I am a stickler for being prepared before meetings and am almost always short on time — which likely describes 99.9 percent of convene’s readers. enter charlie, an app that acts like a virtual personal assistant.
Charlie links with your online Google and Outlook calendars and compiles short “briefings” on the people on your schedule, complete with company bios, recent mentions in the news, and details about their personal interests.
The information isn’t anything that you can’t find yourself with a little googling, but Charlie does it without your having to ask, and arranges the results in logical order. You can have the briefings posted as a link on your calendar along with your appointments, or sent to you as a daily digest and/or as a reminder an hour ahead of your meeting. And you can ask Charlie to ignore people you meet with all the time.
I have found it to be a great backup tool for making sure I know the basics about people whom I am meeting or interviewing for the first time. But I particularly appreciate briefings about people I already know and like but don’t meet with all the time, so I can stay up-to-date on news about their projects and promotions.
Update: The company stopped offering a free version of the Charlie app in July 2015.