Meeting Less, Achieving More

What’s the cost of a meeting?

For some companies, it’s more than diminished productivity and wasted time. Yesterday, at the Fast Company Innovation By Design Conference, Nest CEO Tony Fadell suggested that one single meeting has a significant financial impact.

Not only do meetings impact human capital, they also waste a tremendous amount of time.

Earlier this week, Bain & Company published a study that found a single weekly meeting cost a company 300,000 hours in one year. This figure does not include the time required to prepare for the meetings, or debrief from them.

At the 4th Annual Evernote Conference, we were vocal about our feelings for meetings. Frankly, 99.9 percent of them stink. Instead of focusing on decisions, meetings have turned into pitch sessions. Which is fine, if you’re selling a car or pitching a business idea.

Seventy percent of our users utilize Evernote at work. We want their time focused on creating the best work of their lives. Meetings shouldn’t be an obstruction to productivity. Instead, we want you to focus on uninterrupted work as you seek to accomplish big, exciting goals. When meetings are required, they should make an immediate impact and help the team come to concrete decisions so everyone can get back to work.

Evernote tools for better meetings

Presentation mode. Slide decks have drained a lot of productivity out of meetings. Since you’re already using Evernote to collect and write everything related to your work, instantly transform your notes into a beautiful full screen presentation. Learn more >>

Paperless prep. Status meetings go much quicker when your team is on the same page. Don’t waste time printing decks, documents, or web pages. Attach documents and files directly to your meeting agenda note and share with colleagues. The moment your team walks through the door, they’ll have everything they need for the meeting from their computer, smartphone, or tablet. Learn more >>

Custom templates. Same status meeting, different week? Use Evernote to create a shared Business Notebook that contains templates with a pre-formatted structure for your agendas and minutes that helps you save time. Learn more >>

How Evernote Meets

People Having a Meeting at Evernote

It’s easier said than done, but we’re committed to managing our time wisely.

Here’s how we hold meetings at Evernote:

1. Have fewer meetings. First, we ask ourselves if we need to hold the meeting. Perhaps, there are better alternatives.

2. Spend less time meeting. When a meeting is required, we consider making it shorter. Just because an hour is available on the calendar doesn’t mean we need the entire sixty minutes. At Evernote, we’ve installed an automatic chime in our meeting rooms that rings every 25 minutes as a signal to wrap up discussions and settle on decisions.

3. Share with Evernote. Evernote is a great tool to share important information, knowledge, and updates. This is especially useful for recurring meetings like check-ins and status updates.

4. Invite wisely. Send invites to the essential people who will benefit from being in the meeting.

5. Intelligent organization. Meeting hosts provide invitees with an agenda to keep the meeting on track. We use Evernote to create a template for agenda items, meeting notes, and action items.

6. Be noteworthy. Assign someone in the room to take notes, so the rest of the attendees can focus on the the important elements of the meeting.

7. In conclusion. A meeting is complete when we’ve reviewed and assigned action items. Then, back to work to accomplish more great things.

How are you using Evernote to have less meetings and be more productive? Share your story in the comments.

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