Saturday, November 14, 2009

Scheduling Meetings without Outlook - The Easy Way

Practicality is king in today's business standards. Practical pricing, practical timing, practical office furniture, practically everything is best when it's practical. Meetings are not always practical but they are almost always necessary.

Interesting fact: one study recently showed that the people who dislike meetings the most are the ones who are most responsible or getting the most things done in an average workday. That translates to this: the people who "just love meetings!" really enjoy the social experience and free bagels. Now I love bagels as much as the next Vegan Jew. But as an experienced business owner, I love getting together with clients for the practicality of getting something done, and getting needs met. So meetings? No prob. Here's a few good tools:

SalesNexus. offers a variety of resources for sharing contacts, calendars, notes and documents. Your job can be tough. Making meetings happen should be easy.

Schedulicity. This is mainly a service-0riented site that helps you find providers for personal things, but have you ever noticed that things just happen better and/or faster when you make them happen yourself or you don't have to pick up a phone? Sometimes too many cooks spoil the broth. If your on-the-run clientele might prefer the high-tech solution as opposed to the customer service phone-interview, consider listing your business here as well as scheduling your own appointments and services. Violin lessons? Find 'em here.

MeetingWizard
This productivity tool makes the planning process easier and more effective. MeetingWizard automatically sends invitations to participants (proposing alternate times, if necessary), summarizes their responses, updates you on the results, sends confirmations, and sends reminders. It is simple to use, so clients and colleagues won't get turned off by the process. Think of it as a professional's evite. Users can make changes and notes as needed, and instantly communicate changes or cancellations to participants. It's free, friendly and helpful.

FREE Conference Calling Services

Schedule Conference Calls on a moment's notice - they're free - you can even record calls!

FreeConference
Conference calls - love them or not, the internet can't completely replace a real voice, a conversation, or a meeting of the minds. This site schedules and hosts the phone meeting. Use the site to send the message to everyone who needs to be at the meeting, the message comes with a phone number and access code, everyone calls the number at the specified time, voila: conference meeting in your pj's (note: pj's are not necessarily recommended. Depends on your business and your personality.)


FreeConferenceCall
Similar name, similar service. All lines are secure: You're allowed up to 6 hours of conference "room" for up to 96 callers. Both sites offer upgrades for small fees; neither require business attire. Just do/wear whatever's practical!

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