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Plan Meetings That Are Highly Productive Yet Very Short

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While the easiest part of the day is to sit in a meeting, the hardest part is to plan a meeting. 

Why do we need meetings? What would happen if we didn’t have meetings? What are some functional alternatives to meetings? These are some of the most prominent questions that will be answered through this article.

Let’s Do A Breakdown Of Why We Have Meetings

We need a quick team meet-up for:

1. Catching Up 

Catching Up 

When we need the employees to report their progress and what they have been doing for a certain period, we need to gather the team around. We conduct meetings to know what they are over with and determine what their next tasks should be. These meetings are often to determine where the team is as per the timeline of the project.

These are necessary because they are a way for people to be informed about the progress of the project as a whole. However, these catch-up sessions are also fairly time-consuming and come with no way to document said progress. 

2. Discussing Strategies

Discussing Strategies

Another big reason to plan a meeting at the workplace is to discuss strategies. Want to put a new plan into motion, see how well it can do for your organization? Strategy meetings are your answer. These are the meetings where people get to pitch ideas, and you get to select which plan will work the best for your team and the organization. 

These are necessary for the team to collaborate effectively and consequently focus their energies on inventive ideas and future ventures. However, there is no way to document these ideas and strategies, and hence, meetings can prove to be unfruitful.

3. Providing Feedback

Providing Feedback

Another great advantage of conducting meetings could be that these are the more innovative way to give feedback to your team in a collective setting. Feedback meetings, generally, are a way to provide the team notes about their ongoing work or future assignments.

Collective feedback meetings are great when it comes to making the team aware of how they should proceed with their respective assignments. However, a list of set guidelines should not be something that is simply announced in a meeting. This information should be documented, updated, and shared within the team.

4. Collecting Intelligence

Collecting Intelligence

Information gathering also includes having meetings. Be it with two people or more, when you are initiating a project and adding to the knowledge base you want your project to be built upon, intelligence collecting meetings are a must. 

A knowledge base is something you can throw information in. Be it for future reference, for safe-keeping, or anything. The collection of this information is invaluable for a project. However, if we are to throw information that is going to end up in a document, why don’t you look for an effective way where the team can collaborate and pitch information themselves.

Having trouble being on the same page with your team? Try all the collaborative features like Chat, Discussions, and Notes within ProofHub!

All in all, meetings are mostly about bringing people in the loop. Whether it means giving information or taking information, it seems that the thing that leads people to be on the same page is a meeting. However, as we mentioned above in all the points, meetings might not be as effective as we once thought

As the CEO of ProofHub, I have always tried to minimize meetings. The time it takes to send a message about the meeting’s agenda, the time it takes to inform everyone about the timing and the venue, and the time it takes for people to gather their things and arrive is quite frankly a waste of the resource of time itself.

How Can One Plan A Meeting That Doesn’t Involve *Meeting*?

If the remote work era has taught us anything, it is that we don’t need to be in the same city, country, or continent for collaborating or for working productively. 

This is exactly why meetings could very well be redundant in the near future. Automation tools can and are replacing everything. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

#A Taking Over Team Communication

There is no team in the world that didn’t have to go through the process of looking for a communication tool that would help in the easy back and forth during the lockdown period.

So, as managers, we know that there are communication tools that facilitate instant messaging, quick file sharing, and also ones that help you connect through video calls. 

Tools such as ProofHub, Chanty, Slack, Troop Messenger, and many more can keep your team on the same page even when you can’t be physically close to the people you work with.

Setting a meeting agenda, discussing strategies in the group chats, doing a quick follow-up with your teammates is all possible with a communication tool.

Establish Social Distancing Rules In The Workplace

#B Save Notes For Reference

There are tools out there that can help you document the ideas after brainstorming. Furthermore, every meeting can be recorded by noting down the meeting minutes on one dedicated platform. 

Here at ProofHub, we always promote documenting information, we like to brainstorm and store our ideas for safekeeping. But these notes would not just help you on a rainy day, this is information that you can always come back to for reference, making modifications, and important additions, etc. 

Note-taking apps like Google Keep, Evernote, and Dropbox Paper, etc. are both handy and useful as they help you keep tabs on what information you would want to use later.

These tools can be especially helpful as they provide the team a dedicated space where they can participate in adding to these notes hence making the distribution of information much easier.

#2 What Are Some Amazing Alternatives To Having Meetings?

What Are Some Amazing Alternatives To Having Meetings?

If the remote work era has taught us anything, it is that we don’t need to be in constant physical contact for collaborating or for working productively. 

This is exactly why meetings could very well be redundant in the near future. Automation tools can and are replacing everything. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:

a) Taking Over Team Communication

There is no team in the world that didn’t have to go through the process of looking for a communication tool that would help in the easy back and forth during the lockdown period. 

So as managers, we know that there are communication tools that facilitate instant messaging, quick file sharing, and also ones that help you connect through video calls. 

Tools such as Chanty, Slack, Troop Messenger, and many more can keep your team stays on the same page even when you can’t be physically close to the people you work with.

Setting a meeting agenda, discussing strategies in the group chats, doing a quick follow-up with your teammates is all possible with a communication tool.

b) Save Notes For Reference

There are tools out there that can help you document the ideas after brainstorming. Furthermore, every meeting can be recorded by noting down the meeting minutes on one dedicated platform. 

Here at ProofHub, we always promote documenting information, we like to brainstorm and store our ideas for safekeeping. But these notes would not just help you on a rainy day, this is information you can always come back to for reference, making modifications, and important additions, etc. 

