back

4 Keys to an Effective Monthly Meeting [Free Template Download]

Holding a monthly meeting is an effective way of communicating with the team to make decisions, solve problems, craft business strategies, monitor performance, and other things that need to be discussed. Sometimes it is the only time when everyone can sit down and discuss matters of utmost importance for the team and for the organization.

 

part 1

So, what is the key to an effective monthly meeting? Here are some points to consider to fully utilize it to its maximum potential.

  1. Prepare a meeting agenda and stick to it.

    As much as possible, keep it precise and focused. Allot an appropriate length of time for each subject. Send a copy of the meeting agenda to each participant at least three days before the day of the meeting. This ensures they will have an idea on how the meeting will run and are able to prepare for it. For more helpful tips on how to prepare a meeting agenda, you may refer to this article.

  2. Keep the meeting to as small a group as possible.

    If you are handling a big group with different concerns and involvements in a project or to a performance indicator, separate meetings should be scheduled. Limit the attendees of the meeting depending on the prepared agenda for that particular meeting.

  3. Start and end on time.

    Strictly follow the topics and times indicated on the program of the meeting. If there are other subjects that come up during the discussion, the group may choose to discuss them especially if an issue is of utmost importance. Alternatively, the team may decide to talk about them at the next meeting or to hold a special meeting to discuss a specific issue.

  4. Record what has been discussed.

    It is imperative to document the proceedings of the meeting. This article will guide you on the proper way of taking down the minutes of the meeting. Afterwards, send a copy to all attendees to ensure that they are reminded of all the actions taken during the meeting. It is also useful when making a follow-up on the tasks assigned during the meeting.

Monthly meetings are an important vehicle where vital decisions are made for the organization. Everyone should realize its importance—organizers and participants alike. Both parties need to understand and do their part to make the meetings as productive and fruitful as they should be.

Part 2

Monthly Meeting Agenda: Free Download

monthly meeting template

Download Monthly Meeting Agenda Template DOC

 

 
Part 3

How to Make Meeting Agendas 10x Easier

How to use status.net for meeting summaries:

  1. Make meeting agendas instantly available to the meeting participants.
  2. Save time with auto completion: Most fields (such as date, name, formatting, etc.) are inserted automatically by software.
  3. For regular meetings: Configure recurrence and assign people who will receive automatic reminders to create and share upcoming meeting agendas.
  4. 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 feed participants as soon as you click “Update” on your Meeting Agenda feed.
  5. Improve meeting agendas with the option to gather info for the upcoming meeting agenda from participants.
  6. Draw attention of specific team members to the upcoming meeting’s agenda 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.
  7. Sharing: Meeting agendas 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 an email with the full text of meeting agenda will be sent automatically to each team member).

How to configure meeting agendas:

Step 1:

  • Create a “Monthly Meeting Agenda” feed and set up a recurrence (for regular meetings, set how often you usually hold meetings, for irregular meetings you can leave this setting blank).
  • Configure who will write and who will have access to meeting agendas by choosing the “Participants” tab and then clicking the “Cog” button near the “Feed Participants” title.
how to create monthly meeting agenda status feed

Options:

  • Set the meeting agendas feed as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view the agendas.
  • Alternatively, you can allow access to meeting agendas for certain participants only. In this case, turn “Team-wide” mode OFF and invite viewers; restrict viewing by unchecking “View” properties for other team members.
  • If you don’t plan to write meeting agendas yourself, uncheck “Update” for yourself – in this case, you won’t receive reminders to create the upcoming meeting agenda.
  • Check the “Update” checkbox for those who are assigned to update meeting agendas. They will receive timely reminders to write the upcoming meeting agenda, according to the “Recurrence” setting you configured in Step 1. The Recurrence feature is optional and can be turned off.
  • You can add, remove, and assign feed participants at any time.

Step 2: The meeting agenda should be added to the “Update” field of the feed.

  • If different people create agendas for different parts of the meeting, each of them should fill in the “Update” field and click “Submit.”
how to add update to status feed
  • 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.
how to use mentions status feed

Info such as the date and the name of the person who wrote that agenda will be added automatically.

As soon as a new meeting agenda 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 with the full text of the upcoming meeting agenda.

Step 3 (Optional): Print the meeting agenda.
(Skip this step if you share meeting agendas online and don’t print them.)

  • Choose date
  • Click “file” button
  • Click “Generate
how to export monthly meeting agenda

Done!

monthly meeting agenda report

Sign up now to make your team happier and more productive.

Sign up now, It’s Free

 
See also: How to Improve Meeting Summaries and Spend 10x Less Time on Meetings
 

 
Part 4

How to Improve Meeting Summaries and Spend 10x Less Time on Meetings

How to use status.net for meeting summaries:

  1. Make meeting summaries instantly available to the team members and stakeholders, including those who were not present at the meeting.
  2. Save time with auto completion: Most fields (such as date, name, formatting, etc.) are inserted automatically by software.
  3. Option to have post-meeting comments in context: Each meeting summary has its own section for comments.
  4. Draw the attention of specific team members to the latest meeting summary by using the “mentions” feature; for example, if you need input or clarifications from those people.
     
    When you @mention a team member either in your meeting summary or its comments section, they will receive a separate personal notification and will know they’re expected to take action.
  5. Peace of mind: Recurrence can be configured for regular meetings. In this case, the assigned people will receive timely automatic reminders to write the latest meeting summary.
  6. Eliminate data silos: All meeting summaries are accurately collected in one place and can be easily accessed and shared with anyone, including managers and colleagues from other departments.
     
    If post-meeting discussions took place in the meeting summary’s comments section, this info will be automatically documented and available as well.
  7. Configure visibility settings with the “Team-wide” and “Invite-only” modes.
  8. Collectively create meeting summaries by adding multiple contributors.
  9. Sharing: Meeting summaries can be either
     
    — exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
    — shared online with selected people (in this case, an email will be sent automatically to those with “View” permission); or
    — shared online company-wide or team-wide (an email with the full text of meeting summaries will be sent automatically to each team member).

How to configure meeting summaries:

Step 1:

  • Create a “Monthly Meeting Summary” feed and set up a recurrence (for regular meetings, set how often you usually hold meetings; for irregular meetings you can leave this setting blank).
  • Configure who will write and have access to meeting summaries by choosing the “Participants” tab and then clicking the “Cog” button near the “Feed Participants” title.
how to create monthly meeting summary status feed

Options:

  • Set the meeting summaries feed as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view meeting summaries.
  • Alternatively, you can allow access to meeting summaries for certain participants only. In this case, turn “Team-wide” mode OFF and invite viewers; restrict viewing by unchecking “View” properties for other team members.
  • Check the “Update” checkbox for those who are assigned to write meeting summaries. They will receive timely reminders to fill in the latest meeting summary, according to the “Recurrence” setting you configured in Step 1. The Recurrence feature is optional and can be turned off.
  • You can add, remove, and assign feed participants at any time.

Step 2: The meeting summary should be added to the “Update” field of the feed.

  • Use of bulleted or numbered lists has been shown to improve readability and productivity.
  • If different people create separate summaries for different parts of the meeting, each of them should fill in the “Update” field and click “Submit.”
how to add update to status feed
  • Participants can comment on a meeting summary (or a part of meeting summary, if posted separately by different people) in its comments section, which ensures the right context and makes additions available for 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.
how to use mentions status feed

Info such as the date and the name of the person who wrote that meeting summary will be added automatically.

As soon as a new meeting summary 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 with the full text of the latest meeting summary.

Step 3 (Optional): Generate a meeting summary report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share meeting summaries online and don’t print them.)

  • Choose date range
  • Click “file” button
  • Choose type of report (“By Date” – to sort meeting summaries by date) and click “Generate Report
how to export monthly meeting summary

Done!

monthly meeting summary report

Sign up now to make your team happier and more productive.

Sign up now, It’s Free

 
See also: How to Make Meeting Agendas 10x Easier
 

 
Part 5

How to Spend Less Time on Meetings?

How to use status.net for status reports:

  1. 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?”.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, CRM, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status feed.
  6. Spend less time on meetings by making them more productive because everyone is on the same page at all times.
  7. 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 reporting:

Step 1:

  • Create a “Status Report” feed and set up a recurrence.
  • Configure who will write and read reports by choosing the “Participants” tab and then clicking the “Cog” button near “Feed Participants” title.
how to create status report status feed

Options:

  • Set the status feed as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
  • Alternatively, you can allow access to status reports for certain participants only (such as yourself if you’re a team lead). In this case, turn “Team-wide” mode OFF and restrict viewing by unchecking “View” properties for other participants. Team members with the “View” checkbox unchecked will only be able to view their own status reports.
  • If you’re a manager and you don’t plan to share your status reports with your team, uncheck “Update” for yourself – in this case, you won’t receive reminders to fill in this status report.
  • The Recurrence setting configures how often participants receive email reminders to fill in their status reports. This feature is optional and can be turned off.
  • You can add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.

Step 2: The text of the status update should be added to the “Update” field of status feed.

how to add update to status feed

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 when they log in to their accounts. They will also automatically receive emails with the full text of status reports.

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.)

  • Choose dates
  • Choose people
  • Click “File” button
  • Choose type of report and click “Generate Report
how to export your status report

Done!

status report

 

Create your free account now

 

 
Part 6

Additional Sources

  1. How to Write a Smart Monthly Report + Free Template Download
  2. How to Create a Weekly Meeting Agenda + Free Download
  3. How to Create a Powerful Staff Meeting Agenda + Free Download