Tungle, my go-to calendar service, is shutting down. Here are public calendar alternatives financial advisers should consider

My Tungle.me calendar

Update, March 2014: By April 16, Doodle will charge $39/year to connect online calendars to their service, so there will be no free option to synchronize calendars to the online scheduler. Also, TimeBridge is also now defunct, so the list of alternatives continues to evolve.

With a hat tip to Atlanta-based adviser Russ Thornton, I learned that Tungle.me, my go-to public calendar service, announced today that it is shutting down in December.

See the Life is About the Journey post from Tungle founder Marc Gingras on the company blog.

Sad but not surprising

This is a big disappointment, but it is not unexpected. Ever since being acquired by Research In Motion (the makers of BlackBerry mobile phones) in April 2011, Tungle’s blog and Twitter feed went silent, and customer service stopped responding to inquiries, mine included.

Still, over the two years that I used the service (see A Simpler Way to Schedule Meetings at Morningstar), I booked well over 200 meetings and avoided unnecessary correspondence.

Why advisers need a public calendar

In my Transformative Technology You Can Implement Today presentation, I demonstrate how financial advisers can stop playing “email Battleship” when attempting to schedule meetings.

Instead of the constant back-and-forth emails trying to lock down a time that works for all those involved in a meeting, public calendar services allow one or more attendees to draw in the times they are available, and everyone receives a confirmation when a time is identified that all can attend. No more “how does Tuesday at 1pm work for you?” volleys.

Tungle alternatives

Never one to leave FPPad readers out in the cold, here are some free and low-cost alternatives to Tungle worth investigating. I’m not making any one specific recommendation now, but will soon have to switch my own public calendar over to one of these services.

Have any others to recommend? Leave a comment below.

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42 Responses to “Tungle, my go-to calendar service, is shutting down. Here are public calendar alternatives financial advisers should consider”

  1. Loic Jeanjean September 18, 2012 5:49 pm #

    Hi Bill,

    at Advisor Websites, we have been using Genbook. You can see it in action here:
    http://www.genbook.com/bookings/slot/reservation/30099768

    It’s pretty nice!

    Cheers,

    Loic

    • Bill Winterberg September 19, 2012 6:52 am #

      Loic,

      Thank you for the recommendation of GenBook. I took a quick look at it and see it does a LOT more than simple meeting scheduling.

      On the calendar, I wish GenBook would show a week’s worth of availability, rather than having to click each individual day to see what hours are open. Also, as a customer, I don’t really care about first selecting the category of meeting, I just want to get a meeting scheduled. It adds another unnecessary step to booking a meeting.

      • Loic Jeanjean September 19, 2012 6:43 pm #

        For sure, you can actually link directly to specific category, team member etc…
        I agree with the week availability, which is not something offered by Genbook at this point. Who knows, they might be watching this thread…

    • Nancy Johnson February 4, 2014 2:16 pm #

      Bill, great piece for all of us former Tunglites. I’ve tried a number of these alternatives but don’t like any as much as tungle. :(

      While I haven’t used it for long, I have found something that’s slightly different but I like called Betty – http://www.trybetty.com

      It basically allows you propose times directly within email and monitors your availability. Once you get in the swing of things it makes proposing times to clients pretty quick and natural. I will follow up once I’ve used it some more, but worth checking out.

      • Bill Winterberg February 4, 2014 2:43 pm #

        Nancy,

        Thank you for the tip on Betty.

        You’re right, it’s different, with all the scheduling done right within an email. But in your experience, does the formatting get messed up at all depending on the recipient’s email program of choice? That matrix seems a little intimidating, too, depending on the complexity of one’s availability.

        • Nancy Johnson February 4, 2014 7:23 pm #

          Hi Bill,

          Good point! Actually, to your point, I personally tried it out to see how it looked in Outlook and iPhone mail (and to see that it worked) before I started using it – rendered without issue. And so far (granted not very long), my clients have not complained (they’ve actually complimented me on it).

          But agree if you’re offering a bunch of times it can be a little overwhelming though it does limit you to just three days. I’ll keep testing and report back!

  2. Blane Warrene September 24, 2012 11:57 am #

    I will sorely miss Tungle – having been using it heavily as a great way to let folks propose appointments in my open windows.

