If you think too many meetings are a waste of time, you’re not alone. From nearly dozing off during meetings (if you’ve ever taken real or fake notes in a meeting to stay awake, I am talking to you) to being distracted and not achieving your goals, research shows that executives consider 67 percent of meetings to be failures.
So what’s the key to smooth and productive meetings? Consider the last meeting you had that flowed like clockwork and you probably noticed you and your participants were well prepared and in sync. The good news is you don’t have to wait for these conditions to occur spontaneously. Use these 11 life changing hacks to boost meeting efficiency today!
Stop scrambling to find information during meetings and effortlessly manage clients and projects with Basecamp, a simple, online project management tool. Basecamp makes it easy for people to have discussions, collaborate on documents, assign tasks and check due dates on a shared online interface that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Best thing is it’s free for the first project, so you can see how it works.
If, like the average Internet user, you have 26 or more online accounts, you’ll understand how frustrating it is when you can’t remember a password. Save time and increase your security with 1Password which allows you to generate strong passwords and securely store them in one place.
Evernote allows you to capture inspirational moments during meetings as they happen. The handy digital workspace allows you to store snapshots of webpages, URLs, documents and pictures which can be accessed by anyone at any time. You can even add in an extension onto your web browser to make saving onto Evernote as easy as dragging and dropping.
Stay organized and keep paperwork to a minimum in meetings by turning your iPhone into a pdf scanner. Use this handy, free app to scan receipts to easily track meeting travelling expenses or scan meeting documents to store online for your projects.
Store contact information online in seconds by simply taking a photograph of a business card with the free CAMCARD smartphone app. The handy app also allows you to exchange business cards with people online and allows you to organize your contact information in one easy to use platform.
Sign online documents securely in as little as 60 seconds with the free smartphone app SignEasy. The app allows you to sign deals using your finger and the touchpad on your smart phone to finalize deals quickly without paper.
According to research by video conferencing company BlueJeans, CEO’s, CTOs and Founders are common culprits for being late to meetings. Increase your punctuality with LeaveNow, an iPhone app that alerts you when you need to leave for a meeting to make it on time. The smart app syncs with Google maps to take into account traffic, so you won’t be surprised by last minute road closures or accidents.
If you’ve ever found it difficult to organize bookmarks, you will adore Dragdis, a Google Chrome Extension that fits on your Google Chrome browser. The convenient bookmarking tool allows you to drag and drop URLs, images and wording into your toolbar under specified folder names.
Instead of manually remembering to send out meeting reminders; use Google Boomerang to effortlessly schedule Gmail emails. The intelligent service can also alert you if you do not get a reply to a message so that you can effectively manage your mailbox.
Easily account for your meeting costs with Trippeo, an easy to use app that automates expense management. Simply snap a photo of receipts from your meeting and upload digital copies of your receipts, attach them to their transactions, include them in your reports, and submit for approval in one seamless workflow – all without any paper at all.
Remain focused during a meeting by keeping your emails under control. With SaneBox you can filter your inbox to only receive important or urgent emails during your meetings so that you won’t be tempted to peak at your phone unless you have to.
Be the person people look forward to meeting. Improving your meeting skills will help you increase your confidence, business opportunities and probability of closing deals. If you make each meeting efficient with the above tools, not only will you prosper, but the people who tend to daydream during meetings will highly appreciate it too.
Boosting Your Productivity
It’s easy to think that the key to accomplishing more is to just work harder, faster or squeeze more into the day through better time management. But in reality, one of the best ways to be productive is by focusing on the right things at the right times. Adopt specific tools and techniques so that you can get started with your new productivity strategy now. Join us on January 17 to find out more in our Boost Your Productivity with Focus Management seminar, lead by Scott Friesen of Simpletivity.