Meeting Agendas (and why you should have them)
Please, please, please add meeting agendas to your meeting invites
The number of meetings that could be made better by people having some idea of context before the meeting is incredible. It is especially mind-boggling when meetings involve perhaps six or more people.
Here are some quick tips for writing better-than-nothing meeting agendas. I will add to this over time!
Have a bullet-pointed list of topics. If you know the details ahead of time, perfect; if you don’t, I’m sure you can still indicate what will be discussed at a high level.
Pick an appropriate meeting name. “Catch up” is not a good meeting name. At the very least mention the project and core agenda item.
Designate a time for each topic. It’s very convenient the amount of content that will fit into 30 minutes! By being upfront that there will be 5 minutes to discuss the next steps, or 15 minutes to cover a particular topic, you help set both scope and depth.
On that topic, set aside time for the next steps/actions - the purpose of most meetings is to get people together to discuss something. If that something doesn’t have actionable next steps, it could be argued the meeting should have been an email.
Include links to files or documents that will be referenced in the meeting. People should not be reading documents created weeks ago for the first time in the meeting.