June 22, 2010

Tungle Is An Irreplaceable Web Scheduling App

Padding on to my comments about mobile WiFi being a must-have for mobile consultants, another indispensable product I have turned to in recent months is Tungle, or more specifically, Tungle.me, which lets me open up my calendar enough so third parties can book time with me on my schedule, without having to worry about who is using different systems, or giving away private information, such as just who I am meeting with when. Now, instead of having unproductive e-mail sessions where people try and find out what times I am open, I just point them to my Tungle, and more often than not, assuming the time is open, a meeting can easily get booked.

The fragmentation of one's calendar can become ever more possible as one starts to work with different companies and their own internal calendaring systems. As you can guess, even if I meticulously watch over my Google Calendar (or iCal, if you prefer), meeting invites come in on corporate e-mail via Exchange, or through client e-mails. As far as their Exchange servers are concerned, almost all my time is free, even if that is far from the case. This is due to Google Calendar and iCal not having write access to their servers.

Syncing from Google Calendar to Tungle

Displaying Availability on My Calendar On Tungle

By making Tungle the master, I can synchronize with Google Calendar, and report free/busy to the world, but I can also ask people to schedule meetings through their service, and can browse their free/busy schedule, with their permission.

I have set up my Tungle such that when people propose new meetings, they need to select more than one time that works. This gives me a chance to reference my Tungle to actual locations of meetings (known from Google Calendar), and to pick the best time or date. Upon acceptance, Tungle sends an e-mail to both the contact and myself to provide an update, and Tungle writes back to my Google Calendar to correctly show the meeting is reserved. I don't have to post it in more than one place, and Tungle goes so far as to set an alarm to remind me when the meeting approaches.

A Typical Tungle Invite for a Meeting

The Confirmation of the Meeting, Via Tungle

How one manages their calendar differs for each person of course. As you might not want somebody to assume you are really "Available" when you had planned to get work done, you can still use Tungle (or whatever calendar you use to feed it) to block out hours for tasks, or you can leave the time open for net new meetings and simply move your tasks around. Regardless of your choice, Tungle also helpfully provides a feed of all changes to your schedule, chronologically, to show updates you have made, and those others have made to you.

A Request to Share Details With One Contact

Tungle Confirms the Sharing of Calendars

The leading words in today's Web are about flexibility, choice, openness and mobile. Tungle doesn't force me to choose one calendaring system over another, and it displays the content I choose to whomever I like. It also offers a mobile app for iPhones and Blackberries, though Android support, thus far, is lacking. You can find my Tungle at http://tungle.me/louisgray.

I also included Tungle in my recent 50 Top Startups Worth Watching at position #38.