On October 1 Microsoft replaced FindTime with “Poll for a Time to Meet.”
Unfortunately Poll for a Time to Meet does not have all the features that FindTime had.
At JDB Consultants, we used FindTime extensively to schedule with clients. Because a meeting poll could be inserted directly into an existing email thread the system worked as the people at the other end were already engaged in the conversation. Now you have a create a new message thread and hope everyone is looking for it. In initial tests I have found that, unlike FindTime, “poll for a Time to Meet” (I don’t really like the new name either) does not seem to get good results on answers. A much higher number of requests go unanswered.
FindTime notified the originator when people voted on the poll. The new software does not. This means you have to manually go check for vote status until everyone has voted.
The previous meeting poll had an Outlook add-in that let you schedule right from Outlook. That is also gone. Features in the add-in, like moving times in your calendar to the end of the list and showing “working hours” only (with an option to show other hours), are also gone. In my 1st try I scheduled a meeting for 3 AM the same day I was doing the planning. But at least the web site notified me that I had a meeting in the past before sending. FindTime would not have even displayed a time in the past.
Hopefully Microsoft will revive the FindTime features including:
1) Add-in for Outlook 2016 to insert into a ongoing email
2) Option to not reserve times in advance
3) Notices when people vote
4) Email link to the meeting at setup so it can be clicked on from Outlook 2016.
In Summary, I am disappointed that Microsoft downgraded an App I thought was a real gem. It worked great and the only explanation given was that it was now available to more users because it’s web only.
If you used FindTime and want to join me in requesting features be put back in to Poll for a Time to Meet, see the Forum here.
If you want the instructions for using “Poll for a Time to Meet” I have copied some of Microsoft’s web site redirecting FindTime users to the new software. Here is an excerpt from the page that replaced http:://findtime.microsoft.com.
Looking for FindTime?
FindTime has been replaced by a new feature coming to Outlook on the Web: “Poll for a Time to Meet”.
When we launched FindTime last year, we wanted to offer the easiest way to find time to meet across companies. Since then, we’ve seen millions of votes to find the best day and time to meet.
With the huge positive response, we wanted to make FindTime even easier to access (beyond an add-in) to help more people save time. Today, we’re sharing that FindTime functionality is directly available in Outlook on the web as a preview.
As a FindTime user, we’d like to invite you to be one of the first people to “Poll for a Time to Meet” in Outlook on the web.
How to get started
To get started in Outlook, follow these steps:
- Navigate to http://www.office.com.
- Sign in.
- Open your calendar.
- Click New.
- Click Poll for a time to meet.