Designing an Effective Meeting Agenda That Works (+ Free Downloads)
The meeting agenda is the soul of every meeting. A well-defined meeting agenda template sets the tone of the meeting and determines its success.
An effective agenda should set clear expectations for the meeting and should enable the participants to prepare for a productive meeting. The organizers and the participants must be able to gauge how intensive or how long the meeting will be from the list of topics to be discussed.
- How to Write and Design a Meeting Agenda Part 1
- Meeting Agenda Templates: Free Download Part 2
- How to Make Meeting Agendas 10x Easier Part 3
- How to Spend Less Time on Meetings? Part 4
- Additional Sources Part 5
Here are some tips on how to effectively design a meeting agenda:
Provide a title for the agenda.
It should tell the participants what the meeting will be about. Clearly indicate key information such as the date, time, and venue of the meeting. Do not forget to include the names of the expected attendees and if there are special guests or resource speakers who will attend the meeting.
Provide a brief statement about the objective of the meeting.
It should give an overview of what the meeting will cover without going into specific agenda items.
Present a schedule of the essential components of the meeting.
This is the most important part of a meeting agenda as this will keep the group aligned with the objective of the meeting, and prevent the discussions from getting out of hand. For each item of the program, the time at each item should be discussed or its allocated length of time should be indicated.
Provide an outline of the meeting agenda topics to be discussed.
While the schedule is the core part of the meeting agenda, providing an overview of the topics for discussion will help the participants to prepare for the meeting.
List the points as questions that the team needs to answer.
Avoid using vague terms. By stating it in question form, the participants will understand the purpose of the discussion. For example, consider an agenda item of simply ‘Company Anniversary.’ This is extremely open and it will leave the participants wondering what it is about the company anniversary that will be discussed. If we state it this way, “What preparations should be made for the company anniversary?” or “Who shall form the anniversary committee?”; the participants will be able to think about it, and they will come in prepared and excited for the meeting.
Make sure to check the agenda for errors before sending it to the attendees of the meeting. The agenda should be sent out to the participants at least a week to three days before the actual day of the meeting. Sending it ahead of time will ensure that the attendees will have sufficient time to prepare for the meeting.
Staff Meeting Agenda Template: Free Download
How to Make Meeting Agendas and Minutes 10x Easier
How to configure online meeting agendas and/or meeting minutes:
- Create a “Meeting Agenda” or “Meeting Minutes” applet on status.net — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders
- Configure who will submit it by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill it in and submit it.
- Participants can comment on a meeting agenda in its comments section, which ensures the right context for discussion and further reference.
- Mention those people who you want to take action or pay attention by using @ before their names. These people will receive personal notifications on their status accounts and by email.@mention a team member in your meeting agenda or in its comments section by using “@” and your team member’s name.Example comment: “@Peter and @Mary, do you have any comments regarding the “Metrics” section? @Don, are you coming to the meeting?”
In this case, Peter, Mary, Don will automatically receive an additional personal notification, so they know they’re expected to take action or pay attention and won’t forget to add their input in the meeting agenda’s comments section.
Info such as the date and the name of the person will be added automatically.
As soon as a new meeting agenda/minutes record is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time when they log in to their status.net accounts. They will also automatically receive an email notification.
Step 3 (Optional): Print it.
(Skip this step if you share meeting agendas and minutes online and don’t print them.)
- Choose date
- Click “file” button
- Click “Generate”
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- Make meeting agendas and minutes instantly available to the meeting participants.
- Save time with auto completion:
Fields such as date, name, formatting, etc. are inserted automatically by software.
- For regular meetings:
Configure recurrence and assign people who will receive automatic reminders to create and share upcoming meeting agendas and/or minutes.
- For irregular meetings:
Start your agenda with info about the meeting date, time and place and this will work as mass-notification: status.net will automatically send emails with full text to all participants as soon as you submit it.
- Improve meeting agendas with the option to gather info for the upcoming meeting agenda from participants.
- Draw attention of specific team members by using the “mentions” feature, if you need input or comments from those people. When you @mention your team members, they will receive a separate personal notification by email.
- Easy sharing:
Meeting agendas and minutes can be either
— exported to files and printed;
— shared online with selected people (in this case, an email with the full text of the meeting agenda will be sent automatically to those with “View” permission); or
— shared online company-wide or team-wide (the latest meeting agenda will be available online and a notification email will be sent automatically to each team member).
How to Spend Less Time on Meetings?
How to use status.net for status reports:
- Easily implement daily or weekly status reports for your team members by creating a status feed with questions like “What did you do today?” or “How did you contribute to the team’s goals this week?”.
- Peace of mind:
No one forgets to fill in their status reports because status.net sends timely reminders according to the recurrence schedule you chose.
- Increase workplace satisfaction by improving transparency:
Each status update has a separate section for comments, which is used by team members to clarify information, including upcoming goals, and by leaders to provide feedback and coordinate better without micromanagement.
- Use status reports for future reference and decrease time and efforts spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
- Optionally, enrich reports with the latest updates automatically added from web apps your team uses (such as project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status applet.
- Spend less time on meetings by making them more productive because everyone is on the same page at all times.
- Sharing: Status reports can be either
— exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
— shared with manager online (in this case, an email with the full text of the status report will be sent automatically); or
— shared online as company-wide or team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other.
How to configure status reports on status.net:
- Create a “Status Report” applet — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
- Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill in and submit the report.
Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically.
As soon as a new status report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can make every participant to view his/her own reports only. Manager/stakeholders will view all reports.
- Add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)
Click “Generate Report”.