Bad Meetings can Kill a Good Project: A Survivor’s guide

The world has changed. Why is this happening? Smartsheet transforms your work.

A bad meeting can endanger a project. It’s even worse since the pandemic. Virtual meetings have almost become commonplace. Think back to a time in the past year when you were forced to sit through a terrible meeting. I’m sure you have the memory.
These meetings are very common. Over 40% of people admit to multitasking in meetings, while 69% of people check email during video calls.
Bad meetings can halt progress on a great project, because projects begin in meetings. Perhaps it’s your brand’s big ad campaign in 2021 or a new product launch. You will save time and money if you are meeting properly.
This is the core of what I believe and why I work in collaboration. There’s a better way to work together and the secret lives in your Google Calendar.
Here’s a simple formula that will ensure project success. It’s four-fold:
A kick-off meeting
Real-time note taking
Next steps that can be tracked
A structured, repeatable backlog.
Below, I will go into more detail about each part of this formula.
This article explains.
Kick-Off Meeting
Real-Time Note Taking
Traceable Next Steps
A formatted, repeatable backlog
How to Avoid a Virtual Meeting Disaster
Meetings aren’t so bad after all
1. The Golden Ticket: A Kickoff Meeting
Kick-off meetings can seem like a hurdle that every team must jump through before they can actually start working on a project. Kick-off meetings can seem like a hurdle that every team must jump through before they can actually work on a project.
You will need a leader to start the meeting. They will organize the meeting agenda and send an overview to all attendees of all topics and goals. It is best to use a note-taking application that syncs with your calendar like Hive Notes for this type of thing.
Hive Notes connects to your existing calendar events and is a collaborative meeting notes experience.
Once you are in the meeting, follow this agenda. Allow everyone to express their opinions and thoughts. Provide a collaborative, editable document for people to add additional feedback that they might have missed during the meeting.
Also, consider video. 73% of communication is not verbal. It’s easier to collaborate when you meet face-to-face.
2. The X Factor: More than just chat
Meetings via Zoom can be difficult. It can be difficult to know when to talk and when to listen. You can only chat in Zoom in real-time, but the messages disappear after the call ends. Also, you are unable to record any notes or next steps.
Instead, you can use collaborative notes and find a note-taking platform that allows each person to add their thoughts and next steps in real time.
The world has changed. Why is this happening? Smartsheet transforms your work.

Example of real-time collaborative notes via Hive Notes.
Real-time notes democratize meetings. Even if you aren’t speaking, ideas can be shared and discussed. Let’s face the truth, no one person wants be the sole note-taker.
Worse, if everyone takes their notes independently, you’ll end up with 6 different versions with varying levels accuracy of meeting notes. Collaborative notes can be a fun way for people to get involved and keep everyone’s attention.
3. The Rocketfuel: Next Steps Traceable
As you take notes during the meeting, make sure to assign the next steps to your team members. Everybody in the meeting can see the next steps being taken in real-time. This helps to clarify any confusion and holds people accountable. It also ensures that the meeting was not in vain.
Most of the information we learn in 60 minutes is forgotten, so it’s important to take notes and follow ups immediately after learning.