I'm trying to plan a meeting but it seems not everybody liked the day that I picked originally. I've now got several alternatives and I would like people to vote on the meeting days and times that are available and then pick the one with the most votes.
Is there any way I can create a "vote for meeting" invitation in Outlook?
You can create a custom voting email in Outlook which contains all the options that are available. However, there are 2 major downsides to this method;
- Every recipient should be using Outlook for voting to work.
- They can only pick 1 option, even when they are perfectly fine with additional options as well.
I have not found a good way in Outlook itself to allow the recipients to easily select a date of choice without needing to do a whole lot of manual work or use additional applications.
Most often it is not worth to do a lot of extra work for it anyway or you might as well could have manually processed all their wishes and select a date yourself based on that feedback.
There are however some useful alternatives such as Microsoft FindTime various 3rd party date voting websites.
Microsoft FindTime website and Outlook add-in
If you are using Office 365 for Business, Enterprise or Education, then you can use FindTime to create a meeting poll. This poll can be sent to anyone and they don’t need to be within your organization or even require to have an Office 365 subscription themselves. This means you can also send it to people who use Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.. or are working for another company.
FindTime is also available as an Outlook add-in so you can easily create meeting polls directly from within Outlook.
Invitation created with FindTime.
Date voting website: Datumprikker.nl
If you don’t have an Office 365 for Business account, an alternative could be this great website, which is quite popular in The Netherlands, called datumprikker.nl. Don’t worry about the Dutch name (which means Date Picker); the site can be set completely in English as well.
In 4 easy steps you can send out your invitation with multiple dates and people can vote on their preferences. The website will then automatically calculate availability percentages based on their responses so all you have to do is pick the date which has the highest rate of availability. The responses are calculated in the following way;
- 'Yes' counts as 100%
- 'Maybe' counts as 50%
- 'No' counts as 0%
Modifying, canceling, adding participants, etc… it is all possible from the website itself without the need to register first.
You can also create groups to easily select the participants. Another feature is that you can specify multiple possible locations and people can directly vote on that as well.
Pick a date fast and easy with datumprikker.nl!
You also get the results in a Matrix overview and even export them to Excel.
Alternative date voting website: NeedToMeet.com
An alternative for datumprikker.nl is NeedToMeet. This website offers you similar functionality but only allows Yes/No answers and you can’t finalize the vote and directly inform everybody about the results.
However, when you register (free), you do get access to an Outlook add-in which allows you to create date voting emails directly from within Outlook and integrate it with your Calendar and Contacts.