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Introducing Scheduling poll in Outlook!

Microsoft

Announcing FindTime as a native feature in Outlook!

We are excited to introduce Scheduling poll, bringing the capabilities of FindTime as a native feature in Outlook. Scheduling poll is currently available to all users of Outlook on the Web and Mac. It is available to Classic Outlook for Windows users in Current Channel, Monthly Enterprise Channel, and Semi-Annual Enterprise Preview. It is now available to Classic Outlook users on the Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel (Version 2308) as of January 2024, and will be available to the Semi-Annual Extended Channel later in June 2024.

 

Users who do not have access to Scheduling Poll yet can either switch to the Current Channel, Monthly Enterprise Channel, or Semi-Annual Enterprise Preview in Classic Outlook for Windows; or they can use Outlook on the Web to create polls. Please go here for more details on 'Scheduling poll' feature.


What’s the same

As we bring Scheduling poll directly to Outlook, users can expect to have a similar set of features and workflow as the existing FindTime add-in.


What’s different

Scheduling poll uses the same modern design and framework we use in the updated Outlook on the web and the new Outlook for Windows, making it easier to maintain and enhance for the future.


Important: What is happening to the FindTime add-in?

The FindTime add-in will stop working and be removed from Outlook for Windows, Web and Mac. Scheduling Poll is the replacement feature, which is built directly into Outlook clients for all users as a native feature.

 

When this will happen:

You can expect the FindTime add-in to stop working as early as December 11, 2023. We will start making the change on December 11, 2023, and expect to complete it by the end of that week.

 

How this will affect your organization:

Once the change has rolled out users will need to utilize Scheduling Poll as a replacement of the FindTime add-in.

 

When will the new Scheduling Poll feature be available?

Currently, Scheduling Poll is available to all customers worldwide for Outlook on the web and the new Mac Outlook, except for those in GCC High. It is also available to Classic Outlook for Windows users in Current Channel, Monthly Enterprise Channel, and Semi-Annual Enterprise Preview. It will become available to Classic Outlook users on the Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel in January 2024, and to the Semi-Annual Extended Channel in June 2024.

 

What will happen to my current user experience?

When your tenant gets the update, the native feature will be added to their Outlook ribbon replacing FindTime (see more details to access Scheduling Poll here). Users do not need to do anything, this change will happen automatically, and users will be able to keep creating scheduling polls as easily as before.

 

FindTime Deprecation FAQs

1.  What does the deletion of https://findtime.microsoft.com/ mean?

A. This webpage provides information about how to use the FindTime add-in and given that we are replacing it with Scheduling Poll, we are deleting this page. When users try to access this page post 12/12/2022, they will be redirected to the polls dashboard - https://outlook.office.com/findtime/dashboard. The add-in itself should still function as is. It will not be deprecated until Scheduling Poll is released to all supported Outlook apps - in Outlook web, Mac and Win32.

 

2.  What do I need to do to transition from FindTime to Scheduling Poll?

A. Nothing! When Scheduling poll is rolled out to your tenant, the entry point to the FindTime Add-in will be hidden and you should see a button to open the Scheduling poll pane in the Outlook compose ribbon instead (more details here). We have made UX updates to help improve the experience. The functionality should remain the same and you should be able to create new polls just like before.

 

3.  What happens to my existing polls?

A. All the polls you created through the FindTime add-in should remain active and actionable through the voting page and the polls dashboard even if the add-in is deprecated and replaced by the Scheduling poll UI. The only thing that has changed is the way you create a poll.

110 Replies

Hi @Sally_Richardson,

 

Thank you for this update. I was not aware of the FindTime app.  So, I installed the app knowing Microsoft will be replacing it with Meeting Poll in a couple of weeks. 

 

While using the app, I came across several bugs and limitations which led me to review the Feedback portal.  QUESTION: Can you confirm if Microsoft has fixed the issues and addressed the user’s feedback before the rollout in August?

 

I was prepared to give users a Preview Demonstration video of the product but decided to wait. 

 

FindTime Current Issues/Limitations

  • The Hold dates were not removed from the calendar once the meeting date is scheduled.
  • If the organizer deletes the Hold dates from the calendar instead of the Meeting Poll Email, the Hold dates remain on the invitees’ calendar with no way to delete them.
  • I found it confusing to use Outlook to populate the Meeting Title and Attendees since the remaining fields are not needed. I actually sent Outlook’s calendar event with the wrong details before having an ah-ha moment.
  • Delegates can not vote on behalf of another person

On a positive note, here is what I like about the feature.

