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15 Amazingly Useful Google Services You Should Know About

15 Amazingly Useful Google Services You Should Know About

As one of the most innovative tech companies in the world, Google have a very special place in my heart. They’ve created a huge number of products and services that make all of our lives easier, beginning with their famous web search engine. Everyone’s heard of Gmail and Google Maps, but it may surprise you to find out just how many Google services exist that you probably don’t know about.

As the co-founder of a busy tech company with offices across the globe, I think anything that increases productivity – and reduces frustration – is worth talking about. In this post, you’ll learn about 15 lesser-known Google services that can help you out with everything from building your business to tracking down loved ones when crisis hits.

Google Scholar

A personal favorite of mine, Google Scholar is a great way to keep up to date with academic research and progress in science and technology. Easily and quickly search across masses of scholarly literature from one place.

GoogleScholarLIfehack

    Google Keep

    This Google service is light on features, but great for keeping you super organized and on top of things. Set the time, use geo-tagging so you always know where you are (or should be), and change the color for personalized reminders throughout the week.

    Google-Keep-Lifehack copy

      Google Inbox

      The newest addition to Google’s ever-expanding suite of services, Google Inbox gives you a refreshing minimal interface and shows you what’s most important in your inbox – without even having to open the message. Everything from flight status updates, reservation details to pictures and attachments from family and friends is organized for you. Try it out for yourself by emailing inbox@google.com for an invite.

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      GoogleInboxLifehack copy

        Trendalyzer

        Also known as Gapminder, this Google service helps you easily put together interactive bubble charts that animate your statistics. Fun, easy and colorful, it’s a great way to make your figures and presentations stand out.

        GoogleTrendalyzerLifehack

          Google Business View

          Give prospective or current clients (or your parents!) a full 360° view of your office to fully integrate them into the spirit and culture of your company. Just make sure the ping pong tournament is in another part of the building.

          GoogleBusinessViewLifehack

            Google Correlate

            Everyone knows correlation is not causation. But this Google service lets you look at searches run on their engine that correlate with real-world data. For example, check out a user’s search below on which words are the most Googled during winter. The possibilities are endless.

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            GoogleCorrelateLifehack copy

              Google Goggles

              Now you really can search everything. Snap a picture and let Google crawl its database. If it finds the image in there, it will do what it does best: give you useful information.

              GoogleGogglesLifehack

                Google Sites

                Plain and simple: a streamlined way to build a website from scratch – or from pre-existing templates. Build one for your growing company, for your family, or for just because. It’s that easy.

                GoogleSitesLifehack copy

                  Google Fusion Tables

                  Who doesn’t want to get more out of the data they’re working with? Google Fusion Tables gives you new ways to gather and look at your data, including merging it with other sources and easily sharing for seamless collaboration.

                  GoogleFusionTablesLifehack

                    Google Classroom

                    Though this one is only relevant to those working in education, Google Classroom is a great tool (without ads!) to help teachers organize assignments, communicate announcements to students, and give quick feedback.

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                    google-classroom-lifehack

                      Google Crisis Response

                      Hopefully you won’t have to use this one – but if disaster strikes, there’s no better tool to make information about response efforts and developing news easily available. The service partners with government agencies, relief efforts and more to bring helpful information and resources to the right places.

                      GoogleCrisisresponseLifehack

                        Google Person Finder

                        This service helps people reconnect with loved ones after a disaster hits and chaos has descended.

                        google-person-finder-03-2013

                          Google Art Project

                          For this service, Google collaborated with art institutions all over the world to give people a chance to see brilliant art from the comfort of their homes. If nothing else, you’ll definitely feel more cultured!

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                          GoogleArtProjectLIfehack

                            FieldTripper

                            Who doesn’t enjoy the odd field trip? This app serves up location-based information to you as you move around a new (or old!) city with tidbits of information about your surroundings. Expect everything from what old movies were filmed to architecture factoids.

                            google.field.tripx296-370

                              Google Shopper

                              Packed with features that show you everything from what the barcode on an item means, daily and nearby deals to the ability to search for an item by voice, Google Shopper makes it easy to shop in a much smarter and more efficient way.

                              google-shopper-for-iphone

                                What are your favorites? Sound off in the comments!

                                Featured photo credit: Kristina Alexanderson via flickr.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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