Finding time to come together can be fiddly at the best of times, but when you need to factor in multiple time zones meeting planning quickly becomes a whole other ball game. Several basic online tools are available to help you mash the maths, but even once you know what time differences you’re dealing with you still need to wrestle with participant calendars to work out availability.
While seemingly harmless, meeting planning is a textbook “shallow task”. It introduces inefficiency and distraction into our day, without materially contributing anything to our work. Thankfully, a new breed of app can outsource the entire process – including time zone coordination. Here’s why the best meeting time planner is automatic.
What are automatic meeting time planners?
Phone calls, video conferences, webinars, hangouts or virtual workshops – whatever meeting you need to plan, automatic meeting time planners can do it for you effortlessly. Unlike manual meeting time planners, there’s no need to grapple with the world clock, plug locations or times into a spreadsheet, or test your mental maths.
Automatic meeting time planners compare participant schedules and adjust for time zone differences automatically. They find a time that works for everyone according to their availability and local time preferences. Once they have a time, they then handle all scheduling back-and-forth between participants, relieving meeting organizers of time-consuming admin.
How does it work?
Automatic meeting time planners are quick and straightforward to use – you just need to set them up once and they’ll handle the rest. Using the AI-powered meeting planner Dewo as an example, here’s how it works:
Team members select their time zone...
...then set their meeting time preferences
This lets people tailor meeting availability to their individual schedules – so if Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons are bad for you, it will never suggest meeting times for those periods.
And you’re done! Whenever someone in your team calls a meeting, Dewo will compare all preferences and local times to find the best fit. You just need to tell it who you want to meet with and when, and it will suggest optimal meeting times for you.
The advantages of automatic meeting time planners
Automatic meeting planners offer several advantages in addition to just time zone coordination, working to streamline all meeting admin and minimize the productive cost of synchronous communication for everyond. The biggest benefits include:
Removing low-value admin
Planning meetings becomes beautifully simple, with minimal involvement. Once you’ve confirmed a suggested time to meet, your meeting time planner app will handle the entire scheduling process – sending emails to all participants and dealing with any adjustment back-and-forth. It removes repetitive, low-value admin that keeps you busy without producing any real value, giving you more time for what matters.
Keeping meetings productive
Instead of just automating the manual scheduling process, apps like Dewo make it smarter. They actively suggest new times for meetings that trap small, unproductive bubbles of time throughout your day. Wherever possible, new meetings are also scheduled back-to-back. This maximizes the time everyone has for uninterrupted “deep work”. Dewo even provides stats on your meetings to help you monitor their impact on your productivity.
Working for everyone
Automatic meeting planners ensure everyone’s interests, preferences and schedules are treated equally. They ensure someone in the US doesn’t have to wake up at 5am to meet with someone in Norway (which happened scarily often on our team before we started using one!). Dewo in particular actually uses AI to determine your productive behaviors, and uses its learnings to inform future time suggestions. This ensures meeting times stay harmonious with the way everyone likes to work