There are few things that people complain as much about as meetings.  Meetings have the ability to take over your schedule without any visible benefit. Meetings have a purpose and it is not just to meet and they are not social gatherings.  They are about raising issues, creating lists of alternatives, getting updates on progress, and making final decisions.  "Real work" happens outside a meeting where one or two individuals can excecute much more effectively than a large group.  These are my simple rules for meetings:

  • Have an agenda and stick with it.  Send out the agenda ahead of time so everyone knows what the topics will be.
  • Keep meeting notes with an overview of what was discussed, tasks with owners idenfied, and decisions that were made.
    Keep all meetings to one hour.  People are just not productive after about an hour of discussion.  Instead of going on, create sub-groups on hard topics and then meet again to review their findings.  
  • End the meeting on time.  If you don't, your meetings will get longer and longer.  Be willing to cut-off topics, take topics offline, and come back when a decision is made.

My favorite approach is to create a GoogleTeam folder for the group that is meeting.  Then, create a "Meeting Notes" folder in it.  Then, create a GoogleDoc for each meeting and name it with the date of the meeting.  This way you can go back through the notes as needed.

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