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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A startup is launching a new smart scheduling platform designed for the stresses — and the busyness — of the remote work era.

Why it matters: With many workers still at home rather than concentrated in an office, even a quick conversation still often requires a dedicated time slot. Smarter calendar tools can help lighten some of the burden of managing our time.

What's happening: The startup Team Huddle is allowing public users to sign up for its new ScheduleIQ smart calendar tool starting today.

  • ScheduleIQ aims to go beyond current calendar tools that allow users to partially automate meeting scheduling by manually blocking off parts of their calendar.
  • Instead, says Team Huddle founder Rob Smith, ScheduleIQ uses AI capabilities to learn from users how they best want to manage their time for their personal work habits and occupation type, and it then takes over scheduling automatically.

How it works: Users can tell ScheduleIQ about their occupation, their preferred working style (for example, lots of group meetings or lots of heads-down individual work), whether they feel overscheduled now, and whether they'd prefer to spread out meetings or do them in blocks.

  • The tool will also assess your current schedule and give it a 0 to 100 score meant to measure overall healthiness — the higher the better. (I tried out ScheduleIQ early and received a 12 — which, honestly, seems about right for how I'm doing right now.)
  • Planned features for the future include intelligent tips to help you manage meeting agendas and notes, acting as an "AI consultant to build the best meetings for you," says Smith.

The bottom line: "Meetings suck, and they suck everywhere right now," says Smith — which is why the time may be right for an actually smart calendar.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated".
  2. Vaccines: Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers COVID testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker