Friday, November 14, 2008

Tools for Scheduling

I was recently asked the following question:

Do you know of any software or online program that would allow us to manage our meeting rooms?

Things I would like for it to be able to do include:
  • Work with 3 rooms, 2 of which can be combined
  • View the schedule online
  • Request space online, to include # of people, name of meeting, contact for additional information, purpose of meeting
  • automatically let the person making the request know if there is a conflict
  • option for moderator to respond to requester for additional information
  • identify an individual or two to "approve" requests
  • moderator approve request
  • automatically post to schedule once approved
  • automatically respond to requester that it is approved/denied
My suggestion was to use Google Calendar and Google Forms. With these, they will be able to do everything in your list except the automatically responding.

This is just one example of where you could use Google Docs and Google Forms 'in the wild'.

While I don't think this is exactly what they were looking for and certainly not an ideal solution for what they want, it is free and it does what is needed. Is there some solution already made out there for them that comes closer to what they want.

Do you know of other ways/suggestions to address this common issue? If so, email me or post a comment.

3 comments:

Stephen Judd said...

At UNHCE, we ended up creating our own with Coldfusion. We use it for scheduling multiple rooms in multiple locations with different "approvers" for each set of rooms.

That being said, I think that free solutions, like you mention, can accomplish 80-90% of what needs doing and make sense for most folks.

Jay said...

Try Jappointment-online at http://www.jappointment-online.com
They offer the customization for a free of charge.

jmkizer said...

Have you looked at the Gcal's auto accept feature?

http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=44105&topic=8605

I'll look at Greasemonkey some and see if there are some scripts to help with this sort of functionality.