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Scheduling and shipping, simplified

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in Office Management,Office Technology

No need to struggle with the “old” way of doing things. These free online tools can simplify common (and time-consuming) tasks:

Situation: You mail out several shipments one week, and then later have to search for the “We Have Shipped Your Order” confirmation e-mails. Once you find them, you click the tracking numbers to make sure your packages are on track.

Solution: Forward confirmation e-mails to TrackMyShipments, and the service tracks all your shipments. Login to see a “Shipments” screen, which reveals—at a glance—where everything is and the estimated delivery times.

Situation: You spend hours arranging a simple conference call with e-mail, voice mail, callbacks, confirmations, and then you make sure everyone has the materials. At the last minute an exec cancels, and you have to start over.

Solution: Propose the meeting times in an e-mail to attendees, and TimeBridge monitors responses, selects the time that works best, updates your calendar and creates a place for you to post meeting materials online. If you need to reschedule, TimeBridge manages updates and notifications, so you never need to start from scratch.

Note: This tool works across calendar systems and doesn’t require attendees to register with the site.

Your boss spends much of his time jetting from Paris to Shanghai. Arranging meetings with colleagues and acquaintances is, subsequently, a challenge.

Solution: Dopplr lets him—or you—share future travel plans. It links with online calendars and social networks to gather information. Then it highlights coincidences. For example, it might tell you that three people your boss knows will be in Paris when he will be there, too. Perfect time to set up a meet-up.

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