Emma.ai is on a mission to minimise time wastage and here’s why.
We’re passionate about minimising wasted time spent on researching plans for travel, spending the time adding travel time to your calendar and on the email dance that comes with arranging the right time and place to meet.
As the founder of Emma.ai, I have had some frustrating experiences where I have had to spend more time than I wanted to, planning and blocking out time for my trips to go to meetings, visit clients and even going to play golf!
The idea for Emma.ai was born when I missed a very important meeting due to a scheduling error. After this incident, I have made it Emma.ai’s mission to ensure that this doesn’t happen to other people. In addition to this, Emma.ai can do more than solely adding travel times; it can help people use their time effectively by having a well-managed schedule to optimise the use of their time.
Interesting Insights from Our Research
For Emma.ai, we did in-depth research to find out more on how people use their calendars to plan their schedules in pre-Covid times. We spoke to ‘busy professionals’ and executive assistants.
Spending 1-2 hours planning per meeting
We found that most people spend 1-2 hours planning per meeting. People usually spent an hour to an evening a week on planning their travel, which included booking tickets, sorting out routes and accommodation. However, in these Covid times, this task has reduced significantly.
With diary changes happening, with some this was 2-3 times a day at a minimum, which required more time and energy spent on shifting around meetings.
When coordinating meetings, it was the issue of setting a time that works for all parties involved that can be the hardest task. Sometimes people used a ‘book me’ approach using tools to provide times (e.g. Doodle, Calendly), were strict with only providing one or two times for people to take or leave, or it would result in playing email tennis. There were also a lot of references to being able to have real-time information to help with coordination and being updated about things like travel updates and status.
Checking the week ahead
Everyone takes time out to review their upcoming week(s) or day to prepare for it. People look for where they will be travelling, types of meetings scheduled, overlaps, long day's, to-do’s to prepare for, things still to be planned and overall to be prepared and ready for the week. They might even take this time to re-shuffle their calendar to make things more manageable.
Some people use colours and abbreviations to allow them to have a visual glance at their schedule.
“On a Friday, I try to block out some time to do admin for the next week. That is catching up on emails, calendar and avoiding overlaps so the next week is looking manageable.” - Busy professional
Blocking out time
The types of events that people schedule into their calendar are not only meetings but also blocks of time for preparation, travel, other activities and tasks.
- personal blocks of time or with colleagues to prep for an upcoming meeting
- reminder to send follow-up communications to clients
- WFH days - to let others know where they are
- travel time to remind themselves and let others know when they are on the road
- personal time to reflect or do admin
This is along the idea of using AI to help you get the most out of your time using tools such as Reclaim.ai that we wrote about recently here.
If you’re needing to block out accurate travel time to socially distant meetings, Emma.ai will be able to save you time by automatically adding in travel time to meetings. Even if you’re spending around five minutes per meeting checking details and travel and adding it to the calendar, for typically twelve events per week, that soon adds up to one hour a month saved per week, or four hours of time saved per month.
Emma has you covered if you’re working from home with Meeting Pages that you can use to set up online meetings at times that work best for you.
Busy Work Schedules and Personal Goals
Busy schedules take up most people’s days, and when priorities for five days of the week (or more) are around work, it can sometimes lead to people overlooking other needs they have. It can range from having more family time, making time to exercise, time to rest after travel, relax or just time for reflection. Some people booked one to one meetings as walking meetings to get out of the office, block time for reflection, or put in reminders to go to the gym.
Personal and work calendars were often kept separate, but people still needed to keep their personal calendar in mind.
My personal experiences and also the research we have done for Emma.ai, shows that lots of time can be spent planning meetings and during these Covid times, and having to do remote meetings, blocking out time for planning and to dos, still applies. We’re on a mission to reduce time wastage on these planning tasks so that you can do more of what you love, whether that is taking some well earned time out to get outside or to focus on the continuation of delivering amazing services and products for your customers.
Aaron from Team Emma.ai