WORKPLACE / SEP. 02, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How Apps Can Make Scheduling Meetings Easier

meeting pins in calendar

Whilst many of us may associate mobile apps with Angry Birds and their like, there is pleasingly a growing trend of apps that are aiming to be rather valuable in terms of our productivity. 

wrote about a similar app recently that takes a smart approach to managing our to-do list.  The app takes the tasks you need to do and allocates them to a spare slot in your day based upon things like the importance of the task, and even your track record for productivity during particular parts of the day.  Clever stuff.

The X.AI app is another service in this mould in that it uses artificial intelligence to hopefully make those tedious actions from our day a little easier.  The action in question for X.AI is the laborious process of setting up and organising a meeting.

The pain of arranging a meeting

You know the drill I’m sure?  You have to try and arrange a time and a place that’s suitable for all of the people that need to attend the meeting (and there’s always more than need to, right?).  With this app, that whole process is automated.  Cool, huh?

Here’s how it works.  A colleague, or you, send out the initial meeting request.  The recipient of your request can then reply to the message and CC ’Amy’ into it using amy@x.ai alongside a request for Amy to find the best time to conduct the meeting.  Amy then goes about her work.

She’ll use information from both peoples’ calendars to find both a time and a location that matches up with the initial request.  It will then create an email response to the original query with its proposed meeting details in it.

The smart PA

Amy is also capable of taking account of things such as your personal communication preferences.  For instance, if you prefer Skype over a Google Hangout, Amy can take that into consideration, or if you prefer the boardroom when conducting contract negotiations with key clients and so on.

Let’s say that the said client requests a meeting in their office instead, Amy will respond back requesting a change in location to your boardroom.  Things will bat back and forth until mutual agreement is made, at which point Amy will send out the meeting request to all concerned.

At the time of writing, Amy is capable of scheduling meetings for groups of up to 5 people.  If all concerned are users of the service, then the process is even easier, with Amy automatically figuring things out without any need for negotiation.

She can even take into account both your personal and professional calendar, so that no meetings are scheduled when your child is giving their violin recital.  Heck, you can even call Amy something else if that name doesn’t float your boat.

Getting started

There is no installation process, with usage only requiring an email address from users to setup.  It’s currently free to use, although it seems inevitable that some kind of pro-level versioning will take place in the not too distant future.

Overall it’s a neat way of getting computing power to take the grunt out of something we all find a bit tedious.

 

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