Foogi – A Cross-Platform Calendar & Scheduling App

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In Outlook in my enterprise, I can easily and quickly check to see who is available for a meeting at a given time. Definitely an efficiency booster.

But what if you are trying to coordinate times and attendees outside of the organization, using different platforms? Yes, of course there is an app for that. Foogi promises to match up invitees’ calendars to find the free / available times in which you can schedule your meeting. Foogi is not a calendar replacement. Instead, depending on how much information users share within Foogi, it will compare schedules and offer times within the existing calendar app so users can create an event. It works across a broad spectrum of calendaring systems, including Outlook, Gcal, iCal, etc. – users just need to have the Foogi app installed on their phones. If they don’t have Foogi installed, the app will send time suggestions to invitees by email, with one click meeting acceptance. It automatically adjusts for time zones.

If you are like me, it is at about this point in time when you start wondering about how much information are you actually sharing here? Foogi’s page indicates that only the starting and ending points of your available times are shared outside your device. There are some features coming down the road that will allow users to custom tailor what users show for available time, such as only show up to one free hour per day, or only availability on certain days during certain times. Even if you choose not to share availability in the app, you will soon still be able to see others’ available times in your calendar to ease the scheduling task.  Another soon to be released feature is the ability to group contacts and see all free / busy times for group members in the same interface to speed up the meeting creation process.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that Foogi users will automatically show in your contacts list – so app usage is shared with other app users. While slightly intrusive, it does serve to make the app more seamless. While offline or out of signal, Foogi stores your notices and will push them to your device once your are back online.

Also, in order to get the app, you have to provide your email address and cell number – the app is texted to your device, where you install from there. iOS, Android and Windows phone flavors.

It is free. Which is always nice.

I haven’t used the app yet, but if you can get around the issues of sharing your app usage and partial calendar information with Foogi contacts, and are fine with giving out your number and email in order to load it, the app does promise a feature we often take for granted here in the enterprise in Outlook. It certainly is a nice thought that you might be able to leverage that same convenience across devices and for free, using the ubiquitous smartphone calendar that rides around in your pocket.

Here’s the promo vid for your viewing pleasure.

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Cue, Formerly Greplin, Gets Smarter

Readers here may recall me extolling the virtues of Greplin, the app that lets you search across social networks and emails in your cloud to find that needle in the haystack you thought you remember seeing sometime long ago. Well, Greplin has morphed into Cue and has gotten a bit smarter and more agile. The basic premise remains the same – you can organize your information across accounts so you can pull that information and actually use it. But now Cue will actually index your information and combine snippets that appear to be connected, resulting in an almost semantic collection of related data that makes sense. So, if you are searching for a meeting you know you scheduled for a month from now, Cue will not just give you the meeting information in your calendar, it will give you contact information for attendees and emails pertaining to the meeting. Pretty cool.

Cue also has added support for your iOS calendars, and allows you to set which calendars will show up in your Cue. Cue indexes information from Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, iPhone Calendars, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, iCloud Mail, Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for free. Premium, costing $50 a year or $5 monthly, adds Evernote, Salesforce, Yammer, Basecamp, Reddit, Pinboard, Delicious, Tumblr and Google Reader accounts. That is a whole lot of information.

If you haven’t tried Cue, I suggest you do – more than once it has been able to find a lost email or post whose location  I couldn’t quite remember. It’s nice to have the mental backup. Works on your iDevice or the web. Check it out.

Master Time Like A Pro with TimeAndDate

 

There are plenty of tools that help with scheduling and such, but there are few tools that offer quite as much functionality as the web-based time-management dashboard TimeAndDate. There might even be too much functionality. Across the top, you get tabs for Home, World Clock, Time Zones, Calendar, Weather, Sun & Moon, Timers, Calculators, and other more mundane stuff. There are widget-like windows for the information on the home page.

 

 

When you hover over the tabs, you get several options under each of the categories. I particularly liked the World Clock Meeting Calendar that helps you pick the best time for meetings across time zones and the Countdown to any date calculator.

 

 

You can get a list for time zone abbreviations and a time zone difference calculator helps you figure out how far ahead or behind someone else is in a different zone. An interactive map shows which parts of the globe are in which time zone. And there is a whole page dedicated to my arch-nemesis, Daylight Savings Time. There are options for formatting and customizing your calendars. They even offer clock and countdown timer widgets to embed on your own website, as well as various time related iPad and iPhone and Android apps. And there is more.

 

Even if you use a few of the tools, this is a fantastic site, especially for free. Never be flummoxed by a date snafu again – just head to TimeAndDate.

 

 

HatchedIt – For The Domestic CEO

You manage your law firm with high tech tools, why not your family? If you already subscribe to the thought that high tech means high efficiency, then you might be interested in this calendar-based white board / web tool for family management called HatchedIt. What caught my eye was this blurb at the top of the About Us page:

 

According to Salary.com the job of family CEO should pay $134,121.00 per year.   It is an executive-level position that entails managing multiple schedules within tight budgetary constraints, while staying focused on the emotional and physical needs of others.

 

I’ll buy that. Anyway, it’s primarily a calendar app, but it is also more than that. Along with the calendar, you get an address book, a tool for sharing family news, a notebook tool and even a household blog. The idea is that HatchedIt can serve as your personal Sharepoint +  a place to keep important information vital to the whole family, as well as a hub for the social sharing we are all familiar with in our more mainstream web dealings. While your immediate family- connected group may be small, HatchedIt allows you to connect with a larger group of HatchedIt users via permissions. Use email from the app to communicate with non-HatchedIt individuals. You can set up personal news and blog feeds, and easily share interesting content within the app to your family. Guess I won’t need to email my son with cool YouTube videos anymore. No more complaining that you didn’t know about that dinner date on the calendar – HatchedIt lets you share the information in one space with personal log-ins and passwords for members. View all or individual calendars. Group chat with other members, share select information with members, sitters, grandparents, or parents of your kid’s best friends. Send event invitations. Use it for organizing private family events to organizing class parents at schools, hobby groups, and volunteer efforts. Privacy controls let you share as much or as little as you want.  That is a lot of organization, all for free.

 

You can access this web app from any computer, as well as via free mobile apps for iOS and Android. It goes where you go.

 

These days, I primarily turn to Google’s suite of applications to handle my co-calendaring and personal home management. But there is something to be said for an application that is dedicated to the family. Well thought out and executed, Kirstin Bischoff and Megan Brown.

 

Nemo Docs Shows Your Docs On A Calendar – Brilliant!

Thanks to Lifehacker for this awesome suggestion – free download Nemo Docs will show your documents on a calendar grid so that you can see what you worked on when and open them from the calendar grid. Windows and Linux only, this application can view your file folder structure on your computer and in Google Docs and maps them on a calendar. You access Nemo via button on the Windows notification bar and integrates with Windows desktop search so you can search phrases within documents via Nemo as well. It works with a broad range of file types, including Office files such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint, PDF, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, images, video files and more. You can also add labels to docs via Nemo to create another layer of organization to supplement your desktop’s structure.

I know that sometimes I think in terms of when I worked on a particular matter so tagging and viewing by date can serve as a valuable organization tool for me. Check out Nemo and see if it doesn’t fill a need for you as well.