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How to schedule a meeting?

What do you do when you have to find a convenient time for a committee to get together for a meeting or conference call?  The old-fashioned way is to speak with everyone, find out when they are available, and pick a time that works well for the most people.  You could use a spreadsheet to track people's responses, or even email the spreadsheet to the committee members, asking them to mark when they are available (or not).  If you are still doing that, you should know about some of the new ways that technology can help.

There are some free web-based tools that include:

  1. Meeting Wizard - Claims to "put an end to email and telephone tag."  It generates emails that go to your committee members, allows you to suggest some times, and tracks and tabulates everyone's responses.  Once the meeting is scheduled, it can easily send a confirmation email.
  2. Doodle - Uses polling software to solicit availability from a list of choices.
  3. Generic polling sites - such as Survey Monkey can be customized to poll on possible meeting times and dates.

I know that all of these have been used by ACS members and staff for organizing meetings.  There are probably others.

Which technology do you use for your meetings, if any?  What do you think is the best approach for putting a meeting together efficiently?

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