Meetings are vital for business professionals. Setting up, managing and hosting all the lunch dates, Skype calls, cocktail parties and online meetings can be a challenge, however.
That's where a plethora of meeting-related apps and services comes in. The following can help you to schedule, coordinate, host and run meetings, making your life—and your associates' lives—easier and more productive.
1. Azeus Convene (iOS & Android, Free): This app facilitates the setting up, management and hosting of paperless meetings. The app syncs with the site's cloud-based document and management portal, allowing users to schedule meetings, invite participants, prepare agendas and archive documents. Because it's cloud-based, you can update meeting documents instantly without having to send out revised copies to everyone each time there's a change. The app and service also go beyond meetings to facilitate training, collaboration and other enterprise-wide activities.
2. Doodle (iOS $2.99): Anyone who's ever tried to schedule a meeting for more than two people knows how difficult it can be to find a time that works for everyone. This is where Doodle comes in. Using either the app or the website, groups can find a mutually-agreeable time for everyone involved. You can send meeting requests to a group, using your iPhone or iPad address book, and in a matter of minutes you can find a time that works for everyone in the group. The app also allows users to create and participate in polls, which can be useful when setting up meeting agendas or discussion points.
3. GoToMeeting (iOS & Android, Free with paid online subscription service): The GoToMeeting app syncs with its online subscription service, allowing users to set up and host meetings and invite attendees by email or text. Meetings arranged through the service can include video conferencing, slide shows, design mockups, reports, spreadsheets and other interactive documents. It's a convenient and comprehensive way to set up and host meetings.
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4. Less Meeting (iOS & Android, Free, with paid online subscription service): This app integrates meetings with calendars, notes and to-do lists, and it also offers a variety of task-oriented tools that help participants to stay on-topic once they're in a meeting. Users can use the app to plan and organize meetings as well as capture meeting minutes.
5. MeetingBurner (iOS & Android, Free): Users can use this app and the Meeting Burner service to set up and facilitate online meetings and webinars. Participants can access meeting information, share screens, chat and listen to streaming audio.
6. Start Meeting (iOS & Android, Free, with paid online subscription service): This app facilitates the setting up and hosting of online meetings. Organizers send out email invitations, and participants can join by either clicking on the link in the email or using the app. Once in the meeting, participants can share documents, screens and a phone-in audio connection.
7. TimePal (iOS, $1.99): You're in China and you have colleagues in Australia and the U.S. How do you set up a meeting time that's amenable to everyone? TimePal solves this dilemma, allowing users to schedule meetings with people around the world with an easy-to-read comparison chart of multiple timezones. Once you find the perfect time, you can use the app to set up the meeting and notify participants through email.
Meetings are a part of the daily work of doing business, and the more efficiently they can be set up, managed, and run, the more useful and productive they'll be. Using these apps and services can help make the work of arranging and hosting in-person and online meetings less painful and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Read more articles on small business apps and tools.
Vivian Wagner is a freelance writer in New Concord, Ohio.
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