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Published on October 8, 2018

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity and Efficiency

11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity and Efficiency

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

In this article, we’ll share not only how to use meeting scheduler apps to improve automation, integration and reputation, but also 11 awesome meeting scheduler apps you can start using today.

Meeting Scheduler Apps and Automation

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.

With reminders and thank you page redirects, you’ll also find you can prepare your guests for your meetings more efficiently and create a more powerful meeting.

One of the most common automations for meeting scheduler apps is meeting reminders. With most apps, you can send reminders through email and sms text messages. These reminders can be scheduled several days out to several minutes before your meeting. In the coaching and podcasting space, we set 3 day, 1 day and 15 minute reminders to guests in both email and sms.

Automations can also send guests to a thank you page with next steps or additional info to prepare for meetings. If you run a podcast, for example, after they schedule a time on your calendar, you can send them to a thank you page that suggests equipment they may want for the interview, questions you may ask and the mission of your show or company.

Whatever your business is, you can see that with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow or sales process for maximum results.

Meeting Scheduler Apps and Integration

In our digitally connected world, most meeting scheduler apps also integrate with other websites and online tools. You can embed scheduling widgets on your website or connect your scheduler to your CRM.

Some schedulers integrate with Zoom and many integrate with your current calendar system like Google Calendar or Office 365.

Integrations are important when selecting your meeting scheduler because it reduces the amount of new technologies you have to learn and streamlines the process for quick implementation.

Before you go all-in on your scheduler, look for integrations with your current tools and the scheduler apps you’re considering.

Meeting Scheduler Apps and Reputation

Reputation is about branding and your guest’s experience. This includes the look and feel of the specific meeting scheduler you use. It also includes how you use that scheduler inside your own brand.

You can send a link to your guest and have them schedule on the app’s website, but you’ll find a more consistent brand experience if you send them a link to schedule on the app inside your website. Some people even buy vanity domain names like “meetwithyourname.com” and forward it to their scheduling page.

Many apps, in their upgraded packages, allow you to add your branding as well as branded links. Again, this is a reputation and brand play that creates a better guest experience you just can’t create with old fashioned scheduling practices.

Common Mistakes of 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.”

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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.

11 Inspired Meeting Scheduler Apps to Increase Your Productivity

Here are 11 inspired meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to streamline your meetings and increase 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.

            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.

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              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.

                  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.

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                    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.

                        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

                        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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                        Chris Angell

                        The founder of Groundswell Digital Marketing, helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses through done-for-you content marketing.

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                        Last Updated on September 17, 2019

                        How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

                        How to Delegate Work Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide)

                        All managers and leaders must master the art of delegation. Understanding how and when to allocate responsibility to others is essential in maintaining a high level of productivity, both on a personal and organizational level. Knowing how to delegate is also essential for an effective leadership.

                        To learn how to delegate is to build a cohesive and effective team who can meet deadlines. Moreover, knowing when and how to delegate work will reduce your workload, thus improving your wellbeing at work and boosting your job satisfaction. Unfortunately, many leaders are unsure how to delegate properly or are hesitant to do so.

                        In this guide, you will discover what delegation really entails, how it benefits your team, and how to delegate work effectively.

                        The Importance of Delegation

                        An effective leader knows how to delegate. When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more on a daily basis. Effective delegation also promotes productivity within a team by drawing on the existing skill set of its members and allowing them to develop new knowledge and competencies along the way. The result is a more flexible team that can share roles when the need arises.[1]

                        When you are willing to delegate, you are promoting an atmosphere of confidence and trust. Your actions send a clear signal: as a leader, you trust your subordinates to achieve desired outcomes. As a result, they will come to think of you as a likeable and efficient leader who respects their skills and needs.

                        Delegation isn’t about barking orders and hoping that your staff falls in line. A manager’s job is to get the very best from those under their supervision and in doing so, maximizing productivity and profit.[2]

                        Here’s an example of bad delegation:

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                          Careful delegation helps to identify and capitalize on the unique strengths and weaknesses of the team members. Delegation also boosts employees’ engagement as it proves that the managers are interested in drawing on their talents.[3]

                          The Fear of Delegating Tasks

                          Delegation boosts productivity, but not all managers are willing or able to delegate.[4] Why? Here’re some common reasons:[5]

                          • They may resent the idea that someone else may get the credit for a project.
                          • They may be willing to delegate in principle but are afraid their team won’t be able to handle an increased degree of responsibility.
                          • They may suspect that their staff is already overworked, and feel reluctant to increase their burden.
                          • They may suspect that it’s simpler and quicker just to do a task themselves.
                          • They dislike the idea of letting go of tasks they enjoy doing.
                          • They fear that if they delegate responsibility, their own manager will conclude that they can’t handle their workload.

                          Delegation vs Allocation

                          Most people think that delegation and allocation are synonymous, but there is an important distinction to be made between the two.[6]

                          When you allocate a task, you are merely instructing a subordinate to carry out a specific action. You tell them what to do, and they do it–it’s that simple. On the other hand, delegation involves transferring some of your own work to another person. They do not just receive a set of instructions. Rather, they are placed in a role that requires that they make decisions and are held accountable for outcomes.[7]

                          How to Delegate Work Effectively (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                          So what’s the best way to delegate work so you can fight the fear of delegation, build an efficient team and work faster? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

                          1. Know When to Delegate

                          By understanding how much control you need to maintain over a situation, you can determine the best strategy for empowering workers. There are 7 levels of delegation that offer workers different degrees of responsibility.

