Doodle v Calendly: The Group Polls Comparison

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Doodle v Calendly

They are two of the biggest names when it comes to scheduling, but who comes out on top when it comes to getting a group of people together? It’s unquestionable that both make it easier for scheduling time with people, but can one save you more time and ultimately money than the other? Let’s find out. 

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Who are Doodle and Calendly?

Doodle has been around since 2007 when it was founded by two Swiss students Michael Näf and Paul E. Sevinç. They were looking for a more convenient way to meet people that didn’t take rounds and rounds of emails. 

Prompted by early success - especially in universities - the pair turned their tool into a business and Doodle was born. Incorporated in Switzerland they quickly secured funding and by 2009 had launched a premium version of their product. 

Doodle has continued to grow from here, becoming part of the TX Group in 2014. It now serves over 360 million users every year. That’s around 54 meetings booked every minute.

Calendly was founded by Tope Awotona in 2013. Like the founders of Doodle, he was looking for an easier way to get people together that didn’t involve lots of back and forth. 

Initially, it started out as a freemium product but launched a premium version in 2014. 

Like Doodle, it offers a number of different meeting types to choose from including Booking Page and group scheduling solutions.

Group Poll reminder

What do both companies offer for getting groups together?

Both tools offer similar functionality it comes to arranging meetings with lots of people.

Doodle was built for getting groups together. Group Poll makes it easy to find a time to do this. Simply create a poll, choose the dates you’re free or want to offer and send it to your participants. They then select a time that works for them. Most people are able to get an answer within a few minutes. 

With Doodle, you can also integrate with your digital calendar. When an event is confirmed it will automatically appear in your diary. You’ll never be double-booked again because Doodle can always recognize a clash. In fact, if you link your calendar when planning a meeting you’ll be able to see confirmed events to avoid any potential overlap.

If you're getting your group together virtually, Doodle can natively integrate with most video conferencing tools. This means you simply set the location as your preferred tool and a link is automatically added. 

You can create group meetings completely free on Doodle, but if you want to take scheduling to the next level, Doodle Professional offers some great added perks like custom branding and the ability to set deadlines.

Calendly enables groups to get together too. Their Meeting Polls feature lets you find a time to hold a meeting with multiple people. It can be quite tricky to track the results, but after a little digging in the dashboard, you’ll find them. 

Separately from Meeting Polls, Calendly does have a Group Events tool where you can book time with multiple people. This is available on their premium plans starting at $8 per month. 

Similar to Doodle, you can enable video conferencing and integrate your calendar to have a booked event blocked out to stop you from being double-booked.

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How do things look side-by-side?

Doodle

Ease of use: 

Greeting a Group Poll on Doodle is super easy. Simply hit ‘Create a Doodle, select ‘Group Poll’ and add your info. From start to finish it takes no more than a few minutes.

Features: 

Doodle’s Group Polls let you gather any number of people together for an event - virtually or in person. 

Connect your calendar 

Integrate video conferencing 

Microsoft Outlook plug-in to schedule directly from your inbox

Set deadlines and reminders 

Hide participant information 

Add custom branding and logo

For team managers, view analytics and insights

Cost: 

You can create as many Group Polls as you like with Doodle on the free plan. A Doodle Professional plan starts at $6.95 per month and offers more control over automating your schedule by enabling unlimited Booking Pages and 1:1s.

Preferred times graphic
Calendly

Ease of use:

Takes a while to figure out what meeting type is the right one to use. Adding info is relatively straightforward after that though finding the results is a little confusing.

Features:

Meeting Polls also let you find a time for a group of people to meet - virtually or in person.

Connect your calendar 

Integrate video conferencing

Add limited branding

Cost:

The Calendly Basic plan is free and lets you create Meeting Polls. For the Group Events tool, you need a Calendly Essentials plan which starts at $8. For features, such as meeting reminders, you need a Professional plan which starts at $12

What do users think? 

When we spoke to customers, they said Doodle is more user-friendly when it comes to Group Polls. 

With Doodle, users said they liked how easy the dashboard was to navigate. Finding the Group Poll tool and creating an event was intuitive and easy to customize if it needed to be changed. This was particularly important for users who said the main reason for automating their schedules was to save time.

Team admins said that they liked the ability to pull reports from Doodle’s Admin Console, making it easy to see how many meetings their direct reports were having. 

With Calendly, some felt setting up group meetings wasn’t as easy as Doodle. With lots of different meeting types to choose from, it wasn’t always clear what was the right one. 

There was also frustration at not being able to create group meetings the same way you can on Doodle. Finding the results of a Meeting Poll, for instance, some users said took a while whereas with Doodle they appear on the dashboard after being published.

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