Meeting Agenda Template - Docket

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“Docket has quickly become essential to doing our best work at Studio Science. Meetings are critically important to the services we provide clients, and having a platform dedicated to making meetings more effective, collaborative, and structured is game changing.”

Steve Pruden, CEO at Studio Science

“Docket helps us build better agendas, easily share notes, and follow up on action items. We have noticed our meetings have better preparation and follow through since partnering with Docket.”

Roger Deetz, VP of Engineering at Springbuk

Meeting Agenda Template 

For most people productivity within a team will be necessary at least once in their lives. For entrepreneurs with staff or organization leaders, team productivity is a fact of survival. Teams cannot succeed unless they can learn to coordinate efforts and effectively share information. Meetings evolved long ago as one of the most fundamental tools of getting things accomplished within the team format. Like all tools, however, meetings only add value to the organization if they are properly wielded.

Within the modern era, information and connection are ubiquitous. There are now more ways than ever to hold meetings. In addition to in-person, teams regularly hold phone conferences, video chats, and even text-based meetings. The reality is, ineffective meetings can be held in all formats. Unfocused meetings can waste tremendous segments of time, making them productivity drains. Improperly managed or documented meetings can actually result in even more confusion and misinformation.

The importance of a meeting agenda

Meetings as a toolbox, not an event

Perhaps the first step toward understanding how to have a great staff meeting is treating the gathering as a toolbox. Many people mistakenly believe that successful staff meetings are simply a matter of having the right people together. They may take thirty seconds to quickly create a simple meeting agenda that does not consider the meeting purpose and strategy for success. The toolbox approach, however, communicates that each gathering must be designed to accomplish specific tasks.

Matching agenda to purpose

Understanding meetings as a toolbox means making intelligent decisions about what tools to place in that box. For example, the first team meeting agenda would probably have a number of opportunities to share the purpose and culture of the organization. An effective meeting agenda for an older team may include an agenda item example that explores best-case scenarios for other teams. The topics for team meetings at work should be based directly upon the purpose of the team.

Pulling it together

There are many methods for creating effective board meeting agendas. The truth is, each organization and individual must be allowed to infuse the process with their own style. That being said a weekly staff meeting agenda sample would likely have a few common elements. Any downloaded meeting agenda sample pdf would likely contain references to the minutes of previous meetings, and a specific breakdown of ongoing agenda items. This would be followed by a breakdown of new agenda details. A business meeting agenda sample pdf would likely include a function based itinerary, like Finance, Human Resources, and Sales.

How to build an effective meeting agenda template

Value of using a template

If the process of creating a meeting agenda sounds cumbersome, fear not. Creating a meeting agenda becomes easier with each document. Each record created can be converted into a template for similar, future meetings. Even better, finding templates provided by others provides the benefits of their lessons. Using a reusable meeting agenda template means similar meetings only require updating the previous document. Downloading a meeting agenda template Word document or agenda template Google docs provides a simple resource that can take the effort and time out of meeting preparation. Or even better, use meeting software like Docket to find an agenda items example template, create one from scratch,  or use an ongoing meeting as a template to simplify your meeting process.

Formal vs casual  meetings

A formal meeting agenda template doc will generally require a larger amount of preplanning. A nonprofit board meeting agenda template Word document, for example, may be made available to the general public or at least the funding entities. That creates an additional level of scrutiny. Board meeting template Word documents are also critical because the meeting participants are usually very important in the larger community. Formal meeting agenda template samples are often extremely itemized, with meeting participants expecting the moderator to stick to timelines and focus topics. When trying to figure out how to create an agenda for a board meeting, searching for effective board meeting agendas, seeking a  Google docs schedule template, or finding an itinerary template Google docs, keep in mind this unique audience and plan ahead as much as possible. 

By contrast, a casual meeting agenda template may allow more room for free discussion. In fact, casual meeting agendas are often created to confirm the meeting appointment, rather than convey topics of discussion. A creative meeting agenda template may even include time set aside for innovation tools like brainstorming. Creating the appropriate agenda items example for the type of meeting can help to provide each attendee with their expected value outcomes.

