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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work Relationships

5 Free Meeting Apps That’ll Help Eliminate Back-and-Forth Planning

people using a meeting app
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We’re all pretty quick to admit that attending meetings isn’t our favorite thing to do. But planning them? That can be even worse.

I get it: Participating in ongoing email chains of “How about we meet on [day] at [time]?” and “That time doesn’t work for me” or deciding whether Google Hangouts or Zoom is better aren’t my idea of fun either.

But you can put an end to all that hassle with one of these meeting apps. They’re easy to use, free (if not inexpensive to get all the features), and available on a variety of platforms. Plus, they’re a brilliant way to put technology to work—so you can get back to doing yours.

Meeting App #1 is a Chrome extension that checks your schedule and puts proposed times into an email so the person you’re meeting with can choose their preferred option with just one click. It remembers where and when you like to meet, plus it detects time zones (which is super handy for across-the-country communication).

Best for when you need to schedule: one-on-one meetings quickly and in Gmail

Install for Gmail

Meeting App #2 Calendly

This app creates a simple web page with meeting time choices so you can easily share the link with anyone. You can add buffer times around events, establish a maximum number of meetings per day, and set limits on last-minute scheduling so you can make sure your day isn’t too packed.

Best for when you need to schedule: appointments with customers or clients who don’t use the same email service provider you (and when you want to integrate other apps such as Salesforce)

Use in Browser

Meeting App #3 Doodle

Doodle allows you to make and circulate surveys to find the best time for a group to meet. Your participants don’t need a Doodle account to reply to a poll, but anyone who signs up can sync events with their calendar.

Best for when you need to schedule: a time to meet as a group

Use in Browser

Meeting App #4 Google Calendar

If you and your team use Google Calendar, you don’t necessarily need a separate scheduling tool. Instead, you can compare availability right in there. Just click the “Find a time” tab in a Google Calendar event to see when your meeting participants are free. Everyone will need to have public or shared calendars for this feature to work.

Best for when you need to schedule: meetings with your own team (and you live in Google Calendar already)

Use in Browser

Install From the Apple Store

Install From Google Play

Meeting App #5 Meeting Bot

What if you use Slack more than email? After installing this bot, all you need to do is type a quick command in Slack and you can instantly coordinate and schedule a meeting with any of your colleagues.

Best for when you need to schedule: meetings via Slack

Install for Slack

I’ve tried several of these meeting apps myself and am surprised by how much time and energy they’ve saved me. So, do yourself—and your teammates and clients—a favor and check them out. You’ll make everyone’s life easier and your meetings more efficient. And isn’t that such a great feeling?