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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Five Tools to Help You Schedule Meetings

If you have ever had to organize volunteers for an event, set appointments for parent-teacher conferences, or tried to organize a potluck, you know that it can become a communication mess. Fortunately, there are some good tools to help you out the next time you find yourself in one of the aforementioned situations or something similar to them.

SignUp Genius is a free and easy way to create and organize online sign-up forms for all kinds of group activities. SignUp Genius creates a simple webpage on which people can sign-up for activities that you've specified. You can make your sign-up sheet public or private. Once you've created your sign-up list visitors to your list can sign-up for the activities you've specified. You can monitor the sign-up list as it is filled and visitors can quickly see which slots are already taken. SignUp Genius provides a myriad of themes and styles for your sign-up sheets.

Volunteer Spot is a free scheduling service that teachers, coaches, and others and use to coordinate volunteers. Volunteer Spot gives you the ability to post calendars and sign-up sheets online. When potential volunteers visitor your calendar they can see the days and times at which volunteers are needed. When the quota for volunteers for a particular time or day is reached, Volunteer Spot won't allow any more sign-ups.

YouCanBook.Me is a free scheduling tool that integrates with your Google Calendar. YouCanBook.Me allows people to book fixed blocks of time in your calendar. You specify the length of each block of time and the dates and times you are available. Visitors to your calendar click a block and enter their email addresses to reserve a block of your time. When a block of time is reserved you receive an email alert.

SignApp Now is a very simple tool for creating online sign-up forms. To use it all you need to do is enter a title and description of your event, set a sign-up deadline, enter a contact email address, and press "create." SignApp Now creates a unique url that you can then share with others that may be interested in signing-up for your event. Creating a sign-up form with SignApp Now is much faster and easier than trying to create a spreadsheet or other sign-up form. One catch with SignApp Now is that you  have to pay $1 to download your sign-up sheets. You can view them for free.

Wiggio is a collaboration tool designed to make scheduling group meetings easier. Wiggio is also intended to be used as a resource for group planning of projects. Some of the excellent features of Wiggio include a group calendar, a mass messaging system that works with cell phones and email, and a group polling system. For groups that are working on projects together Wiggio offers a shared folder for files and links. Watch the video below for an overview of Wiggio.

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