I have been using Tungle to schedule meetings with various people during the past couple of weeks (see Introducing Tungle Accelerate). On the whole, it does what it says it will do — makes the scheduling of meetings easier. Particularly for multi-time zone meetings, and where meetings can be on one of a number of different times, the ability as the meeting organizer to say when I’m available in more than a textual description has proven very helpful. In the 4-5 times that I’ve scheduled a meeting with Tungle, no one has said they won’t use the tool, and no one has complained of problems in doing so. Thus it works for its core promise, and works admirably.
However, as I’ve used the service, I have an early complaint: it needs better fit with conversation flow.
Tungle Needs Better Fit with Conversation Flow
Here’s an example. I want to meet Craig for a meeting. I think it will take 30 minutes to have the meeting. I know when I want to meet, and can use Tungle to invite Craig to a meeting of 30 minutes duration at any one of a number of options. When I create the invitation, I can type a comment for Craig to read. And when he accepts the time slot that works for him, he can write a comment that I see. Tungle then notifies me that the meeting has been booked, and that’s where Tungle stops … but I think it needs to go further.
If Craig asks a question in his comment when accepting the meeting invitation, I can not use Tungle to respond to him. I can only leave a comment when the meeting time is changed. So I have to revert to email to answer his question.
When Craig accepts the meeting, I can’t thank him for doing so within Tungle (you know, closing the feedback loop per communication theory); I have to go back to email.
If I want to update the original meeting invitation with a phone number, or with the link to a document to read before the meeting, I can’t use Tungle to do so. I have to revert to email.
Although this doesn’t eliminate the value contribution of Tungle, it always makes me annoyed that I have to step outside of the Tungle system to do meeting related coordination. In my view, once I’ve gifted the organization for a specific meeting to Tungle, I want it to stay there.
So Tungle supports part of the conversation around scheduling the meeting, but it falls short in supporting the whole process. In my view, Tungle needs to go the next step, and disconnect the creation of comments on meeting times from time changes with the meeting. Comments should be postable at any time, by any participant.
Are you using Tungle? Do you have the same experience and reaction? I’d love to hear your thoughts.