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I just experienced this hassle this past week: I was emailing with a couple old friends and trying to find a time to get together for coffee. I suggested one day and time. Friend #1 said “Great!” — but then Friend #2 said he couldn’t make it then, so how about a couple hours earlier?
Naturally, a couple hours earlier wouldn’t work for me. And so the dance began.
That sort of back and forth is an annoying inconvenience for everyone, and it almost always reaches a point where you say to yourself, “Oh, screw it. This is more trouble than it’s worth.”
And it isn’t limited just to friendly get-togethers, either. The same situation comes up constantly when trying to find a time to meet or even just talk to clients, accountants, home repair professionals, insurance agents, or any other (alleged) humans who come up in our work and personal endeavors.
No matter the specifics, it’s a hassle. And I’m determined not to let it happen anymore.
The solution I’ve found is a crafty little service called Woven. Its entire purpose is to eliminate the annoying back-and-forth that comes with scheduling something, whether it’s personal, work-related, pants-related, or whatever. (Hey, I don’t know what sort of stuff you get into.)
Woven basically does three things:
First, it lets you create a one-time scheduling link you can then send to anyone to show them your available times for a meeting. It can either show them all the open windows for certain days based on what’s in your calendar, or it can show them a specific set of windows you specify for that particular encounter.
When you send the link to someone, they’ll see an actual calendar with your suggestions (right away, without any sign-ins or downloads required). And then, once they select which of your available times works for them, your event will automatically get added onto your calendar — and they’ll automatically be sent an invite to add it onto theirs, too.
Next, Woven lets you create a group poll where you list out a series of dates and times that work for you for a rendezvous. The service gives you a link to send to everyone else involved and then prompts each of those people to select which of your suggestions works for them. Once everyone’s responded, Woven shows you the best all-around option and lets you simultaneously add it onto your own calendar and send invites out to everyone else with a single tap.
And third, Woven lets you create a public scheduling link that you can use for ongoing scheduling of events based on both the windows you specify and the events that are already on your calendar. Then you can give that link out over and over for clients, children, spouses (hi, honey!), or anyone else who might need to schedule blocks of time with you.
You may or may not need all of those functions, but I’d bet at least one of ’em would come in handy once in a while.
Best of all? For now, at least, Woven is totally free. The service says it’ll remain that way during its beta period, and while it’s not entirely clear what the pricing will be whenever that phase is over, companies like this often (a) offer a free, limited level of service along with their paid options and (b) offer special discounted rates to people who signed up early on — like, y’know, during their beta era.
You can check Woven out for yourself by first signing into the service on its desktop website (a slightly silly requirement, I realize — but the service is still in beta, so we can cut it a little slack). If you don’t have a laptop handy, just pull up that same site from your phone, then tap the three-dot icon in Chrome’s upper-right corner, select “Desktop site,” and go through the initial setup there.
Once you’re signed up, you can open Woven.app from your desktop or mobile browser to get to the service anytime. Woven expects to have an Android app available somewhere toward the middle of this year, but the web app works quite well in the meantime (and if you want to give yourself easy access to it, you can always open the site in Chrome, tap the three-dot menu icon in the browser’s upper-right corner, and then select “Add to Home Screen” to create an app-like shortcut that can be placed anywhere you want).