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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

                        More by this author

                        Chris Angell

                        Consultant, Speaker, Podcaster and CEO of Groundswell Digital Marketing

                        11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity and Efficiency

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                        1 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory 2 How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most 3 Do You Have to Give Everything Up to Get a Fresh Start? 4 You’ll Only Live Your Best Life Once You Step Out 5 There Is More to Life Than  ____________

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                        Last Updated on October 17, 2018

                        7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

                        7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways to Improve Memory

                        How is your memory? Is your cognitive function as strong as you’d like it to be?

                        If not, then you’re definitely going to be interested in the memory improvement tips I’ll be sharing with you in this article.

                        Despite what you might think – or have been told – improving your ability to recall information is certainly possible. You just need to know the right ways to do it. (Don’t worry, as you won’t need to make any significant lifestyle changes.)

                        So how to improve memory? Let’s dive straight into the first of seven easy ways to improve your memory significantly.

                        1. Meditate

                        We live in a world of non-stop, 24/7 information. It’s like a waterfall that’s endlessly pouring news, data, facts and figures into our conscious minds.

                        Unfortunately, our brains are not designed to absorb this tremendous amount of information. It’s no wonder then, that most people struggle to remember information and recall things.

                        Even if you believe you have a good memory and are comfortable with multi-tasking, you’ll also be aware that there’s only so much information your brain can process at one time. And research suggests that the more information and distractions, the harder it is for you to transfer information to your long-term memory.[1]

                        Fortunately, meditation can help you out.

                        Even if you just meditate for 10 minutes per day, you’ll boost your ability to focus, which in turn, will make it easier for you to remember important facts.

                        If you need help in shifting into a meditative state, I recommend trying an app like Headspace – which can assist you to achieve this in a convenient and structured way.

                        And don’t forget, meditation doesn’t just have to be closing your eyes and sitting in a lotus position. Some people prefer to simply take a short walk in nature. This clears and calms their mind, and still provides the all-important boost to their focus.

                        2. Get plenty of sleep

                        If you’re sleep deprived or have not been sleeping well, then I’m guessing you’re not remembering well either. This is because sleep and memory are intimately connected.

                        If you have a busy life and regularly find yourself not getting enough sleep, then this will negatively impact your cognitive abilities – including your memory.

                        How much sleep should you be getting?

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                        Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you need a minimum of seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you get this amount of sleep regularly, then within just a few days, you’ll see a tangible improvement to your ability to remember and recall things.

                        Now, I’ll be honest with you, maintaining a proper sleep cycle is not always easy (especially when the latest Netflix series has just been released!). But if you care about improving your short-term and long-term ability to remember things, then it’s critical that you try to get at least the recommended amount of sleep every night.

                        Are there ways to hack the sleep cycle?

                        Yes, there are.

                        Try these three things:

                        • Have a fixed bedtime (preferably before 10pm)
                        • Don’t eat too late
                        • Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible

                        Sleeping is a precious activity. It regenerates your body, clears your mind, and helps with the storing and retrieval of information.

                        However, don’t sleep just yet, as I want to tell you about another great way to increase memory…

                        3. Challenge your brain

                        When was the last time you challenged your brain?

                        I don’t mean challenged in the sense of overeating or undersleeping. I’m referring to stretching your mental capabilities through things like crossword puzzles, Sudoku and memory games.

                        To expand your memory bank, and to make your recall razor-sharp, you need to continually challenge your brain.

                        Feedback from Lifehack readers such as yourself, has suggested that brain training apps are a super-effective way of doing this. Used regularly, these apps can enhance your focus, attention span, problem-thinking ability and memory.

                        There are hundreds of these apps available (most of them for free), but I recommend starting out with one of the big three:

                        • Peak (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
                        • Lumosity (Android/iOS, free, 10 million+ downloads)
                        • Elevate (Android/iOS, free, 5 million+ downloads)

                        If you normally spend a chunk of your week playing computer games, then instead of shooting and killing your enemies, why not let some of them live – while you put your attention into boosting your brain power!

                        Challenging your brain will strengthen your neural pathways and enhance your mental abilities. But don’t just take my word for it, try one of the apps above and see the positive benefits for yourself.

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                        4. Take more breaks

                        When I think back to my days as a budding entrepreneur, I distinctively remember working all the hours under the sun – and many under the moon too!

                        At that time, I believed that breaks were for the weak, and to become wealthy and successful, I needed to shed blood, sweat and tears.

                        However, I was wrong.