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                          This brief video explains these levels and offers examples of when it’s appropriate to use each one:

                          Delegation occurs along a spectrum. The lowest level of delegation happens when you tell other people what to do. It offers little opportunity for employees to try new approaches. The most empowering form of delegation occurs when you are able to give up most of your control over the project to the employee.

                          Knowing how to delegate work helps you understand how to connect people with tasks that make the best use of their talents. When done properly, it ensures that you will get the best end-result.[8]

                          When you’re deciding how to delegate work, ask the following questions:

                          • Do you have to be in charge of this task, or can someone else pull it off?
                          • Does this require your attention to be successful?
                          • Will this work help an employee develop their skills?
                          • Do you have time to teach someone how to do this job?
                          • Do you expect tasks of this nature to recur in the future?

                          2. Identify the Best Person for the Job

                          You have to pass the torch to the right team member for delegation to work. Your goal is to create a situation in which you, your company, and the employee have a positive experience.

                          Think about team members’ skills, willingness to learn, and their working styles and interests. They’ll be able to carry out the work more effectively if they’re capable, coachable, and interested. When possible, give an employee a chance to play to their strengths.

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                          Inexperienced workers may need more guidance than seasoned veterans. If you don’t have the time to set the newer employee up for success, it’s not fair to delegate to them.

                          You also have to consider how busy your employees are. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm someone by giving them too many responsibilities.

                          3. Tell and Sell to Get the Member Buy-In

                          After you’ve found the perfect person for the job, you still have to get them to take on the new responsibility. Let them know why you chose them for the job. [9] When you show others that you support their growth, it builds a culture of trust. Employees who see delegated tasks as opportunities are more likely to be invested in the outcome.

                          When you’re working with newer employees, express your willingness to provide ongoing support and feedback. For seasoned employees, take their thoughts and experiences into account.

                          4. Be Clear and Specific About the Work

                          It’s critical to explain to employees why the project is necessary, what you expect of them, and when it’s due.[10] If they know what you expect, they’ll be more likely to deliver.

                          By setting clear expectations, you help them plan how to carry out the task. Set up project milestones so that you can check progress without micromanaging. If your employee has trouble meeting a milestone, they still have time to course correct before the final product is due.

                          This type of accountability is commonly used in universities. If students only know the due date and basic requirements for completing major research papers, they might put off the work until the eleventh hour. Many programs require students to meet with advisers weekly to get guidance, address structure, and work out kinks in their methods in advance of deadlines. These measures set students up to succeed while giving them the space to produce great work.

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                          5. Support Your Employees

                          To see the best possible outcomes of delegating, your subordinates need resources and support from you. Connect them with training and materials to develop skillsets they don’t already have.[11] It may take more time up front to make resources available, but you’ll save time by having the work done correctly. For recurring tasks, this training pays off repeatedly.

                          Sometimes employees need a help to see what they’re doing well and how they can improve. Giving and receiving feedback is an essential part of delegation. This is also a good way to monitor the delegated tasks as a leader. While you can keep track of the progress of the tasks, you are not micro-managing the employees.

                          Throughout the project, periodically ask your employees if they need support or clarification. Make it clear that you trust them to do the work, and you want to create a space for them to ask questions and offer feedback. This feedback will help you refine the way you delegate work.

                          6. Show Your Appreciation

                          During periodic check-ins, recognize any wins that you’ve seen on the project so far. Acknowledge that your employees are making progress toward the objective. The Progress Principle lays out how important it is to celebrate small wins to keep employees motivated.[12] Workers will be more effective and dedicated if they know that you notice their efforts.

                          Recognizing employees when they do well helps them understand the quality of work you expect. It makes them more likely to want to work with you again on future projects.

                          Bottom Line

                          Now that you know exactly what delegation means and the techniques to delegate work efficiently, you are in a great position to streamline your tasks and drive productivity in your team.

                          To delegate is to grant autonomy and authority to someone else, thus lightening your own workload and building a well-rounded, well-utilized team.

                          Delegation might seem complicated or scary, but it gets much easier with time. Start small by delegating a couple of decisions to members of your team over the next week or two.

                          More About Delegation

                          Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

                          Reference

                          [1] BOS Staffing: 5 Benefits Of Delegation – Empower Your Team
                          [2] Brian Tracy International: How to Delegate The Right Tasks To The Right People: Effective Management Skills For Leadership Success
                          [3] MindTools: Successful Delegation: Using The Power Of Other People’s Help
                          [4] Fast Company: The Three Most Common Fears About Delegation: Debunked
                          [5] Leadership Skills Training: Delegation
                          [6] Abhinav Jain: Delegation of work vs Allocation of work
                          [7] Anthony Donovan: Management Training: Delegating Effectively
                          [8] Management 3.0: Practice: Delegation Board
                          [9] Focus: The Creativity and Productivity Blog: A Guide to Delegating Tasks Effectively
                          [10] Inc.: 6 Ways to Delegate More Effectively
                          [11] The Muse: The 10 Rules of Successful Delegation
                          [12] Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer: The Progress Principle

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