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Robert’s Rules of Order (Agenda)

Organizations all over the world must have meetings to work effectively and efficiently. Without conducting meetings properly, it’s hard to have much success as an organization. However, whether it’s communication, organization, or simply getting off topic, many people struggle with having meetings the right way. Over the years, people have understood the difficulties many of us have with meetings, so for the good of the order, manuals and procedures have been created to help develop the types of meetings we deserve. One of those that we’ll be discussing today is called Robert’s Rules of Order.

What are Robert’s Rules of Order?

Robert’s Rules of Order is a book that was published in 1876 by Henry M. Robert. The book provides a standard set of rules that are used in order to run meetings that allow for maximum fairness to all participants. In fact, Robert’s Rules of Order is a parliamentary procedure based on the consideration of the rights of all of us. Whether you’re conducting a meeting and you’re not sure what to say or you’re inexperienced and you’re not sure how to handle a meeting, this book is a great resource.

What the Book Includes

Robert’s Rules of Order is an outstanding piece of work that can help with a wide variety of meetings, big or small. Take a look at what the book includes:

  • Easy-to-follow tips for conducting and participating in meetings
  • Strategies for keeping meetings organized and on track
  • Sample dialogues to help with presentations, voting, debates, and more
  • A section that covers frequently asked questions
  • Chapters that cover duties for various positions
  • And much more!

What type of meetings benefit from Robert’s Rules?

Robert’s Rules can be used for just about every type of meeting. The book covers formal, informal, and electronic meetings. It shows the pros and cons of each meeting type, and it also explains some tips on how to approach these gatherings. Keep reading for a more in-depth look on the different types of meetings discussed in the order.

Common Elements

According to Robert’s Rules, all meetings have the following factors in common:

  • A quorum must be in attendance
  • Someone must be leading the meeting
  • Someone is responsible for taking the minutes
  • There are rules for who can attend, who can participate in discussions of business, and who is able to vote.
  • All members are made aware of the meeting date and time, including the purpose of the meeting.

The Robert’s Rules of Order quorum inoves the minimum amount of members needed in a group to make the meeting valid. If this can’t be obtained, then the meeting can’t be considered effective or meaningful.

Meeting Types

Robert’s Rules categorizes three different types of meetings, with meetings that fall as subcategories below these. These include:

Formal Meetings

These meetings have the following subcategories:

  • Annual meetings
  • Regular meetings
  • Adjourned meetings
  • Executive sessions
  • Special meetings
  • Sessions
  • Conventions
  • Mass meetings

Informal Meetings

The following types of meetings fall below this category:

  • Board meetings (under 12 members)
  • Committee meetings (under 12 members)

Electronic Meetings

This meeting type includes meetings that are conducted via the cell phone, email, or through video.

Suitable for Any Meeting

A great benefit of Robert’s Rules of Order is that they can be used for any sized meeting. Whether you frequently deal with meetings consisting of only a few board members, or your meetings involve many employees of your organization, Robert’s Rules can help you conduct these meetings properly and efficiently. For a more in-depth look on how Robert’s Rules can help with your meetings, be sure to download a Robert’s Rules of Order PDF document. Also, be sure to research a Robert’s Rules of Order cheat sheet 2018 and Robert’s Rules of Order cheat sheet 2019 to get an idea of the key takeaways. If you’re building a meeting for a small board group, then be sure to research for Robert’s Rules of Order for small boards PDF documents.

Robert’s Rules for Agendas

Robert’s Rules of Order agenda is another key area of the book. This section has to do with the importance of setting an agenda prior to a meeting. If you look at a Robert Rules of Order agenda template, then you’ll probably see areas that ask for who is conducting the meeting, what the meeting will be about, and other areas about specific details. Using a meeting tool like Docket can help ensure all of the necessary details are covered in the agenda for your meeting.

What is the Order of an Agenda?

An agenda is a list of things that should be covered during a meeting. If you are asking, “do you need a  motion to approve the agenda,” while leadership is typically there to decide on the agenda, the group has the final say about the decline or approval of agenda. Making an agenda isn’t easy, and they should typically take a great deal of time to create since they are so important. Amending an agenda is also typically common since changes happen frequently within organizations. Using a tool like Docket can significantly simplify the agenda creation and collaboration process.