Regular vs sporadic meeting templates

The best meeting agenda template should also consider the expected frequency of the team meetings. A weekly staff meeting agenda template for example likely has two sections, reports by key staff and reports by issue. Since the meetings are regular, the meeting agenda template pdf would not require organizational background or statements of purpose. A weekly team meeting agenda template doc may not change from meeting to meeting beyond changing the date.

Sporadic meeting templates, on the other hand, may require more forethought. Participants will need a meeting agenda template doc that includes background and purpose agenda items. Non-regular meeting agendas should also list the next expected meeting date, or at least when participants can expect a date announcement.

Templates by other meeting characteristics

Meeting agenda templates may also depend on the particular kind of meeting. For very large meetings where the majority of participants are not active, a team meeting agenda template powerpoint document may serve best. Meeting participants are free to take any notes relevant to them, but they may not need to receive email or paper copies of the agenda. A meeting agenda template Google doc for government agency meetings may have to include the formal titles and contact information for relevant meeting participants. A medical staff meeting agenda template may need to use code words or privacy language so that participants avoid violating medical privacy laws.

 

 

 

Sharing agendas and the benefits of read receipts

The art of distributing agendas

With expertise in creating the perfect agenda comes one final challenge. A perfectly crafted agenda is meaningless if it is never read. What are the best ways to distribute a meeting agenda PDF? The decision, like many others, depends on the styles of the meeting participants. Some employees prefer to have agendas available on an Intranet that they can download when needed. Others prefer to receive an emailed version or even a physical copy.

Expected meeting participant response

General meeting participants can be sent the board meeting agenda PDF via the easiest method. A quick email or posting to a team Intranet would work splendidly for most participants. However, participants that will have a more active role in at least one agenda item should be adequately prepared. The person creating the agenda should contact them personally to alert them to prepare for the agenda item. This advance notice should ideally be done as soon as possible. This may be more work for the agenda drafter, but it will result in a more productive meeting overall. Using a meeting tool like Docket, one can create custom messages to attendees to help them prepare for meetings. 

Why you need to know who read the agenda in advance

In some cases, however, it may not be necessary to conduct personal contacts to active meeting participants. Attendees with ongoing agenda items should know to be prepared once they receive the agenda. Researching meeting minutes template Google docs could provide a model for previous meeting records that could be sent along with the agenda. This could prevent each new meeting from rehashing topics and issues addressed in previous engagements. In any case, you need to know those key meeting participants have received the agenda and have been alerted to the coming meeting. Confirmation of agenda receipt clarifies immediately who has been notified about the meeting, and who you may need to contact personally. A meeting tool like Docket provides informational read receipts on each meeting to help the meeting organizer have insight to who is prepared for each individual meeting.  

 

Using your toolbox in the digital age

Understanding the meeting as a toolbox means being better prepared to hold effective team meetings. With a few alterations, the toolbox could be used to conduct gatherings in a vast variety of circumstances. While the objectives of nonprofit, government and corporate teams may differ, they all have a few things in common. All teams need a way to share information, coordinate activities, and plan for the future. Mastering the meeting is a skill that will hold value anywhere in the world.

The digital age updates meeting toolboxes in a number of surprising ways. More than ever before, software can help you to compile the necessary tools. This simplifies the process of discovering agenda templates for new meeting categories and allows you to track meeting planning progress. Combining agenda creation software with communications tools allows a feedback mechanism that includes the meeting participants. Knowing who did not open your agenda promptly could indicate necessary changes in the subject line, or email address corrections.

The bottom line, however, is that life is about competition. The ability to conduct successful and effective meetings provides an advantage over the competition. Competent meeting moderation demonstrates leadership and can result in the respect of colleagues. Most busy professionals do not like to waste time. Gaining a reputation for efficient meetings can mean being placed in charge of projects requiring team coordination.

From an organization standpoint, companies with better meeting coordination will perform better than others. Competent professionals and public leaders are more likely to associate with organizations with a reputation for accomplishment. Successful meetings are the cornerstone of success for individuals and organizations.