Brought to you by Norton Symantec
TimeBridge web-scheduling service
- Scheduling meetings is easy no matter what type of e-mail, calendar app or browser you use, TimeBridge can automatically schedule a meeting when all of the attendees are available according to their calendar
- Limited to people within the same company, there are a few glitches
If your meeting invitees are all internal to your organisation and on the same Microsoft-based mail and calendar systems, Outlook 2007 may provide all the scheduling tools you need. But TimeBridge offers much more flexibility and time savings for people who collaborate in many environments and in various browser platforms.
TimeBridge is an effective meeting scheduler for people who don't work in Microsoft-centric organisations -- and for those who do.
Meetings may be a necessary evil, but the time required to schedule them can be a real productivity killer. Microsoft Outlook has helpful tools such as shared calendars and auto-selection of meeting times, but its usefulness is limited to people within the same company.
TimeBridge, a free Web-based service, surpasses Outlook's approach, allowing you to quickly and easily schedule meetings with anyone, no matter what e-mail service, calendaring app or browser they have -- and they don't even need to be TimeBridge users. The service is especially useful when you must schedule meetings with people outside of your organisation.
You can schedule meetings in just three steps on the TimeBridge site. You enter the e-mail addresses of your attendees, type in a meeting topic, and then choose up to five proposed meeting times. You select the proposed times from your TimeBridge calendar; if you've linked it with your calendar in Outlook (using a small, free plug-in) or Google, your existing appointments will already appear.
(If the meeting attendees are TimeBridge users who have linked their calendars, the meeting organiser can see when they're free and use that information to further narrow down the potential times.)
Since TimeBridge uses the linked calendars only to show basic availability, not details of already scheduled events, privacy is maintained.
Once you've completed these steps (and added an optional note for your attendees), you click Send to set TimeBridge in motion. Your attendees receive a well-designed e-mail form that lets them vote for their preferred time, by designating which times are 'best', which are 'acceptable', and which are 'not available'.
TimeBridge gathers and analyses the results, and uses the weighted responses to book the most convenient meeting time, greatly reducing or even eliminating the back-and-forth communication that often happens when colleagues attempt to coordinate multiple schedules.
Attendees with a calendar linked to TimeBridge will automatically see the event added to their own calendars, while others will receive a confirmation e-mail along with a link to download the meeting to their calendar platform; Google, Outlook, Yahoo, and both iCal and Entourage in Mac OS X are supported.
TimeBridge lets a meeting organiser operate almost in "fire and forget" mode -- after you enter the initial information in TimeBridge, the service takes care of the rest. For fast access you can even create or drag and drop a TimeBridge bookmark into your browser to quickly click and begin the simple scheduling process.
The service still has a glitch or two to be worked out, though: for example, choosing 10am to 11am in the interface in Apple's Safari browser created a meeting from 2pm to 3pm. Fixing the problem required only a simple drag and drop of the correct time, though.
Outlook 2007 does provide an adequate method of scheduling meetings. It can automatically pick the best possible time based on criteria you set, such as scheduling the meeting when all of the attendees are available, and it can show the free or busy schedules of potential attendees.
It works effectively, however, only when resources are on the same internal e-mail system such as Microsoft Exchange -- and that simple requirement might not be met for weeks or months out, as calendars can easily fill up with a myriad of events. The more attendees needed for a meeting, the more schedules enter the mix, so it's not unheard of for Outlook to find a time that's suitable for everyone but too far off in the future to be practical.
People in different organisations can share their calendars through another interface such as Microsoft Office Online, but even in this case the burden of scheduling still lies with the meeting organiser -- that is, the organiser has to set a single meeting time and then try to reschedule for a time acceptable to all once the inevitable decline responses come back. Another option is Outlook Web Access (OWA), a Web-based client that mimics the full Outlook desktop software; but if you don't use Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser (version 5 or better), you'll see merely a "light" version of OWA.
Scheduling a meeting in the OWA calendar with Firefox, Opera or Safari in the light version shows only a daily calendar view, with no auto-selection of time available.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 2 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Bitdefender unveils new 2019 product line
- WWDC 2018: Apple gives us a first look at an all-new Mac App Store
- Apple combats iPhone throttling backlash with new iOS 12 features
- Budget 2018: Government seeks to boost Australian AI capabilities
- JBL take smart speakers back to the living room Link 300
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies