Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Using TimeBridge

Well, I’ve been using TimeBridge for some time now. And I’d like to let you know what I think about it.

As I said, TimeBridge really fills the gaps that Outlook (2003) has. For instance, being able to propose options for a meeting to a group of people is great.

TimeBridge’s user interface is wonderfully designed. Very intuitive, you can get to work right away. I also like the workflow approach to making an meeting(request). The user interface takes you through a couple of basic steps in a helpful way. Selecting options in your agenda and the people you want to invite is easy too. And I love the feature that the people you invite can say if the option is ‘best’, ‘ok’ or ‘not possible’. A meeting proposal in Outlook is all or nothing, accept or decline. And people hate to decline, but it looks like there not cooperative. Oh, yes, you can ‘propose a different date/time’, but you’re not the person setting up the meeting right?

But then comes the part I’m not quite satisfied with. When you select your options you’d like to look in your Outlook Calender and see what timeslots are open. This is not possible (yet?). You can import your Outlook Calender to TimeBridge, but I don’t want to do that. Outlook is my main Calender, not TimeBridge. Even from the Outlook plugin you can’t look in Outlook.

Well, OK, say we take this for granted and just flip between Outlook and the TimeBridge website to check for open slots. Then, still, there’s another thing I don’t like. What’s the problem? Ok, you’ve sent out your meeting proposal and get back replies from the people you want to meet with. Then you choose the best option. This option is sent to all invitees. I was thinking that the meeting was now also put in Outlook or could easily be put in Outlook via a sync feature. But you can’t. You have to download an ical file, open this file and it’s in your Outlook Calender. I find this too difficult.

Hopefully the people at TimeBridge will add the feature I miss.

Anyway, I’m enthusiastic about this tool. As I said before, this should be standard functionility in Outlook (and every Calender tool). And I hope it will be soon. With TimeBridge leading the way.

5 comments:

  1. Samuel: Thanks for your comments on TimeBridge's interaction. The good news is that the thing you want is available right now!

    Let me clarify: If you use the TimeBridge Connector for Outlook, which is a small download. You can see your calendar details in the TimeBridge schedule while your propose times, just as you'd like. But we do NOT upload the contents, nor do we want to replace your calendar. Rather we want to work with what you use--- right now we support Outlook and Google calendars in this way but expect to support others in the next few months.

    Also we hold the proposed times on your Outlook calendar and then remove them, leaving only the confirmed time, once the time is set.

    And you can share your availability so that others (on TimeBridge or not) can see when you are free or busy. This makes it easier for them to schedule time with you. If they are connected TimeBridge users, they can reciprocate.

    Hope this makes things clearer but based on your post it sounds like we have just what you need (and want!) Let us know how it goes. We love feedback here at TimeBridge.
    John

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  2. Thanks for the comment, John. I had the Connector from the beginning. And I was hoping the Connector would address my problem... But I didn't get it to work in the way I wanted/expected. I'll try again and let you know what happened. Is there a video/flash demo on this issue?

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  3. Just check if I was mistaken about the connection with Outlook. I don't think I was. What I meant was that when I'm selecting time slot in the Timebridge calendar, I can't look in Outlook directly whether those slots are already filled. The Outlook plugin only take you to the Timebridge site, but doesn't really integrate with the Outlook calendar (yet?).

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  4. Samuel:

    Sorry for the delayed response...

    Let me give you a couple links that may help you.

    Yori giving a short product demo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuj0P-SNwPk

    A great overview from demogirl:http://flash.screeniac.com/timebridge-dg/timebridge-dg.html?TB_iframe=true&height=590&width=1050

    Perhaps there's an issue w/ the way your Connector is working. If so you can email us at support@timebridge.com and we'll help get you up and running! The good news is you should be able to do what you want to do (if I'm hearing you correctly).
    - John

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