Scheduling a meeting is the easy part; planning and pulling off a productive meeting can be a real challenge. Here are seven apps to help you keep your meetings – and life – in order.
- Business productivity apps are available to help meetings be more productive and less time-consuming. Most apps are low cost or a nominal monthly fee for full access.
- Apps have the functionality to run a meeting from start to finish – including scheduling, video conferencing, creating presentations and keeping notes.
- Highlighted productivity apps are available for download on iOS devices as well as Android and the web.
Rarely do people get excited at the prospect of a routine business meeting, and there's probably good reason for that. But any meeting can go more smoothly from start to finish with a little help from your smartphone.
These seven favorite meeting-oriented apps are a Swiss Army knife for planning, coordinating, executing and following up on meetings. They offer easy access to contacts, emails, notes and more.
Schedule your meeting: Doodle (free)
Scheduling a meeting can be a pain, what with emails and phone calls flying back and forth. But it doesn't have to be that way.
One of the easiest scheduling apps is Doodle (iOS/Android), which lets you collectively poll your participants to find out which meting times work best for them. The meeting organizer sends out an email, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or SMS with several options, and everyone casts one or more votes for the best time or date. The organizer uses that information to finalize a time for the meeting and sends out a confirmation message. Invitees who don't have Doodle can easily use the web app.
Give your presentation: Keynote (free)
Way back when, setting up a business presentation required a laptop, hooking it up to a large display or projector, and crossing your fingers, hoping that everything worked. Today, you use your iPhone to carry everything you need for your presentation right in your pocket.
Keynote (iOS), Apple's answer to PowerPoint, is a robust presentation app that lets you import presentations from your computer or create them directly on your device. You can present on an external display or projector or stream wirelessly via AirPlay and Apple TV. Use Keynote Live to present a slideshow that audiences can see from any Apple device and iCloud.com.
Meet online: RingCentral Meetings (free)
RingCentral Meetings (iOS/Android) is a cloud web conferencing and screen-sharing app that facilitates face-to-face meetings with up to 200 participants at one time in HD. You can share photos, documents, websites and your screen, and connect with participants on Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows or Mac, with end-to-end encryption.
Hosts and attendees can present documents from Box and Dropbox. The app works over Wi-Fi, 4G/LTE and 3G networks. Any invited participant can download the app to join the meeting. The Enterprise edition allows 75 participants, the Premium edition allows 50 participants and the standard edition allows four participants. Screen sharing requires Android 5 and later.
Keep notes: Minute (free)
Keep your next meeting organized and paperless with Minute (iOS/Android). This productivity app lets you oversee all phases of your meeting – scheduling the time, generating shareable minutes to all interested parties and following up on unfinished business. You can collaborate on notes and delegate tasks to attendees in real time. After the meeting, you can review your notes and export them to Drive, Dropbox, Evernote or email.
The basic app is free, but for $2.49 per user, per month (paid annually), you get added functionality such as subagenda items and linking documents to specific items. A Premium subscription for $8.99 per user, per month (annual billing) features private notes and a tasks overview. The first month is a free premium trial period for all users.
Dial in: MeetingMogul
It was hard enough getting everyone on the same page for a meeting time, but now that it's done, new communication challenges arise – ones that MeetingMogul (iOS/Android) can handle. Alongside conference call providers like WebEx, Skype for Business, GoToMeeting and Join.Me, MeetingMogul makes sure your conference call has no-stress connectivity. The app first syncs all of your active calendar events and displays them in an Agenda view. Then it creates an agenda and follow-up actions on your phone and shares them with participants.
It also facilities collaborative note-sharing and Salesforce and NetSuite calendar integration. Additional features include "one-touch" conference calling, a dialing wizard, notifications, reach-out features, calling card integration, voice notes and data security.
Host video conferences: Skype for Business
Skype is owned by Microsoft and already has an impeccable industry reputation. Skype is the best video conferencing app because it allows contacts to connect across platforms and devices. Download Skype and launch a conference on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac operating systems. Skype for Business is free for up to 25 users with a monthly cost for unlimited access.
Features of Skype for Business include live video conferencing, call recording, real-time subtitles, screen sharing and privacy controls. End-to-end encryption keeps all information shared on Skype secure.
Book meetings: Acuity Scheduling
Acuity Scheduling is more than a booking tool for businesses – the application acts as a virtual assistant. Acuity Scheduling allows for unlimited customization to personalize user experience. Clients and colleagues are able to book meetings in real time and view your availability online 24/7. Cancellations and rescheduling functionality are also offered through the app. Additional features that can be added to bookings are payment processing and links to intake forms.
Another perk of Acuity Scheduling is that multiple locations and multiple employees can be managed through a single interface. The app is very user-friendly end to end and is compatible with calendar apps such as Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar and iCal. Acuity Scheduling is available on all devices including mobile, laptop and desktop.