Timebridge (http://www.timebridge.com/) is a web-based calendar service that works in conjunction with your Exchange/Office365 or Google calendar. The nice thing about it is that it can sync with your Office 365 calendar or Google calendar without installing any additional software. It is similar to Calendly, which is what I currently use for this sort of thing, but it has an outbound meeting feature that Calendly lacks. Not surprisingly, the Timebridge folks think that their product is superior to Calendly.
Once you’ve configured Timebridge, you can propose meetings and you can share your availability with others. Obviously, this is not really required if all of the people with whom you normally schedule meetings are using Exchange, but that’s less and less common, at least for me.
Another nice feature is the ability to create a URL like this:
that can be used in your Facebook, etc. pages to publish your availability.
The chief differentiator between Timebridge and Calendly is that you can propose meetings from Timebridge, whereas in Calendly you publish slots and wait for people to set up an appointment with you. Calendly might be better if you have regular office hours and want your clients or students to feel free to propose times to meet with you during those office hours, whereas Timebridge covers that and the situation where you need to propose and coordinate meetings with several other people.
Let’s look at the meeting proposal function. Here’s a screenshot of what a meeting proposal looks like. The orange blocks are the times that I am proposing for the meeting:
As you can see from the screenshot, you can propose up to five times – this is potentially a huge time saver when it comes to organizing meetings. It also seems to me like it might be a better tool than Doodle for this purpose.
Here’s what the recipient gets in their inbox:
Once they click on “Reply Now”, they can are taken to a calendar view where they can choose which slot works for them. Timebridge takes care of juggling multiple replies and determining which is the “best” time for the meeting. It’s really interesting – and definitely worth looking at. What has your experience been with these types of programs? Let me know in the comments.