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Nitro Pro 7: A Great Adobe Acrobat Alternative

Nitro Pro 7: A Great Adobe Acrobat Alternative


    The Adobe Portable Document File (PDF) has become a popular standard for publishing documents online, do it yourself publishing of eBooks, and even for sending business documents out for review. Adobe Acrobat Professional is the best known standard application for creating and editing PDFs. However, the Adobe PDF is an open not a closed standard and you actually do have choice for PDF creation tools. If you want to look beyond the full version of Adobe Acrobat, the first place to start is with Nitro Pro 7  from NitroPDF . It’s feature rich, robust, with a price below what you would pay for a full version of Adobe Acrobat Professional.

    Leaving Adobe Acrobat behind doesn’t mean leaving behind features. Nitro Pro 7 brings a lot to the table including:

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    Compatibility

    Being able to read files somebody else sends you is always a worry if you diverge from the application standards your coworkers, partners, and clients use. But since PDF is not some closed proprietary standard, you can open, read, and edit PDFs generated from Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Office 2010 with Nitro Pro 7.

    I am sitting on a quite sizeable library of PDFs from technical documentation to writing samples to research for past projects. During my testing, never did I see Nitro Pro 7 have issues or even come close to choking on PDFs generated in my current version Adobe Acrobat.

    Productivity

    Nitro Pro 7 integrates with Microsoft Office and Windows providing one-button PDF creation from Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (in 32-bit Microsoft Office only). If you are using a 64-bit version of Microsoft Office, the one-button PDF creation isn’t available but Nitro Creator 2 does show up as a Printer option in the Print menu. NitroPDF promises further 64-bit Microsoft Office support in a future release of Nitro Pro 7.
    You can open PDFs in Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Nitro Pro 7 also has a handy preview features that allows you to preview PDFs. It also displays PDF files in Windows folders as thumbnail document previews not the standard old static PDF icons.

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    Other productivity features of note include tools for digital signatures, PDF annotation, forms creation, and securing PDFs. You can also create PDFs from scanned documents and even send PDFs to Evernote from within the application (this last feature is a personal favorite of mine!).

      PDF Creation and Conversion

      Nitro Pro 7 can create PDF and PDF/A documents from the major document and graphic file formats. You can also use it to batch convert files to PDF and you have the tools to convert and combine separate files into a single PDF document.

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      My tests converting Microsoft Office documents to PDF ran about average. You may notice some performance differences with larger documents but nothing that is going to sacrifice a deadline much less make you late for lunch.

      The bane of anybody who has ever inherited documents is being able to only find the PDF version – the location of the original Microsoft Word document disappeared with the original author. Nitro Pro 7 includes an Convert PDF to Word feature, which lets you convert a PDF to an Office format. While the conversion wasn’t perfect (they never actually are) but I had the information, I needed to work with in a Microsoft Word format that was more palatable than PDF. You can also convert documents into Microsoft Excel (*.xlsx) files but don’t expect any formulas to make it through the conversion.

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        User Experience

        I grew up on Adobe Acrobat as a technical writer and can say from a user experience perspective I actually like Nitro Pro 7 for more novice users because it has a clean and simple interface. NitroPDF has put together an easy to use application because they don’t have the cross application integration options to concern themselves with like Adobe. Think about it, most of Adobe’s applications including Adobe Acrobat have seen some bloat in recent years (some features welcome, others not so welcome) that have affected the user experience for those people who may never tap into those advanced features.

        Final Thoughts

        Nitro Pro 7 is a solid alternative to purchasing the full version of Adobe Acrobat. You don’t lose file compatibility and Nitro Pro 7 packs some powerful features in a well implemented user experience. It also has a light footprint, which can be appealing to those who might see Adobe’s core apps as becoming more bloated with each new release.

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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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