Meetings are a way of life for many people. If you work in the corporate world, it seems like they can fill up the majority of your schedule. While meetings can be useful, they can also be huge time wasters. Today I would like to share with you three helpful tools to get the most out of your meetings and get back to more productive work quickly.
1. Desktop Flowchart: Here is a simple little tool that you can carry in your pocket or purse that can help when brainstorming during meetings. Just print a few sheets of these cards and create your own flowchart right on your desk. Pass out some cards, record some ideas, and sort them in an organized format.
This tool works great in small groups of 6 to 8 people. Just fill in the cards and use the arrows to create flow. The deluxe desktop flowchart kit has over 40 cards containing popular flowchart symbols, arrows, and flow organizers. Give this a try at your next planning meeting. You’ll be surprised how effective these little cards can be.
2. Note Taking Kit: In most meetings a lot of information is discussed and plans created. It’s important to take good notes, so you can act upon the ideas presented when you get back to your desk. Our simple note taking template has a free flow area to capture your ideas, drawings and outlines. Once you have your ideas on paper you can organize, delegate and create action steps on the left hand column on the sheet.
Using Michael Hyatt’s great markup notation you can quickly and easily segregate your to-do items, delegated items, and research items with the entry of a single symbol. When you are done, create an action summary at the bottom of the page and be ready to go when you get back to your office.
3. Desktop Decision Maker: Should we go with plan A or B? Should we go ahead with the project or stop it in it’s tracks? This type of question comes up all the time in meetings. For group leaders it’s important to get good feedback from your team. With the desktop decision maker you can solicit numerous ideas right in the meeting and sort them for everyone to see.
If you don’t have a whiteboard, the printable decision maker gives you a place to strategize your ideas, either pro or con, or by comparison. Once you have your ideas out, you can use the further discussion worksheet to work out the details. This handy little tool can keep things going when decisions become difficult. This is a great tool to keep in your meeting bag of tricks.