Patrick Lencioni identifies four key meeting types: daily check-in, regular tactical, ad hoc strategic and the quarterly off-site. I agree with these four, but I have a fifth. It is a hybrid between check-in and tactical. Most of the agenda items repeat every week. For example, we review dates on the calendar, follow-up of guests, print and web communication plans and building maintenance issues.
I find that an Evernote template of these routine topics is a great and easy way to create a meeting agenda. Here is my workflow for that.
Don’t reinvent the ‘wheel’ use a template
I have created a separate EN notebook to store my various templates. In addition to agenda templates I also have templates for other reoccurring work and planning elements. Check lists for child dedication services and funerals, points to communicate to a guest speaker and key items for reviewing an event are some of the other templates I use. It is not essential that templates reside in their own notebook, but I find it makes them very accessible. Another way would be to entitle templates uniquely, for example to begin every note title with <Template> or to tag every note with a particular label like “Template”.
For the weekly review meeting above, I have created a template called “Standing Agenda – Part 1 – %Date%”. There is nothing clever in the title, it just needs to adequately communicate what the template is about.
The next step is important. I right-click on the template title and choose <Copy to Notebook> from the contextual menu, followed by choosing the notebook related to work. I don’t want to choose the <Move to Notebook> option because that would result in deleting the template from my template notebook.
Once I have duplicated the template to my working notebook it is ready for me to customize. I locate the note in my working notebook and change the title by replacing “%Date% with the date of the meeting. I then add the tag “TM.1.agnd”. There are two main reasons for the tag. The first is so that I can likewise tag any other material pertinent to that meeting. The second is so that I can create a shortcut to that tag and thereby easily access all the material for the meeting.
Last thing I will say is that I use a table format in the agenda template. It makes customizing easier and it ensures that the agenda displays clearly on a phone or tablet.by