Helps you plan your next meeting from A to Z.
Setting up a meeting, creating the agenda, notifying people, distributing documents, etc. can be a tedious task. Did I forget anything? Did I notify everyone? Are there new members this month? ...
The purpose of the agenda wizard is to guide you, step-by-step, planning your next meeting, while taking care of all the routine tasks. It provides great peace of mind and most of the work is already done before you even started.
The wizard is easy to use but there might be a few features that are not always clearly highlighted. Let's take a closer look at how things work together and how to plan your next meeting quick.
The main idea behind the wizard is that it should take care of all the routine tasks while the user only
needs to take care of the tasks that are different for each particular meeting (E.g., invite specific
guests, add new agenda items).
For this to work seamlessly, there are a few things to set up first:
If your board or committee meets on a regular basis (E.g. weekly or once a month) you can enter your schedule in the settings. Each time you create a new meeting, the wizard will then find your latest meeting, calculate the next meeting date and enter the meeting information automatically.
After the meeting is created, you can of course make any changes to that meeting.
You can schedule multiple meetings in advance like this but more about that in a later post.
Many boards and committees use the same agenda structure for each meeting. The agenda wizard can create your own custom agenda structure automatically if you create a template in the settings. Creating a template is quick and easy. You can learn more about agenda templates here
Each time, you create a new meeting, the wizard will build a new agenda according to the default template. (You can have more than one template). Once the agenda is created, you can add or delete items as required for that specific meeting.
“Spending a little time to set up a new board or committee correctly will save you plenty of time in the long run.”
Making sure the attendance list is up to date, is another task the agenda wizard will take care of. Members
of your board or committee are automatically added to the attendance list of each meeting. You can view the
full list under the attendance tab.
When you add new members or remove members from the committee, the wizard will update the attendance of meetings accordingly.
Guests must be added manually on the attendance page. You only need to add their name and email address and the wizard will take care of the notifications. New guests will be added automatically as a contact and can be added again with one click in future meetings
Pending items are existing agenda items that are in a waiting state to be added to a future meeting agenda. Pending items can be grouped into these categories:
Deferred items: Items that were deferred from a previous meeting to a future meeting. A deferred item has a deferred date and will become 'due' at some point in time.
Parked items: Items that were deferred from a previous meeting indefinitely. Parked items have no due date.
Requested items: Agenda items requested by members of a board or committee. All members can request agenda items.
Pending items can be viewed on the agenda page by clicking the 'Pending items' button.
All pending items will show up in this list indefinitely until either added to a meeting agenda and eventually marked completed or, deleted manually. To add a pending item to an agenda, simply drag the item from the pending list to any section in the agenda on the left.
The agenda wizard provides several ways to attach reference documents to a meeting.
Meeting documents: One option is to attach all meeting documents under the 'Documents' tab in the wizard. Documents will show up in the header of the meeting and can be downloaded by members individually or as one 'zip' archive. Documents remain in their original format.
Item documents: Another option is to attach documents relevant to specific agenda items directly to these items. Documents will still show in the meeting header but also under the item they are attached to. Documents remain in their original format.
Board package: An option often used for board meetings is to create a board package. All uploaded documents will be converted to PDF format and merged into a single document for download. Any board or committee can select this option under the 'Documents' tab. You can learn more about board packages here.
Documents uploaded to a meeting are hidden (not visible to other members) until the agenda is published (see next paragraph). Once the agenda is published, documents can be viewed and downloaded from the meeting page and will also show in the main 'Documents' section of your board or committee.
Meeting notifications are handled by the wizard for both members and guests. Depending on your preferred workflow, you can send one or two notification emails.
When you create a new meeting, the agenda is initially in draft mode. At this time, the agenda items and documents are hidden for members. If you already want to send the notifications, you can do that under the 'Notifications' tab of the wizard. Members can RSVP and add the meeting to their calendar, but the agenda and documents won't be available yet.
Once the agenda is final, you can publish the agenda under the 'Publish' tab of the wizard. A notification email will be sent to all members and guests. Members will now be able to view the agenda and view/download documents.
“If you want to send only one notification email, simply skip the Notifications tab and send the notifications when you publish the agenda.”
Ideally, you now have set up a recurring meeting schedule and created an agenda template. When you create a new meeting, all you must do is add guests, add agenda items, upload documents and send the notifications. All the rest is taken care of.