Will Google Calendar’s New Appointment Slots Kill Tungle?

Update 12/11/2012: It seems that Tungle’s finally dead – they were acquired by RIM a while back, and now RIM’s decided to shut the doors on the product. If you’re looking for something to replace Tungle’s functionality, check out Doodle’s MeetMe tool or vCita’s Meeting Scheduler. If you have experience with either, let us know what you think in the comments!

It seems Google’s got Tungle.me in its sights and is going for a headshot. The search giant rolled out a new feature to its Google Calendar web app today: appointment slots.

This new feature adds an option to the standard event creation dialogue that appears when you click a spot on your calendar. Just like a regular event, and appointment slot has a description and a calendar that it belongs to. When you create an appointment slot, you see what looks like a normal event; in fact, the only things differentiating it are the diagonal lines on the event box.

However, when people who you’ve shared your calendar with look at the appointment slot, they’ll see a button that they can click to sign themselves up for the appointment. You have the option of either making the entire time slot a single appointment, or you can split the slot into 30-minute individual appointments. I’ll probably be using the latter option come this December when I have my residents sign up for check-out times (I’m an RA).

You can get all the details about the new appointment slots feature at the official Gmail blog.

Calendar shot

Creating an appointment slot in my calendar.

For most of you, this is probably the first event scheduling application you’ve seen that’s seamlessly integrated in your calendar. Yes, Doodle does multi-person event scheduling well, but its strength is in scheduling single events; you create each one separately. With Google Calendar’s appointment slots, you actually have the signup functionality built into your calendar. However, as I hinted to above, there is already a service that does this very well – Tungle.me.

So, the question is this: how do Appointment Slots stack up to Tungle?

The answer is: it’s complicated. Each application has an advantage – what you’ll want to use will depend on the amount of privacy and exclusivity you need.

If you want to simply open your schedule up to meeting requests from anyone, Tungle is still the way to go. This is because Tungle gives you a short, easy-to-remember URL that you can share with anyone. Mine’s tungle.me/thomasfrank.

Tungle also imports all of your Google Calendars, so even if you’re like me and have a lot, people can see all the times you’re busy and simply request to schedule meetings in the gaps. Because of this feature, you don’t actually have to set up specific time slots in your schedule. If you just want to fill up your free time by meeting cool people, Tungle might be for you.

On the other hand, Google Calendar’s appointment slots are good if you only want to give certain people access to your meeting times. In fact, sharing your appointment slots with the world is a huge pain with Google Calendar – you don’t actually get a URL to share your calendar. If you make it public, it’s just “available to be seen in Google searches”.

Still, Appointment Slots are the way to go if you want to share your appointment times with a limited number of people. Here’s why: you can create separate appointment slots for each of your calendars. This is a huge benefit.

I have separate calendars for every part of my life; I’ve got calendars for classes, campus events, homework and projects, work, my business, and random other things. If, for instance, I only want to be available to my work contacts on Mondays and my classmates on Wednesdays, I can create those respective appointment slots on the appropriate calendar. Then I can selectively share my calendars to make sure my appointments are scheduled correctly.

Right now, I just want to be open to meet with people; therefore, I’ll be sticking with Tungle.

What do you think? Which app seems more appealing to you? (or do you just want to be left alone?) Leave your responses in the comments.

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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  1. Thomas,

    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
    -takes 1 minute to set up

  2. Hi Thomas,

    Seems you were correct. Tungle.me wil be DEAD in early December, 2012. I am really struggling with the Gcal appts.

    Any way you know to dim or hide the calendar appointments SLOTS on your normal calendar until they are booked?

    This is what I loved about Tungle. Nothing appeared on my Gcal until it was booked. No clutter. No mess.

    • Sadly, I don’t think there’s really a way to do that. GCal’s appointment features really don’t replace Tungle that well.

      I haven’t looked into it too deeply, but it looks like ScheduleOnce could be a good replacement app.

  3. Google killed the usefulness of Appointment Slots by forgetting to automatically make a slot unavailable if you add an appointment to your own calendar, even if it is set to “busy”. So if I use appointment slots and then add something to my own calendar that is during an appointment slot window, I would also have to remove the appointment slot or people can still book it. Oops. This was reported on June 8th (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Calendar/thread?tid=4fe98c748f1ae272&hl=en) and still no word from Google.

  4. Pretty much where my thinking is headed, and you seem to use GCal like me – many calendars that overlap at times.

    I like the richness that Tungle.me now offers. It’s doing a good enough job and serves its purpose well.

    • I agree – Tungle really does work quite well! If GCal ever does make its calendar sharing better, I might use it.

  5. Interesting one Thomas! Haven’t come across it yet, but this new functionality looks pretty nifty! Will look into it more, pretty sure they can do some damage to Tungle with it. 

    • They might, but they’re limited to people with Gmail accounts. I think they’ve got a long way to go before beating out Tungle, which is VERY versatile.

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