Probably the only site you need to check out if you want to improve your efficiency is Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders. Being an advocate I am sure he won’t object to me spreading the word…
“A very clever and satisfyingly lo-fi way to find the best date for an event based on several people’s schedules. By passing around emails with an ASCII, monotype text representation of the possible dates and times, each person uses a symbol to indicate their preference and availability. Very clever stuff.”
December 0 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 t f S S m t w t f S S m t w t f S S m t w t f S S m t w t f Janne + + - - + + + + + ? ? + + + + - - - ? ? - - - - - - - - - + Ville + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + - Kalle - - - - + + + + e e e - - - + - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + Sanna - - e e - - - + ? ? ? + + + + + - - + + - - - - - - + + + + * * *
From this table courtesy of ButtUgly, it’s easy to see what would be suitable dates for everyone (marked with “*”). The initiator of the sequence suggets Thursday 8th, and everyone agrees. And while they were at it, they agreed on holding the 15th as “tentative”, so that they get to continue the game if it’s not finished in time. One of the advantages of this calendar is of course that you can immediately see who might not make it – and while everyone is equal, missing someone might not be.
I may well bring you other favourite tips from Merlin Mann, many simple practical tips!