How Do You Schedule Meetings?

Last Updated Jul 15, 2010 10:31 AM EDT

The other day, a buddy of mine told me a story that struck me as so bizarre I didn't, at first, even believe him. This guy works as a program manager at a major government contractor. He is in an organization of literally thousands of people, and he contends that a small fraction -- perhaps only 25 percent -- use Outlook to schedule meetings.

He says:

Many people don't use Outlook, instead sending out an e-mail to a zillion people with the name, date, time, and location of the meeting in plain text form.

Of the few people who do use them, nearly all of them, when cancelling a meeting, do not use the cancel feature, but instead either send out a text e-mail to cancel the meeting, or -- brace yourself -- send a new invitation, saying "the meeting is cancelled."

There is no software in the world that can fix this problem. This is human stupidity.

I am a bit incredulous. My organization is thoroughly invested in Outlook and no one would even consider scheduling a meeting without booking it through everyone's calendar. And while I know there are companies which don't use Outlook, most seem to rely on some other scheduling tool, like Tungle, MeetingMade, or WhichDateWorks.

How does your organization schedule meetings? With Outlook, some Web tool, or by leaving cryptic notes with a stick and some sand?