Who Sets the Agenda?

For who sets the agenda for a board meeting or any type of meeting, it is the leadership team. Meeting to order is the first item of business, but the agenda must be developed by the president or executive team. The Robert Rules of Order president duties typically include creating the agenda. However, the group has the final say regarding the details of the agenda. Whether you’re creating a Robert Rules of Order special meeting agenda or an agenda for an electronic meeting, it’s vital that you take as long as you need to create the agenda.

Do You Have to Adopt an Agenda?

It isn’t necessary to develop an agenda, but most groups choose to do so. If your group follows the standard Order of Business, then adopting an agenda at the beginning of the meeting is not needed. If the group decides to adopt the agenda, then there is a Robert’s Rules of Order voting process that needs to be done. More than half the group has to vote for an agenda for it to be passed. However, the question can still be debated after that. For more information about creating agendas, be sure to research Robert’s Rules of Order template solutions, then also take a look at Robert’s Rules of Order agenda PDF documents. These can help you learn more about how to build these agendas and how to handle Robert’s Rules adding agenda items. Using Docket to create your meeting template can make this easier to review and share as well as re-use for future meetings.

Robert’s Rules for Minutes

The Robert’s Rules of Order Minutes section helps to spell out exactly how the meetings should run. A very important element is that these minutes are the only record of what was said and done during the meeting. These minutes must be informative and easy-to-follow for someone reading them tomorrow or six months from now. Given the importance of minutes, many people choose to use meeting minutes template solutions for help such as an informal meeting minutes template,  meeting minutes template document, meeting minutes template Excel, or a minutes of meeting template with action items created in a meeting tool like Docket.

Using one of these templates is a very good idea, especially if you’re just starting out with these rules.

Organized and Readable

It’s very important that your minutes are organized and readable. You want a simple organized appearance for your facts, and you’ll want to use easy-to-follow language that can clearly explain the details of your minutes.

Composing Minutes

Your minutes must be written a certain way with all of the necessary details. There are three main categories involved with composing your minutes, which includes the:

First Paragraph

If you take a look at the common Robert Rules of Order minutes template, then you’ll probably see a section that puts emphasis on the first paragraph. That’s because it’s vital to have the proper details in this area. Some of the key info in this section includes:

  • Type of meeting
  • Organization name
  • Date, time, and location of the meeting
  • A statement confirming that leaders are present, such as a regular presiding officer and secretary.
  • Mentioning if last meeting’s minutes were read and approved

Body Section

This area should include the following info:

  • All main motions
  • Motion beginning questions
  • Final wording of the motions
  • The deposition about the motion
  • Info about the vote
  • Secondary motions if necessary
  • Notices of motions
  • And more!

If you have questions about how motions work, then take a look at an example of motion in meeting minutes for guidance. Robert’s Rules of Order motions can be confusing, but there are many resources that can help with this. There are even tons of Robert’s Rules of Order minutes PDF documents that lay everything out for you.

Last Paragraph

The last section of your minutes should include the hour of adjournment and any additional notes regarding finalizing your minutes.

If you need help with understanding motions, then you should download a Robert Rules of Order motion cheat sheet and look at articles about Robert Rules of Order motions and voting. There are tons of Robert’s Rules of Order for meetings resources out there, and you can even find Robert’s Rules of Order full text PDF documents online.

Practical use of Robert’s Rules to Every Day Meetings

No matter what meeting you’re a part of, Robert’s Rules of Order can help. Be sure to look at the Robert’s Rules of Order newly revised in brief version to see the latest strategies. Whether you’re using Robert’s Rules of Order for annual meetings or you’re using Robert’s Rules of Order for elementary students, following this model can help you have the types of meeting you’ve been waiting for. Need help understanding it all? Whether you need Robert’s Rules chairman cheat sheet or a Robert’s Rules of Order cheat sheet for churches, there are many resources that can help you through the whole process.

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