Use online tools to organise meetings

PICTURE this.

You wish to meet someone for a business appointment. You email them with a suggested time. They email back and say they can't do that time and suggest another. Five emails later, you might have a date on your hands but realise you haven't even thought about a venue.

You sort that out with a few more emails, wait for the big day, sit at the venue and wait.

They don't show because they've written it down wrong in their diary.

Feeling the frustration? Maybe it's all too familiar. When you're in business, time is precious. To help ease your pain, here are a few calendar and scheduling tools which cut out the hoopla involved in scheduling a meeting:

Google.com, calendar - Google Calendar is an online calendar that has been gaining in popularity. In it, you can create public calendars, a private calendar (for your eyes only) merged calendars (say, for yourself and a team of staff) and create reminders.

Tungle.me - Despite being a die-hard Google fan, I'm aware there is still an army of businesspeople who are die-hard Outlook fans. To help with the co-ordination of people outside your organisation who may be on different calendar systems, Tungle.me supports Google, Outlook, Apple iCal, Entourage for Mac, Lotus Notes, Windows Live, Yahoo and also connects to major social networks.

timeanddate.com - Need to schedule an appointment with someone in another time zone? Not sure if daylight savings applies or not? Timeanddate.com has a great (and free) meeting planner tool, which allows you to enter two or more locations of meeting participants across the world.



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