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5 Free Apps for Mastering Your Next Meeting

No-hassle scheduling, inside info on attendees, easy-as-pie conference calls, and more.

Despite technological advancement after technological advancement, we still haven’t been able to completely kill off meetings. They’re resilient, like fax machines.

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Don’t fight it. Instead, check out these apps, which can make your next meeting less . . . meeting-like.

1. Schedule meetings when people can actually meet.

Meekan (Android, iOS) not only hooks into the most popular calendar services, but it will also pinpoint everyone’s open time slots in order to schedule meetings when it’s most convenient. Setting meetings up entails little more than entering invitee email addresses, it takes time zones into account, and there’s a natural-language component that lets you enter things like “Breakfast with John on Tuesday morning.” 

2. Get the lowdown on attendees.

If you find yourself walking into a meeting with people you’ve never met, give Charlie (iOS, Web) a try. A few minutes before your meeting is supposed to start, the app will surface relevant info about attendees, pulling data in from hundreds of available sources–social apps, news articles, and more. Consider it a system for automated one-pagers that you can use to your advantage.

3. Create quick conference calls.

UberConference (Android, iOS, Web) is a dead-simple way to set up a conference call. There are no cumbersome pins for the organizer to grapple with, meeting attendees can see quick social bios of whoever is speaking, and calls can be recorded for later playback. The free version offers an unlimited number of conferences with up to 10 callers at a time.

4. Make presentations pop.

Prezi (Android, iOS, Web) helps you create engaging, cloud-synched presentations that you can access from all sorts of devices. Companion mobile apps let you practice your presentations while you’re on your way to your meeting, and control your presentations on the big screen once you’re there. You can even stream your presentations to remote attendees who can’t make meetings in person.

5. Take notes (and take them with you).

Microsoft’s free OneNote app (Android, iOS, Windows Phone) is a note-taker on steroids that lets you type, handwrite, audio-record, snap photos, and more. Notes are saved and synched across devices, with different formats available–checklists, research, meetings, lectures–based on what you’re looking to do. There’s a great whiteboard photo-snapping feature that even works from off-angles to capture everyone’s scribbling as well.

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