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FindTime: A hidden gem in Office 365!

Read 7068 times Last modified on Sunday, 20 December 2015 09:13

If you find it hard to get people together for a meeting, then this tool may be exactly what you’re looking for. Do you spend more time arranging a meeting than actually meeting? Then read on, because we reveal a little known gem in Office 365 that can make your life a whole lot easier.

What is Findtime exactly?

It is a new Microsoft add-in for Outlook that facilitates meetings. It aims to make organising a meeting easier by sending out a poll to all participants so you can quickly and easily gain a consensus on the most popular time. Sounds simple? Yes it is, but it is very useful.

 

Why is it useful?

While this is not a technological revolution, it is a handy tool to make arranging meetings easier. Yes, there are existing tools like Timebridge, NeedtoMeet and Doodle that do the same thing, but they do not have the Outlook integration that Findtime has. 

Solving a common problem

Organising a meeting between, let’s say 5 people, requires contacting each individual and them responding. You cannot always rely on everyone to agree and you will often spend a long time sending emails back and forth trying to confirm a time that is mutually convenient. With several people involved, this can be very time consuming and frustrating. Findtime sends out a poll to each participant asking for their desired time. You can put a few different times, and the most popular option “wins”. There is no discussion, no time wasting and no endless emails back and forth.

How do I get it?

It is available via the Microsoft Office 365 package if you use Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016. It can also be accessed on the web browser version of Outlook.

Navigate to https://findtime.microsoft.com to install the add-on in your Outlook. You only need to do this once, it will appear both in Outlook and in Outlook Online.

How do you use it?

One you install the add-in, an icon appears in your tool bar. Look out for a new, big red button that says New Meeting Poll. Click it and you can create a poll with proposed times, sent along with an email. It also allows to specify a location, time/date and duration. Participants can accept or decline the times you suggest, and propose new times. Once a consensus is achieved, Findtime will send an invitation to all parties.

Send to Anyone

Findtime is an Outlook add-in, but you can send your meeting polls to anyone regardless of whether they use Outlook or not.

Is it worth installing?

Absolutely. For anyone who organizes regular meetings, this is a huge time saver! It makes arranging meetings so much easier. For anyone who has to regularly arrange meetings, you will know how time consuming it can be, when it should be very straightforward. This add-in makes what is often a painful process a lot simpler.

Sure, this isn’t ground-breaking and the idea is behind it is pretty simple. No bells or whistles here but that’s why we like it. The best ideas are often the simplest and this is a simple way to make this particular challenge a lot easier. Developments like this and attention to detail is why Outlook is still by far the preferred business email provider. Thank you Microsoft!

 

 

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