    I am on the hunt for a new service and will be running down your list….

  3. Damon Deru September 28, 2012 12:01 pm #

    Hey Bill,

    I was also using Tungle. Just curious if you’ve made a decision on a new service yet?

    I’ve used Timetrade a little, and it seems like it does the job, but I haven’t really explored the other options you’ve listed, so I just curious if you had narrowed down the list? Thanks Bill-

  4. Robert Weiner September 28, 2012 2:08 pm #

    Thanks for the resources. I’m sorry to see Tungle go, but not surprised. It’s been flaky since RIM bought it.

    I was looking at TimeBridge but couldn’t figure out what they charge. When I searched for pricing info I found a negative review of it here: http://just2technical.com/blog/business-tools/review-timebridge-not-recommended/ I’d love to hear from people who are using it.

    At this point ScheduleOnce and TimeTrade look most promising.

  5. Robert Weiner September 28, 2012 4:06 pm #

    ScheduleOnce looks the closest to Tungle. I also signed up for TimeTrade but as far as I can tell it doesn’t create a page where people can browse my availability. Instead, I need to send out proposed meeting times (more like Doodle or MeetingWizard).

    I read several reports saying that TimeBridge’s future is uncertain after it was acquired, but I hope that’s wrong.

  6. Tim Kober October 22, 2012 9:08 am #

    Bill,
    Thanks for sending this out. I narrowed the list to solutions on the Google Apps marketplace, and decided to try out scheduleonce. It integrates well with Google Calendar, and is easy for clients and vendors to schedule meetings. The free version is good enough.
    Tim

    • Bill Winterberg October 22, 2012 9:36 am #

      Tim,

      Thank you for the feedback on ScheduleOnce. I haven’t yet had time to set up an account, but will do it this week and will report back on how I like it.
      Bill

    • Tim Kober April 21, 2013 5:05 pm #

      Update – we have upgraded from the free version to the “professional” plan. My partner and I do most of our client meetings together, and we were able to setup a “meetme” page that shows our joint availability. We are also able to setup a “book now” page for prospects or clients that allows them to schedule a phone call or meeting with either of us. We have integrated the functions onto our website as well. I also like the ability to specify timezone. The Google apps integration is good. It’s already paying off with current clients. It’s up to them to find a date that works for everyone, and we still the ability make final approval for an appointment.

      • Bill Winterberg April 21, 2013 9:45 pm #

        Tim,

        That’s great to hear that ScheduleOnce is working so well for you and your partner. Thanks for returning and providing your feedback.

  7. Mitch F November 13, 2012 5:29 am #

    If you haven’t checked out calendarme.in yet its looking to be an interesting contender in the scheduling arena.

  8. Bridget Harris November 23, 2012 7:11 am #

    Hi Bill – We’d love to hear what you thought of YouCanBook.Me – a service we’ve been building up over the last few years, largely on the back of a steadily growing community of enthusiastic users. As an incentive to try we’re throwing in a special offer to all former ‘tunglers’ http://youcanbook.me/tungle

    any questions please don’t hesitate to ask, cheers Bridget

    • Bill Winterberg November 23, 2012 9:25 am #

      Thank you Bridget, I’ll check out YouCanBook.Me soon.

  9. Dotan, vCita Team November 25, 2012 7:37 am #

    You can Check out vCita!
    Just like Tungle.me, vCita can help with scheduling appointments from any website, email signature, or a standalone contact-page we create in minutes.

    vCita can also help engaging online visitors and turning them into clients.
    Proactive contact form, phone conferencing, video meetings, credit-card payments, and even email campaigns, are all part of vCita.

    visit http://www.vcita.com and try our Free forever plan!

    • Bill Winterberg November 27, 2012 11:23 am #

      Dotan,

      The Vcita UI resembles both ScheduleOnce and TimeTrade, and it frustrates me.

      What I don’t like is viewers first have to click on a date, then they see available times.

      Help my visitors save mouse clicks and show them a full week of availability instead.

