About a month ago Marc Gingras CEO of Montreal-based Tungle emailed me if I’d like to try the new version of Tungle. I had heard of Tungle, I knew it had something to do with planning and booking meetings, but hadn’t used it.
I agreed, of course. You know me and new software, especially first look betas, I can’t resist them.
Marc told me about the software and told me it was an addin for Outlook. Okay I was a little worried at this point. I have ClearContext and Xobni running in Outlook right now, did I want another Outlook addin? After Marc’s demo, I knew I did and here’s why.
Tungle takes the pain and hassle out planning and booking meetings
Simply, Tungle is a little tool that syncs with your Outlook addressbook and calendar that let’s you plan a meeting by showing when you’re free and when you’re not.
This is how it works. You want to book a meeting with Tom, Sue and Bill. You open Tungle and pick them off the address list on the left or just type their emails into the email box on the right. Since Tungle knows your addressbook, people are suggested as you type. Either way you add them as recipients.
Type in your basic subject and how long the meeting needs to be, then select in a view of your calendar when you’re free. You can even control-click to select non-contiguous blocks of time.
When you click “Create Space”, an email is generated and sent to each person with a link to this web-based space. Everyone looks and selects the times they are available. Eventually you should have a narrowed down slate of times, or just one, and you can book the meeting.
Now, and I did this today, if you want to book a meeting with one person, and show your free time, the other person just picks the time and it’s autobooked for you and put into your calendar for you. Yes, really. I did this today and it was painless. In fact I booked training sessions with a blogger and he just picked when he was free and were were done.
No emails back and forth. No, oops, now that time isn’t free (Tungle will update your free-busy if it changes).
The coolest stuff comes when other people have Tungle because then you can see their free-busy times in both Tungle and Outlook. You can share as much or as little of your calendar as you wish, and on a per-user basis.
Now that Tungle is in public beta, yeah I’m getting the folks I work with to download it. Oh, what if they don’t have Outlook or even Windows?
The web-based part still works great. In fact that’s what I’ve been using in this private beta I’ve been in.
Truly, honestly, this is a real time saver. It’s easy, it’s painless and saves you time.
Here are Tungle’s key features:
Tungle is a full-featured solution. Key features include:
- One-click free/busy calendar sharing within and across organizations, firewalls, and networks
- Tungle Space to coordinate meetings with anyone, non-Tungle users on iCal, Google Calendar, Lotus Notes and any other calendaring platform
- Automatic timezone detection
- Automatic meeting invitations in the groupware format familiar to each invitee
- Create Tungle Spaces with the availability of colleagues and co-workers pre-populated
- Coordinate meetings between individuals, without taking part in the meeting (i.e., Admin Assistant)
- Full integration with Outlook scheduling tools, including AutoPick Next and Free/Busy view in Outlook scheduling pane
- Update and History tracking
- Tungle Space management
- Multiple e-mail account support
- Latest security and encryption techniques including: public key encryption, digital signatures and symmetric encryption algorithms
Go ahead and download and try it. If I’m in your addressbook, I’ll show up with a gray Tungle icon … add me and share.
If you saw Stowe Boyd’s meeting planning via Twitter…think of this as taking it to the next level. Like easier.
Update: Check out Tungle’s launch post on their blog.