Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.

Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Prepping/Notes for Coming Meetings -- Ticklers

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Prepping/Notes for Coming Meetings -- Ticklers

    Like a lot of people here, I go to my fair share of meetings. Meetings with my staff, staff meetings with my boss, 1/1s, project specific and so on.

    I feel I have a decent GTD system set up overall, but one gap I struggle is preparing for meetings. In particular, when a thought pops into my head related to a project, I'll think "Okay, I need to make sure I bring that up in the meeting next Thursday." A bit later, maybe a thought for the meeting on Monday morning, then the one Monday afternoon, etc.

    In effect, I'm building an individual agenda for each meeting. (Overall, I think this is a good thing, as it makes meetings more productive & focused.)

    How do other people collect things like this?

    Thanks,
    -Bill

  • #2
    Maybe this kind of thing could go in the calendar entry for the meeting (if electronic) or in a note sheet attached to it (if paper)? You can add notes as they occur to you, then review all of them during your formal meeting prep.

    This is the approach I take, but most of my meetings/teleconferences last 45 minutes or less and require relatively little prep. Longer and/or larger meetings might require a more structured system.

    Katherine

    Comment


    • #3
      For regular meetings, I create an @Agenda for that particular meeting and add it into my system when the thought comes or onto my Notetaker Wallet to add when I'm back at my laptop.

      If it is a single meeting, I add it to the note section in my calendar for that meeting.

      Comment


      • #4
        An unusual viewpoint on meetings

        I read somewhere on the net that meetings should only take about 10 minutes, unless they're brainstorming meetings. Now that kind of shocked me, but I could, eventually, see the point.

        It seems that a lot of what goes on in meetings is unnecessary: information items should be just distributed via email or a newsletter, items which only involve a few participants should be restricted to them, and so on. Then there's the fact that most meetings don't have an effective chair: I've seen good chairs in action, and it's amazing how quickly they can move things along. Without a good chair, meetings get bogged down in going over things half a dozen times, focus drifts off topic, people get stuck trying to resolve or argue over things that they don't need to worry about, and the whole thing just goes completely pear-shaped.

        Then there's poor agenda structure, no setting of outcomes, no assigning of responsibility, vagueness in everything, and so on. It just becomes a mess.

        Sorry for the possibly off-topic rant. But it might be interesting to go into the next meeting and observe what goes on: how precise the agenda is, how long and how often the talk drifts, whether next action steps are agreed and assigned, and so on. There's masses of cruft there that can be cut.

        For meeting notes, I have a folder that I just stick things in, and keep it in my general reference. Still doesn't make me like meetings, though.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Everyone,
          This would be my first post!

          I add notes to the notes section of the calendar (appointment) entry in my Outlook. I usually put an asterisk next to the actual entry to prompt myself that there is something writen in the notes section. It works well.

          Comment


          • #6
            re: Collection for Agendas

            I use the following format for collecting agenda notes:

            @ Agenda (John Doe): go over the latest stats on the Owen deal
            @ Agenda (Boss): Discuss cutting our meetings down to 45 minutes
            @ Agenda (A-Team): Talk about the company earnings and profit margins

            etc.

            I have an @Agendas folder and all items related to agendas get thrown in that one folder. I used to have multiple folders for each group/person but found I didn't review them regularly. So I just have one folder and I make sure to sort all of the papers in that folder weekly during my weekly review (e.g. all @Agendas(John Doe)'s together, all @Agendas(Boss)'s together, etc.).

            Then I just review that folder and my Waiting fors I may have delegated to these groups/people before my meetings, highlight the items I want to discuss. And then go off to the meeting.

            That's what is working for me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by wdr1 View Post
              In particular, when a thought pops into my head related to a project, I'll think "Okay, I need to make sure I bring that up in the meeting next Thursday." A bit later, maybe a thought for the meeting on Monday morning, then the one Monday afternoon, etc.

              In effect, I'm building an individual agenda for each meeting. (Overall, I think this is a good thing, as it makes meetings more productive & focused.)

              How do other people collect things like this?
              I guess I'm wondering why you would collect it in a manner different from anything else. Dump it in the Inbox and process it later with all of your other inbox items. Perhaps I missed something?

              Tom S.

              Comment


              • #8
                When I am in other meetings or discussions with people during the week and I identify something being discussed that needs to be taken to a project meeting (which I run) I flag it in my notes. I take notes in a spiral bound notebook with each meeting identified by name, date and attendees. It's easy to flip back a week since I have the dates and identify anything that has been flagged for a meeting. If I realize I'm accumulating quite a few, I'll designate a page in the note book for an agenda for that meeting and try to capture them directly there.

                As the project manager, I get emails on a regular basis from people asking me to include an item on the agenda for the next project meeting. I flag these with a specific color and if the email has content needed for a discussion, I'll print a copy as well.

                Then when I'm putting the agenda together I combine routine agenda items, items flagged in my notes and information from flagged emails. Either while creating the agenda, or after the meeting, I'll unflag the emails so I have a clean list for the next week.

                If I'm attending someone elses meeting, I may dump notes into the tickler file for the date of the meeting. If the person has sent out an agenda, I'll print it and jot notes onto the agenda ahead of time. If I'm reviewing a document for a meeting, I'll write my critical points on the front of the document. If I'm attending a formal meeting, I'll send an email to the organizer asking for specific items to be included on the agenda.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wdr1 View Post
                  but one gap I struggle is preparing for meetings.
                  I think you're on the right track, bill. In fact, I've got a section on meeting pre- and post-processing in my workshop. Here are some of the points:

                  ** Organize frequent communications with meetings or people into agendas
                  o one page per meeting or person
                  o also check Waiting For
                  o use only for regularly scheduled meetings

                  ** Before meetings review relevant projects folders, agenda actions, and waiting for
                  o consider blocking post-meeting processing time right after event

                  ** During meetings take notes, marking action and waiting for
                  o It's a good practice to date each page.

                  ** After meetings toss notes into IN and move on
                  o if you've blocked time, process ASAP
                  o otherwise, handle during next time you process and organize
                  o When done: file notes or - better yet - toss

                  Hope that helps!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by unstuffed View Post
                    I read somewhere on the net that meetings should only take about 10 minutes, unless they're brainstorming meetings.
                    What an interesting idea! Extreme Programming encourages short "stand up" meetings... Maybe they're on the same page? However, there's some controversy:

                    Extreme Rules
                    Stand and Deliver: Why I Hate Stand-Up Meetings: Stand-Up Meetings Suck

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm a paper based guy and have an @Agenda page for each person (or group) with whom I regularly meet (staff, boss, peers, etc.)

                      Items of discussion that are not pressing are collected on the appropriate page. Whenever a meeting or phone call happens with that person, I refer to the agenda and make sure the topics are covered.

                      More pressing communication needs obviously don't get batched up like this -- they're handled through the 2 minute rule, @Computer for email, @Telephone for a call, or @Office for an in-person meeting.

                      If a future meeting requires significant preparation, I'll throw a meeting prep to-do in my tickler file, giving myself enough time to process this as I would with any other inbox item.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X