  10. Chris December 10, 2012 9:09 am #

    Hey Bill,

    I hear you’re not a fan of our interface, which I admit needs a bit of a facelift! I wanted to share some info on our latest release. http://www.timetrade.com/timetrade-6-demo. It would be great to hear your thoughts. Feel free to reach out to me via email.

    Thanks,
    -Chris

    • Bill Winterberg December 10, 2012 12:12 pm #

      @Chris,

      Thank you for letting me know about the update. I sent my feedback to you privately via email.

      Bill

  11. Susan Weiner, CFA December 31, 2012 5:35 pm #

    Doodle seems to be working well for one of my professional organizations. It’s easy for me as one of the people whom they’re trying to schedule.

  12. steve July 15, 2013 11:10 am #

    Did you narrow the list to your favorite online scheduler?

    • Bill Winterberg July 15, 2013 11:25 am #

      Yes, I’ve been using Doodle since the beginning of the year, but I have to do more calendar management on my end.

      For example, I have to manually add events from 12am to 11:30pm for days when I’m unavailable so Doodle will publicly show those days as busy.

      With Tungle, all I had to do was insert an all-day event on my calendar, instead of needing to specify the start and end times.

      Other than that, Doodle has been working well.

      • Vernon Hurd January 10, 2014 11:53 am #

        Hi Bill,

        After recently discovering that TimeBridge (which was my personal favorite) is dead (but whose assets could be bought for $50k, maybe less) I’ve had to start looking at alternatives and have appreciated the reviews you provide on other tools/resources.

        I’m curious if you’re still using Doodle, even with the added work on your end, or if you opted for a different service? Like you, I want my clients to see the whole week and make it very easy for them.

        -Vernon

        • Bill Winterberg January 10, 2014 12:15 pm #

          Vernon,

          Boy, another one bites the dust. I saw that post on Quora about TimeBridge’s alleged buyout request of $50k: http://www.quora.com/Timebridge/What-is-the-future-of-Timebridge

          But yes, I do still use Doodle, and still go through the extra steps of intentionally blocking off time on my Google Calendar to make it show up as unavailable on my public Doodle page. I had a Doodle premium account up until December 2013, and now use the ad-supported freemium plan.

          I haven’t received any negative feedback about the ad-supported page by my clients, but I suppose it’s worth the low fee to get them removed. I just haven’t gotten around to doing that.

  13. Olivier July 24, 2013 3:37 am #

    Hi Bill,

    I have been using zeeyoo for business and personal. I think its a very user friendly online scheduler especially for people, who organize everyday meetings. As far as I know, zeeyoo has also won different awards for usability and technology. Would be nice to hear a feedback about it…

    • Bill Winterberg July 24, 2013 7:17 am #

      Thanks for sharing Zeeyoo. It reminds me a lot of WhenIsGood.net, but Zeeyoo offers an Outlook plugin that WhenIsGood doesn’t have.

      If anyone is out there using Zeeyoo for meeting organization, feel free to leave a comment.

  14. Craig Larsen August 10, 2013 12:52 am #

    Does anyone know of a public calendar / online scheduler that integrates with Redtail? I would like to move in this direction, but I don’t want my staff to have to manage two separate calendars.

    • Bill Winterberg August 10, 2013 9:39 am #

      Craig,

      One approach that should work is to use Redtail’s synchronizer tool with Outlook, so once you synchronize your Redtail calendar with Outlook, you can then connect a calendar service like the ones mentioned above to it. It’s a bit of a round about way of doing it, but the synchronization should work.

      I’d love to hear from others that have synchronized their Redtail calendar with an online scheduler.

  15. Tope September 15, 2013 2:35 am #

    For those still looking for a free alternative to Tungle.me, check out calendly.com. The highlights:

    -100% free
    -great looking, modern and user friendly interface
    -2 way Google calendar sync (outlook/exchange integration coming soon)
    -full control over your availability – define minimum scheduling notices, buffers and more
    -automated reminders
    -make a test appointment at calendly.com/testdrive to get a feel for how it works.

    And if you like it, go ahead and sign up – it’s free!! And it only takes 1 or 2 minutes to set it up.

