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15 Apps That Let You Join the Sharing Economy

15 Apps That Let You Join the Sharing Economy

The rise of the “sharing economy” has created a budding and earnest group of micro-business owners. These mini-preneurs are your Airbnb hosts, your TaskRabbits, and your Uber drivers.

As this new frontier of peer-to-peer commerce grows, so does the list of apps that can help you take advantage of it. Here are 15 you should be aware of because they can save you time and money, or even help you make a few bucks of your own.

1. Sidecar

While Sidecar isn’t as well known as its well-funded ridesharing competition, it holds a distinction that neither Uber nor Lyft can claim: Winner of The Wall Street Journal’s 2014 review of transportation apps.

Download the Sidecar app and enter your preferences for car type, driver, fare, and ETA. You’ll pay less than you would for a cab and you have the advantage of knowing the price up front—something that’s always a bit of a mystery when you hop into a cab or even when you hail a ride on Lyft or Uber.

Background checks are required for all drivers and the company carries a $1 million liability policy in case there’s any trouble.

sidecar_screenshot0
     

    2. Yerdle 

    Yerdle is a peer-to-peer second-hand store with a unique credit system for goods changing hands. You’ll find everything from toys and electronics to tools and camping gear.

    Get items for free using Yerdle credits (currently Yerdle is giving people 250 credits for signing up), and earn more credits by giving away items you no longer want or need.

    Local pick-up is free or you can have items shipped across the US. 

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    Yerdle

      3. JustPark 

      JustPark (formerly ParkAtMyHouse) aims to solve the problem of finding a parking space, circling the block, feeding the meter, worrying about moving your car, or paying too much for a parking space. It does this by leveraging vacant privately-owned parking spaces in your city. 

      Spaces are available at rates varying by demand from anywhere from half an hour up to six months, and JustPark says the spots in their network average 60% less than street parking.

      JustPark

        4. Vayable

        With Vayable, you can book a tour with a local expert in cities around the world. And on the flip-side, if you have a unique perspective to share about your city, you can sign up as a host and earn money showing people a fun local experience they wouldn’t get from an “official” tour guide.

        Vayable

          5. DogVacay 

          Think Airbnb, but for dogs. DogVacay (and rival Rover) connects pet-owners with pet-sitters, avoiding the need to visit a traditional kennel or dog-boarding service. All prospective hosts go through an application process that includes reference checks and phone interviews.

          Dog lovers can open their home to visiting pets and earn boarding fees ranging from $15 to $50 a night.

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          DogVacay on the App Store on iTunes

            6. Spinlister 

            Spinlister is the peer-to-peer marketplace for sports equipment rentals, like skis and snowboards, bikes, or surfboards.

            (The common theme? Stuff you can ride.)

            Since those items are generally expensive but in use only occasionally, it makes sense to rent instead of buy—or earn some money from the gear you already have instead of letting it collect dust in the garage.

            Spinlister

              7. LeftoverSwap

              OK, maybe this whole sharing economy is going a little too far! LeftoverSwap aims to reduce food waste by connecting hungry neighbors with their overstuffed counterparts. Perhaps it will promote some new culinary adventures.

              LeftoverSwap

                8. HomeDine

                Instead of eating out in some boring restaurant while you’re traveling, fire up the HomeDine app and see what’s cooking. The premise is to join in on a home-cooked meal anywhere in the world, meet new people, and share a unique cultural experience.

                Homedine

                  9. Getaround

                  Getaround puts your car to use for you when you’re not driving it, or allows you to rent a car from someone in the Getaround network. You can set your desired rates and the company handles all the payment processing and insurance. 

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                  On the customer side, you may be able to find a cheaper car rental by not going through a traditional agency like Hertz, or you can use the service to test drive a car you’ve always wanted.

                  getaround

                    10. Zaarly 

                    Zaarly allows users to create their own micro “stores” to sell goods or services to their peers. You’ll find everything from handyman services, iPhone repairs, even homemade apple pies.

                    While much of the network is local or hands-on, some providers are offering “virtual” services like phone consultations or online work.

                    Zaarly  Hire the best home service experts on the App Store on iTunes

                      11. Lending Club 

                      Next time you’re in need of cash, don’t run to the bank for a loan; instead try Lending Club. Borrowers will find rates as a low as 6%, while lenders can invest in fractional ownership of a portfolio of peer-to-peer notes, and earn higher returns than savings accounts or CDs.

                      Lending Club

                        12. Fon 

                        Fon asks you to allow others to access your home WiFi network in exchange for getting free WiFi at any of the 8 million worldwide hotspots in Fon’s network. 

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                        fon

                          13. Poshmark

                          Poshmark helps women monetize their closet and declutter at the same time. You can list gently used clothing items for sale in less than 60 seconds with their app, and also shop for new or pre-worn items at prices up to 70% off retail. 

                          Poshmark

                            14. Postmates

                            Postmates aims to “revolutionize urban logistics” by changing how local goods are acquired, delivered, and consumed. Employing an army of on-demand couriers (primarily on bikes, but sometimes in cars), the company promises quick, low cost delivery of any local item.

                            And of course if you know your city inside and out and would love to be the next bike messenger hero, Postmates could be a money-making opportunity for you.

                            Postmates

                              15. Instacart

                              The problem with groceries is you often have to go to the store to get them, which can be time-consuming. Instacart is the personal grocery shopping service that will deliver your grocery order to your door for a nominal fee.

                              I thought the delivery fees were actually pretty attractive, starting at $3.99 when you order $35 or more, but the company also marks up the cost of the actual food as well.

                              instacart

                                Featured photo credit: Vayable via gigaom.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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