Syncing calendars and scheduling meetings over email can be an arduous and annoying task. I’ve often wished that I could just send my calendar to contacts instead of going back and forth over email, so we could find a mutual time that works best for various schedules more quickly. Tungle, a scheduling and calendar sharing tool we wrote about during its launch last year, has made scheduling a meeting a whole lot more social and simple through its Tungle.Me technology.
Tungle offers users Tungle Accelerate, a free web-based application that lets you share calendars across companies and platforms, schedule meetings with individuals or groups inside or outside their company and propose multiple meeting times in invitations. The service currently syncs with Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Entourage for Mac, and soon Lotus Notes.
Tungle’s latest technology, Tungle.Me, a “click to meet” application that is integrated with Tungle Accelerate, makes inbound scheduling more social. Once you create a Tungle account, you can also create a Tungle.me URL (you can include this link in an email or message and anyone can click on it) which you can send to contacts. At that site, contacts will input their name and email to verify their identity, then choose an available time to meet with you. Your calendar (which is synced via Tungle) will appear so that contacts can choose an open time. The spots where you have meetings are blocked off. Once a contact requests a meeting, you are sent an email with potential times for meetings. You can accept the meeting time (your calendar will be updated upon approval), send the contact another meeting time or you can deny the meeting all together. If you add meetings into your calendar that are synced with Tungle, your Tungle.me link is updated in real-time. And contacts who request a meeting don’t have to be Tungle users to use the Tungle.me interface.
Your Tungle.me link can also be embedded as a widget in an email or on a site as well as added as a Facebook widget on your profile. The widgets display a real-time glance of a users’ availability and a quick link to their personal Tungle.me URL.
The widget is a great idea, but I’m not so sure I’d want to give Facebook users and all of my friends the ability schedule a meeting with me. There is also the potential for random people, who you don’t know, to spam your email with meeting requests. Of course, you can always deny these meetings but it’s still annoying to sort though random emails in the first place.
But the service itself is a innovative idea and could save users, especially those who have frequent daily and weekly meetings but don’t have a personal assistant or secretary, a lot of time when it comes to scheduling those meetings. And the ability for your Tungle calendar to be synced with Outlook, Google Calendar and other popular scheduling applications makes the service compelling. Tungle’s main competitors are TimeBridge, which also lets you publish your calendar to selected users, and Jiffle.