I don’t know about you, but one of the things that drives me positively NUTS is trying to schedule a conference call or meeting via email.

You know what I’m talking about: the dreaded “reply all” emails. You’re given a list of five or six different day/time options and asked for your availability.

You go back and forth between your calendar depending on how quickly or often people reply. And there’s inevitably at least one person who replies so late that all your open slots are now closed.

And then it starts all over again. What a nightmare.

I stumbled on Tungle a few months ago via Twitter and I LOVE it. It’s a great little application that integrates with your calendar, and you can basically select several different options and then invite people to choose the ones that work for them.

When everyone’s made their selection, the meeting is automatically scheduled (or you can opt to have Tungle notify you and then confirm the meeting) – and voilà. It’s in your calendar, and your work is done.

Kind of reminds me of MeetingWizard, but I like Tungle even better, because of the calendar integration. It automatically blocks out the times you’re not available, and updates those in real time, so you can’t double-book yourself.

Here’s a screenshot of my Tungle site:

It works both ways as well; if you add the Tungle widget to your site or blog, people can “Tungle” you to request a meeting or call, again cutting down on the email back-and-forth.

You can also add it to your e-signature, and just today I received a notification telling me I could personalize my Tungle site by integrating some of my SM presence, which I promptly did, of course.

The best part is that it’s free and if you’re scheduling meetings with folks who are wary of signing up for new sites, they don’t have to, but they can still respond.

Pretty cool, huh? I’ve been using it quite a bit and it’s an enormous time saver. There are a ton of other features which you should check out, and I’m sure they’ll be adding more as they go along.

One that I’d like to see is the ability to share documents when you schedule a meeting; for example, if you’re going to review content as a group, and so on. Another is a BlackBerry app. Whaddya say, Tungle?

Ironically, I just had to reschedule a Tungle-organized call. Couldn’t be easier.

Oh – and their customer service is phenomenal.

If good communication is, in part, efficient communication, Tungle’s certainly doing its bit to make the world a better place. And if it kills off reply-all scheduling, so much the better.

Have you tried Tungle, and if so, what do you think? Are there other scheduling resources you’ve found that make your life easier? Please share your experiences by leaving a comment so that we can learn from each other.

Image: mot the hoople

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke