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Take Control of Your Meetings with Easy Scheduling, Reminders, and Agendas

It's great when everyone you need to meet uses a single scheduling tool like Outlook on Exchange Server. When everyone stays in sync using the same back end, you can check on availability, confirm attendance, get reminded before the start time, and even share agendas and notes electronically.

But most people don't live in such a simple, organized world, so we're always on the lookout for scheduling tools that easily bridge the gap across companies and scheduling clients. Here's a way to get simple and powerful scheduling no matter who you need to collaborate with.

TimeBridge is a Web-based scheduling service that makes scheduling as easy as sending an e-mail. You get to specify up to five time slots, and your recipients can fill in the times they prefer. When you settle on a final meeting slot, TimeBridge can optionally integrate it into Outlook and Google Calendar, so you don't have to consult a new Web page to manage your day.

Like Outlook, TimeBridge can also remind attendees before the meeting start time via e-mail -- but it can also text your phone as well. And there's a SharePoint-like Web page dedicated to your meeting, where you can post the agenda and related notes.

TimeBridge has a few cool extras which separate it from the crowd of similar online schedulers like MeetingMade or Tungle. There's an iPhone app, for example, which lets you notify attendees you're running late and will be there soon -- or ping attendees who haven't yet shown up. The service also includes Web and phone conferencing, so you can meet virtually.

You can use the basic service for free, but if you want the conferencing features (beyond the 30-day free trial), you'll need to pay for one of the subscription services, which start at $14/month.