                        Taking regular breaks is the best way to keep yourself productive, creative and alive to opportunities. It’s also the best way to learn new information.

                        Let me explain.

                        Typically, when studying lots of new information, most people will spend hours reading it – in an attempt to learn and remember the content as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they’ve overlooked something.

                        Namely, extended study sessions are rarely a good thing, as your ability to retain information naturally declines after a certain period of time.

                        It’s similar to physical exercise. You wouldn’t attempt to train vigorously for four hours in a row. Instead, you’d take regular breaks to give your lungs, heart and muscles adequate time to recover. Failing to do this will result in muscle cramps and overexertion.

                        It’s the same with your brain. If you overload it with information, you’ll suffer from mental fatigue.

                        What’s the answer?

                        Make sure you take regular breaks when learning new information. I recommend at least a 10-minute break every hour. (You may also want to take a look at the Pomodoro Method.)

                        If you don’t want to be as regimented as that, then take breaks as soon as you find yourself losing the ability to focus on the new material. Your brain will thank you – and your learning aptitude will move up a level.

                        5. Learn a new skill

                        I love this quote, as it’s 100% true – but frequently overlooked:

                        “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

                        From my experience of helping to develop the careers of dozens of Lifehack employees, I can definitively say that participating in meaningful and purposeful activities stimulates the mind. It also reduces stress and enhances health and well-being.

                        Let me give you an example of this:

                        Imagine you work for a global financial institution in one of their call centers. You take over 100 calls a day – many of them complaints. When you started the job a few months back, you were excited to be in full-time employment and working for a household name.

                        Unfortunately, your initial enthusiasm quickly turned into frustration.

                        The endless complaint calls began to take their toll on you. And the supervisors irritated you too, as they were far too interested in micro-managing you – rather than letting you work in your own way.

                        Now, in the story above, the ending could be that you put up with a job you didn’t like, and led a dull and frustrated working life for years and years. However, an alternative ending is this: you channeled your dissatisfaction in to learning a new skill (computer coding). It took you a year or two to get up to speed, but it allowed you to successfully upgrade your career – and the ongoing learning made the call centre job much more bearable.

                        Clearly, learning new skills gives you impetus, focus and something to aim for. Your brain loves to learn, and you should tap into this by always seeking our new information. And when learning becomes a habit, you’ll find your ability to remember and recall things effortlessly, becomes a habit too.

                        6. Start working out

                        If you’re not already working out regularly, then here’s another reason to do so:

                        Exercising for 20-30 minutes three times a week will improve your long-term memory.

                        Regular exercise increases blood flow in your body and supplies the brain with extra oxygen and nutrients. And a well-nourished brain is a well-functioning brain!

                        “But I just don’t have the time?,” I hear you say.

                        Not a problem.

                        A research has shown that a daily burst of 60 seconds of high-intensity exercise, offered many of the benefits of the longer exercise routines.[2] So, if you’re short on time – now you know what to do.

                        Interested in getting started?

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                        Here are five different ways that will help you work out:

                        • Join a gym
                        • Join a sports team
                        • Buy a bike
                        • Take up hiking
                        • Dance to your favorite music

                        7. Eat healthier foods

                        I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “You are what you eat.”

                        This applies to your brain too.

                        The food that you eat helps determine your brain’s capacity to store and recall information. A poor diet (think junk food + soda!) harms not just your physical health, but your mental health too.

                        Fortunately, there are several foods that are especially good for your brain and your memory. These include: blueberries, celery and dark chocolate. But anything high in antioxidants will have a positive effect on your brain and memory.

                        Conversely, highly-processed foods and those loaded with sugar will have a negative impact on your memory. This is due to them providing insufficient nutrients for your brain – leading you to easily suffer from mental fatigue.

                        Want to be mentally healthy? Then eat and drink an abundance of these for brain health:

                        • Turmeric – helps new brain cells grown
                        • Broccoli – protects the brain against damage
                        • Nuts – improves memory
                        • Green tea – enhances brain performance, memory and focus[3]
                        • Fish oilfish oil supplements can increase your brain power

                        Here’re more brain food options that improve memory!

                        Final thoughts

                        I sincerely hope these seven memory boosting ways that I’ve covered in this article will be of help to you.

                        You don’t need to implement them all. I suggest just trying the ones that appeal to you.

                        But, if you’re serious about dramatically improving your memory, then make a start right now on adopting one or more of the ways I’ve suggested. I’m confident you won’t regret it.

                        Featured photo credit: Eric Ward via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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