Finding the best smartphone apps can be challenging, especially when so many products offer similar features. However, it is well worth the effort to keep tabs on the latest trends. With the right apps in hand, business travelers and meeting planners can organize material, collaborate with colleagues and broadcast information at the touch of a button.
To highlight some of the most useful apps on the market, we spoke with James Spellos, president of Meeting U, a company that educates clients on more efficient ways to use technology. One of the most in-demand speakers in the meetings industry, Spellos leads over 150 seminars and classes each year. In 2015, he was named one of the most influential voices in the industry by Meetings Today magazine.
Before you plan your next event, be sure to check out the following 10 must-have apps that Spellos recommends for every meeting professional.
Evernote is one of the most established and widely used productivity apps, making it a great tool for event planners and attendees alike. The app facilitates real-time note taking so that attendees can annotate documents and share comments with colleagues during meetings or lectures.
“It doesn’t matter what device you have — it works great on everything,” said Spellos.
Users can also compile different forms of media into each note, such as text, photos, audio, PDFs and website links. Like Dropbox or Google Drive, Evernote automatically syncs with other devices, allowing users to access their notes from any location.
Since launching in 2014, Slack has rapidly gained traction as a team communication app and now supports over 9 million active users.
“Slack really is one of the best tools in terms of team-sharing,” said Spellos. “It’s truly revolutionary.”
Featuring a clean and simple interface, the app consolidates several key components of project development, including group messaging, document annotation and calendar notifications, which can come in handy during a conference or meeting. If necessary, users can easily locate previous projects through a searchable archive of group conversations and work materials.
If This Then That, or IFTTT, could be defined as the productivity app of the future, enabling users to automate an enormous variety of tasks, from receiving a notification when the International Space Station passes over your house to automatically unmuting your phone when you leave the office. Compatible with over 500 other apps, IFTTT provides an invaluable tool for busy planners and attendees, who can program it to automatically save important files or photos to Dropbox, take shortcuts to frequently used notes on Evernote, tweet Instagram shots as native photos on Twitter and back up new phone contacts to a single Google document.