Apps for scheduling
Scheduling a business meeting is the easy part. Planning and pulling off a productive meeting, however, can be a real challenge. But with your iPhone and the right apps, there are plenty of ways to smooth the process. You can invite employees or colleagues to attend, create and share an agenda, and even run a meeting virtually through your smartphone using video-conferencing software. Read on for five ways to plan and execute a better business meeting with the help of your iPhone.
Let them know you're running late: Tempo Smart Calendar (Free)
Whether you got stuck in traffic or just lost track of time, sometimes you can't help but find yourself running late for a meeting. Tempo Smart Calendar has a handy remedy for just such a crisis. With this app, you can send out a mass text message, selected from several default messages, to let all attendees know that you're running late. And you can do this with just a few taps. Of course, it takes a bit of upfront effort to make sure the app knows which of your contacts is attending the meeting. But if you use Tempo to plan and schedule meetings in the first place, you can use this app to quickly and easily send out a distress call to the right people.
Share your agenda: Agenda Maker ($1.99)
Before your meeting starts, make sure everyone is on the same page with an app such as Agenda Maker. With this tool, you can create a detailed outline for your meeting, and it makes rearranging items as simple as dragging and dropping. You can easily change how much time is allocated for each item to ensure your meeting stays on track. Once your agenda is complete, send it out to all meeting attendees via email. You can also send the agenda to anyone else who has the Agenda Maker app, so that they can collaborate on editing.
Schedule your meeting: Doodle ($2.99)
When scheduling a meeting, it's easy to fall into the trap of playing phone tag or exchanging dozens of emails to confirm individual availability. The Doodle iPhone app simplifies the process: with Doodle, the meeting organizer sends out an email with several options, and then each individual can cast one or more votes toward the time or date that works best for him or her. The organizer can then use that information to finalize a time for the meeting, and send out a confirmation email. The app syncs with Web-based and desktop calendar-applications, including Google Calendar and Outlook. You can even create an ongoing availability profile so others can request to meet with you at a convenient time.
Give your presentation: Keynote ($9.99 or free on new iPhones)
Giving a business presentation used to mean lugging around your laptop computer, which you hooked up to a larger display or projector. Owning an iPhone means you can now carry everything you need for the same presentation right in your pocket. Keynote, Apple's answer to PowerPoint, is a robust presentation maker that comes pre-installed on every iPhone. With this software, you can import presentations from your computer or even create them directly on your iPhone or iPad, then stream them to a bigger display during your next business meeting. There are a few ways to pull it off: either connect your iPhone to a larger, Web-connected display wirelessly using Apple AirPlay, or go with a wired connection using Apple's Digital AV Adapter cord.
Meet online: GoToMeeting (Free)
Face-to-face meetings are so last decade. Nowadays, you can attend a meeting virtually, using a video-conferencing client such as GoToMeeting. With this app, you can use the camera on your iPhone to drop into a real-life meeting from anywhere, allowing your employees, colleagues or clients to see and communicate with you over the Web in real-time. It's a useful workaround for those times when an in-person meeting just isn't feasible, and it provides the immediate visual feedback that a telephone conference call can't match. Up to 26 individual users can join each video-chat session, for meetings that are 100 percent virtual. The app also makes it easy for virtual attendees to share on-screen presentations, documents and reports.