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4 Interesting Ways to Use Your New Christmas Drone

4 Interesting Ways to Use Your New Christmas Drone

Drones were expected to be one of the top-selling products this holiday season and beyond. The drone market is also expected to explode by 2020 and, by then, drones will likely become a part of of our everyday lives. Currently, however, they are new and exciting and millions of people received some sort of drone for Christmas.

One thing that many kids (and adults) will find with drones is that once the initial excitement and joy of flying one wears off, there is not a lot to do with them. This can lead to drones getting packed into a closet, never to be seen again. But, that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of unique and interesting ways to utilize a drone besides just flying around. Here are four drones that have taken the internet by storm in the past:

Drone Racing

This works great as long as there is at least two drones present. Drone racing takes an incredible amount of skill, especially if done in a Star Wars-like manner like these kids did on YouTube last year. Flying through obstacles, like natural mazes the woods creates, with drones can be incredibly exhilarating and can feel like real-life racing.

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Because it is competitive and based on a contest, kids will find themselves doing it over and over again. It is more fun than video games, and gets you outside and active as well!

Drone Party

This is a good way to use your drone to impress a lot of people. The first step is to get a drone big enough to hold lights and speakers. Next, set the drone to hover over a large open area, such as a field or a backyard. Then, invite everyone you know to come for a dance party.

When they show up, they can add a few songs to the Spotify or Pandora list that is playing, creating an interactive and collaborative party experience. The drone will hover above and belt out music while flashing lights. Some drones can be set to move slowly around the crowd as well. There is a great video of someone doing this here.

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Star Wars Drone

What can we say? Star Wars is a hot item right now. Note, this activity requires a well-built drone, or an extremely cheap drone that you don’t mind taking a beating.

The concept of the game is simply to shoot the drone out of the sky. You give one person control of the drone and give them some tasks to do. Then you give slingshots, or something similar, to the rest of the group. Everyone will try to take down the drone as it completes its mission.

If you are worried about the drone staying in tact, you can use something soft like marshmallows to aim at it. But, it is much more fun with something hard!

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Drone Delivery

Sure, Amazon has drone delivery locked and loaded, and almost ready to go.[1] However, if your best friend lives next door, or just a few houses down, drones can make a great delivery system.

There are obviously limits to what a drone can do, but the drone can definitely be used to send messages, food, prizes, and more to locations nearby. Many drones can be set to use a GPS to go to a location and then come back. Think of your drone as your own personal carrier pigeon.

For Those Of You Without Drones

For those without drones, making the right decision on which drone to buy is obviously very important. Each of these activities will do better with some drones than with others. If you want your drone to carry speakers, or something similar, then you will need a large drone with those capabilities.

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If your drone will be used for fun activities like racing and shooting, then you will likely want to tone down the price and go with a drone that can be replaced easily. You can find pretty good cheap drone guides online. Make sure to do your research when buying because drones are not cheap and it is important to know exactly how you will be using yours before making the decision.

If drones currently feel out of the budget, just know that that will not be an issue much longer either. With drones becoming such a main part of people’s lives, they are expected to increase in value and decrease in price in the coming years. Keep an eye on the drone market and a drone will eventually come about that is just right for you.

Reference

[1] Dogonews: Amazon Drone Delivers Popcorn And Fire TV To Its First Customer

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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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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