  • Provides more duration times vs. the suggested times in Outlook
  • Better functionality than Outlook’s Classic Scheduling Assistant
  • Ability to easily select multiple dates and times
  • The email and Poll View were concise and easy to follow
  • The Send Vote Reminder option is a nice add

Overall, the FindTime/Meeting Poll has great potential. It will save meeting organizers 15 to 30 minutes with coordinating meetings.

 

Again, thanks for sharing.

 

Teresa #traccreations4e

 

Hi Teresa,

Thank you for this excellent write up! We appreciate that you took the time to share this clear and actionable feedback.

To answer your question-- Much of the feedback we heard in the forum has been addressed. There are other things however that are on our backlog, and we hope to get to very soon. Such as delegate support. We hear you and we will continue to work on this and more. Please keep the feedback coming. Looking forward to your thoughts when you start using the new feature in OWA.

@Sally_Richardson 

 

Thank you for responding and clarifying the upcoming bug fixes.

 

Why exactly is FindTime no longer an option? I am not a fan of the new "Scheduling Poll". It doesn't look as professional. I schedule conference calls and send out polls everyone and FindTime was more user friendly and easier to select dates and times.
Hi Jessica - Can you please elaborate a little on how utilizing the poll scheduling workflow in FindTime was easier for you compared to the new experience? That'd help in better understanding yuor feedback, thank you!
This is great news, is there any way to track when this will be available in my tenant?
I can't see it currently, in Outlook on the web and the message center update said end of September.

@AmirHaque-MSFT 

 

It won't let me attach pictures. Can I email you bc this is not going to let me show it.

 

When I'm trying to start a poll and select times I want attendees to vote. The options to select times are not in order and you have to scroll back and forth to add times bc it only shows the times when all the attendees are "available" but I need to select those time anyway. Why would you change it to be MORE difficult?

 

jessicaatterbury347_5-1665591136383.png

 

 

 

This is the new way when I receive people's votes. It is so unorganized. Why would you change it to be more disorganized?

 

jessicaatterbury347_6-1665591136385.png

 

 

 

Below is the old(better-FindTime) way what it looked like when people voted. All the dates and times were nicely organized and was easier to scroll down and see when everyone is available. 

 

jessicaatterbury347_7-1665591136387.png

 

 

 I used FindTime multiple times a day for my job and need to record the times fast and it was so easy to select times and see the replies. Why was it changed when it is clearly a downgrade? Is there anyway I can have the old format back?

I'm going to look for other poll services because it is so difficult to use. :(

 

Why was it changed?!

Deployment of the new 'Scheduling poll' experience has started rolling out slowly to world-wide tenants, who have set their orgs for 'Targeted Release' (I hope your org is set for 'Targeted Release') -- it will increase incrementally in an automated manner, it's almost impossible to tell when a certain tenant will get the new bits. Please wait a little and expectedly you'd surely get it sometime during Oct or upcoming months. Thanks for your patience and we love your excitement!

Let me try to respond, I'll try my best to understand your scenario, but may make a mistake, so please bear with me.

From the first screenshot, it seems like you are trying to schedule a meeting with attendees, that are internal to your org, and you have access to their free/busy info - is that correct?

If yes, may I ask, why do you feel the need to poll them, when you can see their availability? (I know some customers do that for various valid reasons, just interested to know what's your scenario) ...

And if you can please scroll down a little (I see a grey scroll bar on the right side) in the first screenshot/scenario, then you'll see a section titled as 'Other times' - that's where you may see the time blocks that are not visible in the top section of first screenshot. Those time blocks are not shown under 'Available times' section as at least one of the attendees is not available at those times.

Your second feedback is related to UI/UX design, I'll pass this on to our UI/UX designers. Thanks for your feedback!

Sorry, I'm not aware of a way to bring back FindTime add-in based classic experience. As mentioned in the post above by Sally, the new 'Scheduling poll' experience, once deployed in your org, will replace the classic experience provided by FindTime add-in.
Thank you for your reply.
I schedule conference calls and need to know people's availability of every time of the workday, regardless if they are or aren't in my email organization. I don't want to know what their calendar looks like bc sometimes they can do a certain time regardless if their calendar says they are available or not. I use Find Time multiple times a day and this is how I do my job. I've looked all over for years to find the best and most efficient way to do my job is FindTime.

I know that you scroll down to see other options. That's the problem. It's the unnecessary scrolling back in forth to add numbers that are out of sequence. If you go down the list and select the ones that are "available" then, the "other" numbers, it will come up out of sequence in their response= 9, 11, 3, 10, 1 Very inefficient.

