Doodle and Co.: The best free tools for scheduling

Finding a date with friends and acquaintances is not always easy.

Doodle and Co.: The best free tools for scheduling

Finding a date with friends and acquaintances is not always easy. This is especially true when the group is large and there are many dates to choose from. Because communication via chat groups is too cumbersome for many, there are several tools that make organization easier. These programs are free and do not require registration.

The largest and most well-known tool among appointment planners is Doodle. It has been online since 2007 and the way it is used has changed little since then. Simply go to Doodle's homepage, click "Create Doodle" and fill out the form below. Further options such as a deadline for voting or the automatic sending of reminders are hidden behind the Pro version, which costs EUR 6.95 per month for one person and EUR 8.95 per month for a maximum of five people. Registration is not required, but Doodle requires an email address to create the survey. At the same time, this is one of the biggest criticisms of the platform, because alternative offers do not require such data from their users.

A popular alternative to Doodle already bears its similarity in terms of functionality in its name: dudle was developed by the Technical University of Dresden and is particularly popular at universities. However, the TU Dresden itself removed the tool from its website at the end of October because it did not meet "the requirements for accessibility". According to the site, work is being done to fix the deficiencies and then put the tool back online. However, dudle can still be found on the websites of other universities, such as the Humboldt University in Berlin. The way it works is simple, with the difference that you get a link to the survey even without registering. As the creator of the survey, you also get an admin link that you can use to manage the survey afterwards.

The nuudel tool, which is offered by the non-profit association Digitalcourage, also advertises the security of its data. Starting from the homepage, users can choose whether they want to choose a classic or an appointment survey. When creating the survey, nuudel asks for an e-mail address, but explicitly informs the users that it is okay to enter an invalid e-mail address. In the second step, the creator of the survey chooses the possible dates, if necessary with an exact time. By default, the survey is automatically deleted after 180 days. If that is too early, you can postpone the deletion date in the third step. You will then also get a regular link to the survey and an administrator link on nuudel.

The functionality of Xoyondo is comparable to the other programs, but the creators of the site lead users step by step to the survey. First, the page asks for a name of the event, then a mask opens for an additional description, the name of the poll creator and, optionally, an e-mail address. Then simply click on the suggested dates in the calendar and select whether a specific time slot should also be available. After clicking on "Next" you can specify whether it should be a "Yes/No" or "Yes/No/Maybe" survey, whether it is a confidential survey (then only the creator sees the answers) or whether there may be a maximum number of participants for answer options. After another "Next" click, you end up at Xoyondo with a window with two links: one for the survey and one for the administrator.

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