Upon a brief review of my site analytics, I noticed something striking. For the month of February, almost nine percent (9%) of my page views are for one thing: Free Meeting Minutes Template Back in March 2009, I wrote a post about helpful tips for running a meeting. With it was a free copy of my meeting minutes template. So, I think it's time for a brief refresher with a few updates.
When Hosting a Meeting:
 Write out the purpose of the meeting with actionable events in mind. e.g. “Provide an updated status, identifying risks and opportunities, and identify new action items.”
 Identify your attendee list but only keep those you can map to the actionable events listed in step 1. There is a difference between an attendee list and a communications distribution list.
 Create an agenda. Never schedule a meeting without a written agenda. A meeting without an agenda is inefficient and a waste of time.
 Identify who will run the meeting and who will take notes. It should not be the same person. Both people should know their roles before the meeting begins.
 Ensure discussion points align to the agenda. If the conversation drifts off topic, recommend taking the discussion to another forum.
 End the meeting by having the note taker read back discussion points and the action items. Make sure there is a consensus before the meeting ends.
 Send out the meeting minutes within one to two days. Consult your distribution list to ensure all necessary people get a copy.
As a disclaimer, I hate meetings. Many are unnecessary. But, when meetings are necessary, get them done as quickly as possible. Get in, get to the point, get out, get back to work.
 Start on time. If you don't start on time, you can't finish on time.
 Do not schedule your meeting to end at the top or bottom of the hour. I'm a fan of the 22 minute meeting. Have meetings end a little early. Some people need to get to other meeting and this will help prevent them from being late.