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PrepWork service helps you get up to speed on the day's meetings

Posted by Scott Kirsner  October 17, 2012 08:09 AM

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If you, like me, sometimes wish you had an assistant to help organize your day, PrepWork is a free service worth checking out. It sends you a daily e-mail that briefs you on the people you'll be meeting with that day: the highlights of their LinkedIn profiles, recent blog posts, Twitter activity, and background on their company.

Given access to your calendar (in Outlook, Google Calendar, or iCal), PrepWork scours it for the names and e-mail addresses of people with whom your meeting, and then goes off to do its research. You can also simply forward an e-mail to PrepWork, and it'll create a briefing on everyone who has been part of the e-mail conversation, and send it to all participants.

The site was created by Daniel Wolchonok, right, who is midway through the MBA program at Yale. Wolchonok spent this past summer developing PrepWork at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, with a smidgen of funding from the university. Wolchonok had previously studied computer science at Tufts, and he grew up in Wellesley.

"Right now I'm in a user growth phase, trying to demonstrate that I have the right strategy for acquiring users," Wolchonok says. (Fundraising will come later.) One idea is to focus on salespeople, who tend to have lots of meetings with new people each week.

Wolchonok says he's continuing to enhance the service -- for instance, folding in relevant information from a Google search, or highlighting things that have changed when you haven't met with someone for a while.

Here's the PrepWork backgrounder that Wolchonok got in his e-mail before we met, earlier this week:

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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