This week, my boss flies to San Francisco to attend what is the biggest gaming convention of 2013-GDC. As part of my responsibilities, I am connecting him with prospects, start-up companies and gaming veterans interested in off-shoring development of mobile games.
In my holy quest of arranging meetings and schedules; which my boss could manage easily through ease of mobile, computer with timely reminders(Unlike Outlook) I came across 5 new very innovative scheduling tools which are immensely helpful in setting up/meetings. I am sure these would prove useful while managing complex projects and connecting with teams across geographies.
The main criteria/requirement/needs in shortlisting a scheduler were
- Easy to invite, update,reschedule and cancel meetings
- Mobile extension
One of the easiest online schedulers, it took me less than a minute to schedule a test meeting. It allows you to schedule meetings, collaborate on documents and agenda. This proves particularly beneficial when you do not have a agenda set and you would like all the participants to collaborate. Also, they offer a Android application which runs smooth.
One of the most innovative tools I came across recently as a follow-up reminder. Though not your everyday standard scheduler it is an amazing email extension which helps create reminders. All you have to do is add the reminder time in your Cc or BCc list.(Example: firstname.lastname@example.org). Created by east coast start-up- the product has evolved greatly and now offers a calender integration using the iCal format. I have been using it extensively for a past few months as an email reminder, a scheduler for my prospects and general followup with clients, so it was natural progression for me to use this for scheduling meetings as well. since this runs on email client, it does not need a separate app/mobile extension. Hope you would like it too.
A new concept in which you can set your meetings and also polls. If you can get past this and some doodle specific vocabulary, it is a great tool. This not only acts as your online scheduler but also shows your availability to your friends and colleagues, which proved useful while looking at available spots after scheduling almost 15 plus meetings for 3 days. You might want to use this tool when planning your meetings far in advance and with a group(So as to take the feedback of entire group before confirming schedule)
This is collaborative meeting scheduler and a very simple one. As you would do in real world, ask for suggested meeting timings and then pick one, this tool allows you to share options, mail to your invite and then select based on availability. I found it particularly good for organizing meetings far in advance and when your client is ambiguous about availability.
5. Book Fresh
A comprehensive meeting scheduler which has most of the features, add-ons and a fully integrated mobile version. You can schedule a meeting and update via text message. This feature is most required when on the go. The mobile version for iOS is pretty robust and offers most of the features as in the online version. It is an enterprise solution and includes a integrated payment gateway(If you are looking for one)
Honorary mentions: Google Calendar, MS- Outlook(I have loved them for years!)
Thanks much. Happy Scheduling.