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Use Microsoft Tossup to quickly get group feedback

Whether you're planning a meeting, looking for a dinner spot, or just conducting a friendly poll, Microsoft's new app makes it easy.

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Where/when shall we meet? It's a Tossup. Microsoft

Ever try to get a group of people to agree on something? Like the best day and time to hold a meeting, or where to gather for lunch? Heck, unless you're all in the same room, just getting everyone to chime in can be a struggle.

Enter Microsoft Tossup, a new app from Microsoft's Google Labs-like Garage workshop. Free for Android and iOS (but not, ahem, Windows Phone), the app aims to make it easier to make plans, solicit opinions and so on.

Once you've installed it, you'll need to create an account using your phone number and either Facebook or your email address. (Curiously, the app doesn't appear to link to your Microsoft account.) It also taps your phone's address book so you can easily invite others.

From there you create your first poll, which can be a yes-or-no question, a date-and-time preference, an eat-and-drink location or a free-form question of your own.

Next, you invite people to take your poll, which for new users means sending a link via email or SMS. As with other polling apps, that's the rub here: Everyone must have Tossup installed; you can't vote without it.

The actual act of voting is a simple one-tap affair, and voters can leave comments if there's discussion that needs to be had. Date-specific polls can be copied to your calendar, and you can also set a sense-of-urgency timer that will close the poll in one day or one hour.

Assuming you can get your friends, family members and/or work team to install it, Tossup could prove a really handy tool for quickly getting consensus. For something as basic as selecting a meeting time that works for the most people, you can avoid the usual flurry of emails and invitations.

Plus, it's an attractive, well-designed app, with the best possible price. If you're constantly looking for ways to get group feedback, Tossup is definitely worth a try.