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How to Get a Cheaper Phone Deal

How to Get a Cheaper Phone Deal

These days, most of us hold on to our phones for a long period of time. That’s why when the time rolls around for you to finally upgrade, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the idea of embarking on something different. We understand: you’ve spent two or more years with your chosen service provider, blissfully unaware of the plethora of deals out there that are so much better for your needs. That’s why we’re here to outline some of the ways to get a cheaper phone deal.

Contract Deals

Phone companies offer a huge range of different deals, varying on the limit of data, calls, texts, and other perks. The amount you pay for a contract depends on the make of your phone and what you want from it. It’s easy to get lured into a contract where you receive a free phone, however this may be a 24-month contract that can result in you paying more by the time the contract has finished. Using comparative websites like ComparetheMarket or phone retailers like Smartphone Company allow you to compare different contract deals before you buy, seeing which deal best meets your criteria.

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If you’re on an existing contract, have a look at your current phone bills. These will show you exactly how much of your allowance you actually use, so it may be wise to rethink your needs if you don’t currently use all of your allocated data, minutes, and calls. You can find a cheaper contract package based on what you actually use.

SIM-only Deals

SIM-only deals require a monthly payment for a package deal of mobile data, minutes, and texts. The only difference from a contract is that you don’t get a phone with the deal, just the SIM card. If you want to keep your current phone but improve the price of your monthly bill, this may be an ideal option. If you choose this option, be sure to check which SIM cards your phone is compatible with, as many are blocked from certain networks.

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Network Providers

You’re probably on your current phone network because that’s the one your parents chose for you when you first got a phone but, believe it or not, networks will not give you a better service just because you’ve been with them for ten years. There are a huge selection of networks you can choose from and they do provide slightly different services depending on your needs. It’s worth shopping around to see if there’s a network out there that matches up to your needs.

The network EE (formerly Orange and T-Mobile) is widely known for offering the fastest 4G coverage, so if you’re on the move a lot or working on the go, EE is probably the one for you. If you like to be safe in the knowledge that your network is the most popular, Three is maybe the one for you — it covers 98% of the UK population and offers great deals on 4G. If you like to get a little more bang for your buck in terms of extras, perhaps O2 is the sweetest deal. O2 offers some of the best incentives around and O2 priority offers customers a great deal. If you’re a music fan without a subscription to a music stream service, Vodafone is a good deal as it gives you just that — but only for 6 months. Although a sturdy network, it does little to offer customers much more than that. It’s also worth considering networks like Tesco Mobile (who give you clubcard points on your contract deal), GiffGaff (whose price points are extremely cheap), and Talkmobile (a network with absolutely no frills).

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Mobile Tariffs

Choosing the right mobile tariff can be a minefield, especially when you try and wade through the amounts of minutes, calls, and data each different tariff offers. One of the best ways to try and get the best phone deal is actually to sit down and inspect your current mobile usage. On average, how many texts are you sending each month? How much data are you using? Once you’ve got this figured out, you’ll be able to better assess what exactly it is you need from your mobile tariff.

Most companies offer unlimited texts and calls these days, and as most of us are on either WhatsApp or iMessage anyway, the amount of texts on a tariff rarely has an impact on our choice. Data is probably one of the main things you’ll be worried about and, unfortunately, apps like Instagram, Google Maps, and Facebook can eat up your monthly allowance. It’s better that you don’t use all your given data rather than spending over the limit every month, so add up what you use on average and then give yourself a bit of wiggle room.

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Featured photo credit: The Bubble via bubblear.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

1. ScheduleOnce

    ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

    ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

    ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

    Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

    Available on Web

    2. Calendly

      Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

      You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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      Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

      3. Assistant.to

        For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

        From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

        While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

        Available on Web

        4. Acuityscheduling

          Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

          It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

          Available on Web | iOS | Android

          5. Pick

            Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

            At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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            Available on Web

            6. X.ai

              For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

              This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

              Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

              Available on Web

              7. YouCanBook.me

                is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                Available on Web

                8. Doodle

                  Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                  It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                  You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                  While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                  9. WhenAvailable

                    WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                    Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                    Available on Web

                    10. Rally

                      Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                      Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                      Available on Web

                      11. NeedtoMeet

                        Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                        NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                        While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                        Available on Web

                        Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                        In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                        To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                        Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                        A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                        Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                        If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                        Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                        With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                        Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                        Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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