Three Time Scheduling Appointment Software “Services”

As a busy business owner you have probably spent a fair amount of time going back and forth (via phone or email or God forbid, both) trying to set up a meeting with someone.

Below are three online, web-based services you can use to make appointment scheduling easier.

While all very similar there are some differences between the three that could easily sway you one way or the other depending on what is most important to you.

Pros of Tungle.me:

  • Cost: Free
  • Allows you to type names into their search box which will show you if that person is already a Tungle.me user; if not, type in their email address or sync to your address book
  • Meeting time length starts at 15 minute intervals for the first hour and then in half hour increments after that
  • Once you have set up a meeting and added in your participants there are two options for notifying attendees:  1) by email 2) Tungle.me will give you a unique URL that you can send via email, through Skype, etc.
  • Once the appt is sent you can easily sync to your desired calendar (including Facebook, Tripit and several others)
  • You can easily add their pre-designed widget to your website
  • When your attendees do not respond to the invite Tungle will email you on the 1st and 3rd day after the invite was sent to notify you that you have not received responses yet for the scheduled meeting request
  • Tungle.me is meant to be “social” and therefore it allows you the opportunity to have an avatar as well as publicly display your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gist, Plancast & Xing accounts
  • People you schedule with through Tungle can easily add your contact info to their account (note: people do not need to sign up or become a Tungle.me member in order to reply/confirm a meeting request you have sent)
  • Very intuitive interface with bright, delightful colors
  • Auto-Adjusts the time zone based on where your attendee is

Cons of Tungle.me:

  • The email request and confirmation both show all attendee names and email addresses (which you may not want for privacy’s sake)
  • I can’t seem to find a way to change the settings for reminders sent to attendees

Pros of TimeTrade | Previously TimeDriver:

  • You can create multiple calendar “books” by subject/category
  • Allows you to copy a previously sent meeting request as a starting point for a new one
  • Has two “one-click” options when setting up a meeting request: 1) Include a welcome message to attendees 2) Prompt attendees to ask a question, answer a question, etc. prior to meeting
  • Allows you to offer up to 8 appointment time options
  • Easily change font type, size, color, etc. within the body of the scheduling request
  • Offers scheduling in 15 minute increments up until 4 hours. From 4 hours on, only in one hour increments
  • Reminders are sent to attendees 24-36 hours before the event (providing the appt was made at least 36 hours prior to scheduled time)

Cons of TimeTrade:

  • No address book in which to save names/email addresses of your attendees
  • Can only invite up to 8 people
  • Sadly if you are a Mac user you will find that you cannot sync with TimeTrade. As of this post they only allow syncing with Outlook and Google Calendar
  • Cost: $29.95/year
  • Dashboard/scheduling is kind of clunky and not very intuitive
  • You cannot change your Time Zone – it does everything based on EST
  • People have to set up an “invitee” account to respond to meeting requests

Pros of TimeBridge:

  • Cost: Free
  • TimeBridge has the most flexibility of the three for choosing what appointment reminder times you would like for meetings. However, it does not appear you can modify this at will while setting up an appointment; rather it is a global setting.
  • You can create a group of attendees (imagine this could come in handy)
  • You can easily type in agenda items, notes and / or action items once a meeting has been scheduled
  • Get your own MeetWithMe page (I haven’t seen this in “real life” on anyone’s website so I’m not sure how it actually appears/functions)
  • With paid upgrade starting at $14/month you can have GoToMeeting type of web conferencing, audio conferencing and offer a SMS reminder option
  • Auto-Adjusts for Time Zones (though they do have a note regarding first time users on their help page)

Cons of TimeBridge:

  • As Tungle does, this shows email addresses of all those you have invited

I’ve used all three of these services at some point in time with meeting requests I’ve received from others. While I do not yet have my own account I would probably go with Tungle.me based on my own needs/desires of what would be most useful to me when choosing a web-based appointment scheduling software.

Have you used any of these appointment scheduling options? Tried or use a different one? Weigh in below with your thoughts, feedback and questions.

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