TimeBridge is a San Francisco-based startup that wants to do one thing very well: help with scheduling meetings.
They originally started out as a deeply integrated Outlook plug-in launched at the end of last year. While initially distinguishing them from other scheduling competitors, I have a feeling that the plug-in requirement added unnecessary friction to using the system.
Now TimeBridge is back with a full web only interface that integrates with your Google and Outlook calendars, with support for other calendars soon. The new version pushes them in the direction of their Montreal-based competitor Tungle, which integrates with more calendars. Tungle also differs by using a P2P system that runs between you and your contacts systems, not on a central server like TimeBrigde.
TimeBridge’s original Outlook plug-in brought their full functionality to your desktop. All of this functionality is now available with the web application, using the plug-ins to pull and push calendaring data between your computer and the web. Updates made on one calendar are reflected on the others and a master calendar is accessible anywhere on the web.
To make a meeting, you log in to their site, and fill out an email-like form consisting of the email addresses for attendees, meeting topic, and possible meeting times. You don’t have to download anything to use TimeBridge, but it helps if you install the plug-ins. If your attendees don’t have a TimeBridge, you can just suggest times based on your personal schedule. If they have TimeBridge integrated with their calendars, though, you can view what blocks of their scheduled time in a sidebar as you choose times.
After you send out the meeting request, each participant gets a full meeting request form in their email. The form lists the possible meeting times, which participants can select as no good, good, or best. Accepting the meeting request places time placeholders on calendars for people with TimeBridge.
The system then picks the best meeting time by points based on attendee responses with ties going to earlier times. If a an upcoming meeting time hasn’t been settled, you can either pick a meeting time or send reminders to the people that didn’t respond. Attendees with TimeBridge will then see the confirmed meeting slot pop up on their calendars.
The video below outlines the process in greater detail. TimeBridge is a funded through a total of $8.5 million by Mayfield and Norwest Ventures.