It may be well reasoned why everything is switching online. The internet has become the virtual main street of the world providing a quick and convenient way of exchanging information in real time, globally! Time is of real essence and thus managing it in real time provides a tremendous leverage towards saving those hard earned dollars. Gone are those days when scheduling devoured valuable chunks of manager’s time and left them with papers scattered all over the place. Considering the growing importance of online scheduling tools, the article would try to make things simple by reviewing some of the even ‘simpler’ scheduling tools available online.
With a plethora of booking softwares, widgets and tools available on the internet, it becomes difficult for the managers to pick what’s the best out there. Thus the article has narrowed it down to considering six scheduling tools, namely, ScheduleIt, MRBS, Squadbox, Doodle, Booking System, and MyFleet and would try to review it by highlighting some of their plus points and shortcomings. ScheduleIt and MRBS are free scheduling softwares developed on PHP, which are further provided with its open source code for enabling the user to customise the software according to his or her personal requirements. The administrator is required to download the PHP database onto their computer and host it from their server to make it available online. Both the softwares are structurally similar, with a stable user interface which can be used for day to day booking and scheduling. The administrator gets the freedom to play with the pre-structured calendar through which he or she can cast events and ask the registered participants to jot down their convenient appointments. Although the administrator does require a fair amount of technical knowledge as these software needs to be hosted from one’s website prior to use therefore, is not suitable for one-off events. On the whole, both the softwares serve great utility for business organisations which deal with day to day scheduling needs and moreover have already recruited a technocrat to take care of their digital issues.
Next on the list is BookingSystem, which is hosted by bookingsystem.com. It’s a fairly simple, readily available, online scheduling tool. It just requires one to register him/herself on the web site and they can gain access to the software immediately. Although the administrator is required to define the events first, through the administrative menu. The hitch here is that every event needs to be defined with a new entry and its distinct set of parameters which can get a little cumbersome when the company requires regular scheduling needs. Moreover, the users need to pre-register themselves with the administrator’s database to as to start using it. The user interface is abysmal with low resolution graphics and chunky interaction, which in no means is convincing enough for anyone to keep using it for a longer duration of time.
Moving on, MyFleet is an internet-based reservation system that was created by rowers working in ICT who were seeking to streamline service to fellow members. It is typically suitable for scheduling and booking rowing events and provides loads of peculiar attributes pertaining to rowing events which can be altered and communicated. It can provide participants with geographical details using maps, weather situation, current day forecasts, fleet statistics and more. It is constantly maintained by the developers and provides technical assistance twelve hours a day and seven days a week. But all this comes with a price tag as the software is not free. Otherwise it is the perfect scheduling software possessing a myriad range of utilities for making reservations for rowing and boating events.
Next is Squadbox, which did not interact at all when reviewed, and hence is assumed as a dead web link, so unfortunately we won’t be able to highlight the features of the tool. I’ve saved the best for the last. Undoubtedly, the winner amongst all is Doodle. No other scheduling was even close to what Doodle has to offer. It’s an ultra-simple, free, online available tool which can create an entry for an event in less than 5 steps without requiring any pre-registration or download. It is amazingly user friendly and supports integration with many of the other useful tools such as Google Calendar, Outlook and Lotus Notes. It just requires two emails to be sent by the participants to convey their appointment, i.e. choosing and confirmation. Things couldn’t get any simpler with scheduling when it comes to Doodle and is a highly recommended scheduling tool for all individuals and with all sorts of requirements.