    Bill – you’ll be happy to know if doesn’t require your invitees to first click on a day to find out if there are open spots. Secondly, you have the option of sending your users to your main calendly page (e.g calendly.com/testdrive) where they can pick from many events or you can save them a step by sending them directly to the specific type of meeting you want them to schedule (e.g calendly.com/testdrive/15min. Would love to hear your feedback

    • Bill Winterberg September 15, 2013 3:31 pm #

      Tope,

      Thank you for telling me about calendly.com. I’ll add it to the list of resources to investigate.

      Bill

    • AlexV December 2, 2013 7:18 pm #

      tope – calendly looks great, but like bill, i am not a big fan of having my users pick a meeting duration first. i would like to see someone’s calendar the same way i consume mine – by looking at the standard calendar view (in google cal or outlook). i don’t want to have to mentally map various time slots to calendar view… would love to see this as a configurable option – where i can opt out of the default flow and land the users on my calendar, and let them define meeting length. tx

  16. John September 27, 2013 11:21 am #

    Check out http://hydrogen.casesort.com/autobook/. Seems to solve the same problem, but in mobile app form.

    • Bill Winterberg September 27, 2013 11:31 am #

      John,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’d like to see a little more about the product before serving up my contact info for a trial. Do you have any resources you can share on Autobook?

  17. Gadi January 10, 2014 8:03 pm #

    Hi Bill,

    If you still miss Tungle and want to give a try to a wider vision (that includes Scheduling) let me know… We are in private beta, funded and would love to get some ex Tungle users feedback.

    Gadi

  18. Scott March 21, 2014 10:57 am #

    Doodle just eliminate calendar integration from their free feature set. I’m not willing to pay $40 a year for it so I’m dropping it. That brought me here in search of alternatives.

    • Bill Winterberg March 21, 2014 11:25 am #

      Scott,

      I just saw the note from Doodle. I suppose paying $40 is better than learning that the service is shutting down completely, a la Tungle.

      For non-users, here’s the detail from Doodle:


      We’re happy to see that you’ve discovered the advantages of scheduling with Doodle and that you use our service on a regular basis.

      Until now, you’ve been able to connect your online calendars to Doodle as a part of the free and basic Doodle service. Due to the increase in development resources that the calendar connection requires, we will make the calendar connection feature something that’s only available through Premium Doodle starting on 04/16/2014. You can subscribe to Premium Doodle for less than $4 per month (starting at $39 / CHF 39 / € 29 per year).

      As a trusted Doodle user, we want to give you a chance to try an ad-free Premium Doodle account for free for one month. You will automatically receive a Premium Doodle upgrade on 04/16/2014 so you can experience all of the advanced features. Of course, for existing Premium Doodle customers, everything will stay the same.

      We hope that you’ll consider becoming a Premium Doodle user in the near future!

      Your Doodle Team

  19. Thomas April 4, 2014 7:58 am #

    Wyth http://bitly.com/1sey4q4 is a new alternative. It is iPhone app that combines messaging and calendar. A natural language processing powered personal assistant keeps track of the planning conversation, helps figure out the best time and place to meet, and shared the calendar appointment seamlessly.

  20. Dan Nielsen April 12, 2014 7:25 am #

    I’m so happy I found this conversation.

    We’re a small team developing: http://www.timebird.co/
    Timebird solves the scheduling problem in a slightly different way than you usually see.

    Most current services are either:
    - Focussed on making your calendar available for clients to book time in – Appointment focus.
    - Scheduling through selecting and voting on dates and times – Doodle style.

    We make the process more automatic by connecting all participants calendars to the service, and suggesting times for meeting up based on availability across all calendars.

    We are developing the product as we speak, but the core functionality is in place.
    We’ll start inviting people to our private beta before long.

    I would love any feedback or questions – and of course hope some of you will join the beta list at http://www.timebird.co/

    • Bill Winterberg April 12, 2014 9:09 am #

      Thanks Dan, I’ll add Timebird to the resource list and trust you’ll receive some feedback from FPPad readers.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Robert L. Weiner: Nonprofit Fundraising Technology Consulting » Finding a replacement for Tungle.me - September 28, 2012

    [...] found this article listing possible replacements for Tungle (ScheduleOnce, TimeBridge, Meetifyr, Bookeo, Acuity Scheduling, TimeTrade, and Book’d).  [...]

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