Imagine wanting to arrange a meeting with someone and being able to see whether they’re free or not… how great would that be? Well, most modern e-mail solutions (such as Notes / Domino and that one that Microsoft sell) offer such a thing – it’s called ‘free time search’. Unfortunately, many people are either too lazy to use free time search, or maybe just don’t know how – I say this because most of the meeting invites I get are for times that I’m already busy. Not using free time search should be added to the calendar and scheduling bad habits.

Sarcasm aside, free time search works fine within organisations, although some people do their best to scupper your best attempts to find a convenient time. I have known people to be apparently busy every day, but the reality is that their days are marked with an all-day event reading ‘working in Staines’ or even ‘pancake day’ – neither of which really prevent a meeting or conference call. But what about scheduling time with people outside of your organisation? Unless there’s an organised and maintained link it’s difficult to achieve. Tungle offers a way to solve this.

What does Tungle do? It allows you to upload and sync the contents of your calendar from a number of sources, and then present the free and busy time to contacts on the web. Your contacts can see when you’re free (not necessarily the meeting details), suggest some appointment times, and then Tungle does the job of arranging the meeting between the two of you and provides the invites.

A partnership between Tungle and IBM Lotus was announced at Lotusphere – see here for details. The Tungle plug-in for Notes, now in beta, provides the synchronisation between your Notes calendar and the Tungle service. This means that you just have to update one calendar for your internal and external colleagues to see when you’re free.

Click on the purple button for a view of the Tungle calendar with my free time.

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