Note-taking apps like Google Keep, Evernote, and Dropbox Paper, etc. are both handy and useful as they help you keep tabs on what information you would want to use later.

These tools can be especially helpful as they provide the team a space where they can participate in adding to these notes hence making the distribution of information much easier.

c) Effectively Collaborate With The Team

Sharing information makes collaboration easier. In fact, if you recall, the purpose of productive meetings is to bring people on the same page. So why don’t we dedicate a platform where information can be kept, shared, and distributed in a very seamless way?

One such category of tools that provide all of that is cloud storage platforms. Here you can add, submit, deliver, and organize your files and documents easily without the need of needlessly sharing them to the individual teammates.

And in the way that every meeting has agendas, you can separate your information into different folders and keep them handy for the whole team. 

Share files, add tasks, engage in conversations quickly with ProofHub. Start your FREE trial now.

d) Give Actionable Feedback 

Meetings help provide feedback to the team. But, feedback, most of the time is unclear, uncertain, and most of all, inadequate. 

This is where reviewing and proofing tools come in. These are tools that give you a platform to provide quick and clear feedback and annotate the changes you would like to see in the final version of the document with markup tools.

These tools aren’t industry-specific and every team finds the use for these in one form or the other. 

It is an effective way to share and review all kinds of files. In addition to that, numerous versions of the same file can be stored and organized successfully with these tools.

e) Manage Projects On The Go

In the end, we have something that sums up the purpose of meetings itself i.e. managing projects. After all, that is our main goal, isn’t it?

Managing projects can be made into a doable task with technology that helps you collaborate with the team, assign tasks, share action items, and stick to goals, all on the same platform. Using a project management software stands to reason a lot more when you have a team that has just come back to work after the coronavirus lockdown. 

Being in contact with the team, saving ideas for later, acting on feedback is one thing, but keeping track of the whole project as well as the performance of the team is the job best suited for such a software platform. 

A workplace can function a lot better when there is a central location for all the tasks, files, projects, notes, and discussions. And, yes, all of that comes with the tiny package of a good project management tool. 

ProofHub is one such tool, and with an array of unique features, it kicks Trello, Basecamp, and even ClickUp, right out of the park. 

All The Ways In Which ProofHub Can Help Replace Meetings

ProofHub, like many other project management tools, is one that can be the alternative you needed to replace meetings when you return to work. Let me explain this point better by elaborating how it can help you:

ProofHub

1 Keep Everything In One Place

Be it discussions, keeping notes, preparing a guide for how to attempt tasks, or reporting progress, ProofHub is the go-to solution for solving every meeting-related issue. If you think meetings are necessary, consider this:

  • This tool helps keep your information safe within all your team members. 
  • Exchanging files, information, and updates is also easier with a project management tool such as ProofHub. 
  • It is a way for the team to see their goals and weekly agendas clearly and map progress. 
  • In fact, it is also a way to stay connected with your team and even your clients.

2 Assign Tasks & Pass Guidelines

ProofHub is a preferred system when you consider a replacement for successful meetings because it helps you assign tasks and convey the expectations in a very thorough way. For example:

  • It helps you assign individuals or groups to various tasks. 
  • Provide information and guidance in the form of notes when you assign tasks. 
  • You can also provide comments and add updates to these tasks. 
  • Notify the assignees instantly when a task is assigned to them with ease.

3 Track Progress & Be In The Loop

If meetings for you are a simple follow-up, ProofHub can be a lot of help to you because with a management tool you don’t have to ping anyone to get their progress reports.

  • You can track what needs to be done and view task deadlines with Kanban boards and the calendar view. 
  • Check the status of the tasks against the timeline of the whole project. 
  • Create and share reports to know what everyone is up to. 
  • Provide feedback easily by keeping a record of this progress.

 

Track progress and calculate billable hours, all under one roof! Give ProofHub a try!

4 Stay Connected With The Team 

Sometimes we run meetings just so people can have an opportunity to talk to each other and present ideas. But some meetings are serious brainstorming sessions. ProofHub combines both and offers you a platform to communicate however you want. Let’s discuss how ProofHub is a successful communication platform:

Number 1: The Chat Tool

  • It provides a way to communicate with individuals and groups. 
  • You can interact with the other person using emojis and sharing links. 
  • Quickly make groups for reaching out to your team in particular for group chats.

Number 2: Comments & Feedback

  • ProofHub allows you to proof documents wherein you can use markup tools to annotate changes and give reviews
  • You can also give comments directly on the task card so the assignee can stay updated. 
  • You can also convey the message directly to the person by @mentioning them.

Number 3: Team Discussions

  • Create discussion portals for team discussion where people can express their ideas, thoughts, and opinions. 
  • In discussions, you also get to attach files, and share notes. 
  • You get to create different discussion topics corresponding to different meeting agendas.

Final Words

The first thing to think about when you want to plan a meeting is that you don’t want to waste anyone’s time — especially your own. Meetings can make or break the steady flow of ideas or the pace of project progress as a whole.

Sure, meetings can be a boon, but they can be a bane. It all depends on your preparation and how many nuanced types of platforms you use to collaborate with your team. If you want to bounce ideas off of one another, get performance and progress reports from your team regularly, or you need to take an important decision for your firm, meetings are better when they’re kept anchored to different, dedicated platforms. 

So, right here, let’s vow to take a step towards untangling this meetings’ mess and start using tools and techniques that can help us simplify that planning part once and for all. Starting today, let’s plan a meeting that actually works for your team.

 Sandeep Kashyap
Sandeep Kashyap

Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, "Let’s go!" instead of "Go!" many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.


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