How to create and manage a dudle

(See How to use a dudle for using an existing dudle.)

1.  Decide what the dudle will be about

You’ll need a title, and you’ll want to get it right because you can’t change it later.

For this example I decided the dudle is about practicing how to create a dudle, so I chose the title “dudle practice”.

 dudle-create-12.  Begin

Go to type in the title you chose in step 1, and click the Create button.

If you want to, you can choose a “Custom address”.  I habitually use a randomly generated string like fEaI7zTY to reduce the chance someone will stumble across our dudles and cause trouble (also I have a program that generates random strings).  Otherwise the dudle website will pick an address for you based on the title you chose, and that’s fine too.

By default the dudle will be an “Event Schedule Poll (e. g., schedule a meeting)” and that’s probably what you want most of the time.  But if the choices aren’t specific days and times, like for example a poll to ask whether more people want to practice on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, then click “Normal Poll (e. g., vote for what is the best coffee)”.

dudle-create-43.  Select days and times

You’ll now see a page on which you can select the day(s) and time(s) for the poll.  First click the calendar day you want included in the poll.  Then click the time you want for that day.

Note that since this is a German web site (University of Dresden) the week begins with Monday and ends with Sunday, and the times are on a 24-hour basis.  Also, it won’t let you click a time that has already passed in Dresden, 6 hours ahead of Miami, even if that time is still in the future in Miami, so you have to create new polls at least six hours ahead of time.

You can click more than one day for your poll, and more than one time for each day.  But you can’t do either one until the web site has finished processing the click before;  otherwise it will forget your earlier click(s).

If the time you want isn’t shown, you can click “Later” (at the bottom) or “Earlier” at the top, or type in your own time (or something like “17:30” or “Morning”) and click the Add button.

I recommend making sure you have at least two choices, as it seems to make it less likely that respondents will accidentally delete themselves by clicking the ✖ by their name rather than the ✘ for a choice in the poll.  This example poll has only one choice;  that’s imprudent in a real poll.

When you have all the days and times you want, click the Next button .  Don’t worry, if you forget to add some you can come back later and do it.

dudle-create-54.  List the respondents

You’ll now see a page on which you can add the names of the people you expect to respond to the poll. (You may have noticed by now that the successive pages correspond to the tabs at the top saying Edit Columns, Invite Participants, etc.)

Type each person’s name into the box , click the Invite button , and continue until everyone is listed.  I usually work from an existing poll to make sure I don’t miss anyone.  Sometimes the dudle software will suggest a name, like “Annette” for “Anne”.  Be careful not to accept the suggested name by hitting your Enter or Return key;  click the Invite button instead, which always adds the name you typed.

When you have everyone, click the Next button .

dudle-create-65.  Don’t bother with Access Control

You don’t need it, and when I tried it it wasn’t working anyway.  Click the Next button .

You can instead click the Overview tab , either on this page or (to skip this one entirely) the previous page.

dudle-create-76.  Hurray!  You’re done

Well, you might be.  Click the link to see what your poll looks like.

dudle-create-87.  Check your work

I usually don’t get it right the first time, either.

  • Wrong or missing days or times?
    Click the Edit Columns tab .  You’ll want to be sure you have the times correct before you email the link to everone, since if you change them after people start filling in the poll, all their answers will be deleted.
  • Wrong or missing names?
    Click the Invite Participants tab .

When you’re done fixing things, click the Overview tab to make sure all your changes were saved.

dudle-create-98.  Check everyone else’s work

a.  Someone deleted him/herself
You’ll probably find that people accidentally delete themselves from time to time.  I count the number of names every so often to make sure everyone’s still there;  if someone’s missing, I hunt down what happened.  Here’s how to do it.

Click the History tab to see the revisions.

dudle-create-aYou’ll see the current revision, which in this practice poll is Version 8, and then a list of the ten previous revisions , each with a summary of what happened.  Click on the revision numbers to see that revision.   If there are more than ten previous revision (our main dudle is currently at Revision 1913), then click the oldest one listed to see the ten before that.

Find where they deleted themselves (that revision will be summarized as “Participant Name deleted”);  then go one revision further back to see what they had ✔✘?ed.  Invite them again (step 4 above), go to the poll again (step 7 above), and fill in their ✔✘?s by hand.

If your browser supports tabs (install Firefox if yours doesn’t), this process is easiest if you open the two revisions in two different tabs and drag one out into a different window so you can see the old revision while you correct the current one.

Note that the dates and times for each revision are in Dresden time, six hours ahead of Miami.  (As a result you can’t create a poll for something less than six hours in the future, because dudle will think that’s in the past and refuse to let you click.)

b.  Anonymous #1
You’ll periodically find odd poll responses from “Anonymous #1”, “Anonymous #2”, etc.  This happens when people accidentally fill in the blank line and click the Save button, rather than filling in their own line and clicking the Save Changes button.  Just delete these faux users whenever you find them.


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