic happens: emails are sent, recipients vote on their preferred options and once consensus is met, a meeting is automatically scheduled for all participants. While you are waiting for the poll to complete, Outlook places a tentative hold for the meeting options you proposed – then removes them once the final meeting is booked.
You can also include external contacts in your email however, you won’t have visibility to their calendar. They can still participate in the poll to select the optimal time.
I’ve used this tool weekly for over a year and cannot measure the hours saved. A real game-changer to help ‘herd the cats’!