It is the same way when I add people out of my "organization". With FindTime, you can select all the numbers on the clock in order in a row. The new way makes you scroll back and forth and is very hard to read. I don't know why you would change a good thing that works great to a very poor design. And I don't mind saying it.

@Sally_Richardson 

 

For my understanding,

we use Microsoft 365 Apps for the Enterprise, in the semi-annual Enterprise Update channel.

Will Sheduling Poll come as a native feature with the next update or do I need to roll out an add-in, now FindTime, which will then be automatically replaced Sheduling Poll?

@Sebjogro Yes, 'Scheduling poll' will just become available within your org to your users as a native feature (see 2 entry points below), after it gets deployed to your tenant/org, according to our deployment schedule (deployment has started for tenants set with 'Targeted Release' and progressing slowly for all worldwide tenants, see M365 Roadmap item & Message Center post: MC439633 pasted below).

 

And no, you don't need to do anything to get access to new 'Scheduling poll' feature, no need to deploy/install FindTime add-in, all orgs/users will have access to this feature in our worldwide multi-tenant environment. FindTime add-in will get replaced with 'Scheduling poll' for those users, who may have it already installed in OWA or Outlook. Hope this clarifies the situation for you.

Message Center Post: (MC439633, published on 9/27/2022)

AmirHaque_0-1666108806997.png

AmirHaque_1-1666108858294.png

Once available to you, 'Scheduling poll' can be accessed via ... menu on top toolbar in OWA.

AmirHaque_2-1666108900156.png

Or you can also access it thru new event creation form from the main OWA page, when looking at your Inbox or Calendar folder/module ...

AmirHaque_3-1666108944824.png

@Sally_Richardson 

We use this wonderful app with our team. 

We've found that meetings scheduled with FindTime appear in the organizer's calendar with "TENTATIVE" mention. However, they do not appear in the calendars of the people invited.

It seems to me that until recently, the propositions appeared in the Outlook calendar of both the organizer and the guests until the final choice. How do I get the tentative mention to appear in the calendars of everyone affected by the FindTime? Thanks!

Completely agree; Scheduled Poll is a weak replacement for FindTime.

@Anick_BELANGER_SIMARD 
I agree with your concerns.  If the invitees' calendars are not blocked as tentative, you may lose that time slot, especially for invitees who are away in meetings most of the day. 

I look forward to seeing the response to your question. 

  

Hi @Sally_Richardson,

 

Now that Scheduling Poll is available, is it possible to update MS documentation, 
How to create a FindTime poll - Microsoft Support to align with Scheduling Poll.

 

And it's always helpful to include the date when it was last modified.

 

Thank you. 

@Sally_Richardson I had used FindTime before it became Scheduling Poll and liked it much better. Maybe I'll get used to the new upgrade if I can get it to work. I created a poll and emailed it to a colleague. He cannot open it. He received a "This Page isn't working error".  He created a poll using FindTime (he hasn't received the new rollout yet) and I get the same error trying to open his poll. Something isn't working right.

A great feature in Findtime that I hope will make it to the Schedule Polls feature is a visual "heat map" of dates with available times when scheduling. Super useful when selecting voting options without going day by day.
I completely agree. Findtime UI much better. The findtime view of all the votes is extremely useful and the heatmap / availability view when scheduling as well.
1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by AmirHaque-MSFT (Microsoft)
Solution

@Nick Nigro @Sullivan910 @ph_ly 
Yes, this is a known issue, i.e. when a user tries to use FindTime add-in to schedule a poll, they may run into this error/issue. FindTime engineering team is looking into it for resolution. A service incident (EX521435) has been published for impacted tenants, see below for details, if you haven't seen it yet in your M365 Admin center. Workaround is to use Scheduling poll feature in OWA.

 

Update: This issue has been fixed.

EX521435: Exchange Online - Users can't schedule events in the Outlook desktop app using the FindTime add-in

Impacted users get an error that states, "Sorry! FindTime could not load due to an unexpected error. Please try again." or "Sorry, we can't load the add-in". While we're working to remediate impact, affected users with access to Outlook on the web can use the Scheduling Poll feature to schedule meetings. See: Scheduling Poll articles - Microsoft Support for more info and share these with your users.

 
Current status: We're reviewing additional information, including the status of authentication components which facilitate user access to the add-in, conditional access policies related to FindTime add-in subscriptions and collecting additional service logs for further insight into how impact manifests to assist our investigation.

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