On my previous blogs, I did a bit of a round-up of apps I love and use a lot and have done a couple of posts like that on this latest incarnation. I thought it might be useful to have a page pulling it all together
A key communications skills is being able to adapt your writing style to your audience. Academic writing is very different to newsletter writing is different to social media posts. Hemingway is extremely useful for making sure I don’t let my writing get too convoluted. I can cut and paste a particular text and the app points out common ways that I have over-embellished the writing. These include too many adverbs, complicated words, long sentences with several clauses and the passive voice. Plain writing is under-rated as a communication tool. Hemingway can help keep you honest.
Most of you probably know about this one, but just in case you haven’t come across the most useful meeting organiser service out there, meet Doodle.
Have you ever been in on one of those infuriating email chains when trying to organise a meeting? “I can do the 4th, 6th, 7th”. “I can do the 7th at midday but no other time” “I can’t do those but can do the 10th”… Doodle gets rid of all that.
The person organising the meeting sets up a schedule of proposed dates and times and sends the link to participants. They each indicate when they can attend, and the organiser can go in and see which date/time works best. It is simple and effective.
There are some bells and whistles, but really, they don’t add much to the basic idea, which is making finding that mutually agreeable time much easier while simultaneously reducing your email in-tray. For the win…
I don’t suppose I’m the only one who has to factor time zones into my working day. Whether it’s working people across Australia, dealing with clients in other parts of the world, or realising that keeping in touch with family overseas will mean contacting them in the working day, keeping all those time zones straight in my head just becomes too much. Never mind organising a time to talk across several zones! That’s why I have timeanddate.com permanently bookmarked. Its most useful feature for me is the meeting planner – input the zones your participants are in and it highlights the best times for getting everyone together. The date calculator helps you work out the date counted in days, useful if you are notified of payment in 60 days for example. The Week number calculator allows you to use a date to find out the week number (and vice versa), very useful if you are working with clients in countries for whom week numbers are a regular way of reporting (such as the Nordics). And for the developers among you, the API is available, if you can think of better things to do with the information!