4 steps to more efficient team meetings

Team meetings are an essential part of daily working life. Projects have to be coordinated, texts approved and decisions made. You see: Without regular and good communication, nothing moves forward. That's why meetings are quite often in workers' calendars. They spend more than 15 hours a month in meetings of all kinds, and quite often the meetings are not very productive. Lack of efficiency and thus waste of valuable working time is a huge problem of meetings. But how do you counteract this?

With SeaTable you have the possibility to avoid this problem: Our software is so flexible that you can use it to plan, conduct and document meetings in a structured way. All appointments, topics and participants can be called up transparently and in a structured way in one place. This makes your meetings efficient and fruitful.

Team meetings: Necessary time eaters

Meetings are simply important to ensure balanced communication and thus a steady project flow from which successful results follow. Constant coordination is therefore virtually obligatory in order to complete projects and achieve goals, because otherwise it is simply not possible to work together. But why exactly are meetings so often unproductive?

There are a few reasons why team meetings are inefficient - apart from small talk and coffee chats:

  1. No one knows what it is all about
  2. No one has prepared
  3. Topics are discussed that have no place in the meeting.
  4. There is the one person who always talks too much
  5. Someone is late
  6. No To Do's are set and no decisions are made

Surely you have already experienced one of the points mentioned here yourself. Points 4 - 6 are rather things that could be regulated by moderation. Here, one person must take the lead and intervene as soon as the conversation no longer revolves around the essentials.

However, points 1 - 3 are of an organisational structure that can be perfectly prevented in advance. This is where our software solution SeaTable comes in and enables a comprehensive and structured management of appointments and data. It is also used to document and follow up on meetings. In the following, we will explain to you exactly how to use our self-created template and which features are waiting for you.

Click here to go directly to the Teammeetings Template

Plan and manage team meetings with SeaTable

In meetings, it is important to plan the schedule and the content to be discussed well in advance. Without preparing content, the meeting is haphazard, chaotic and also pointless, because the aim of meetings is not only to reach mutual agreement, but also to make progress in projects. Decisions are to be made that achieve results. If this does not happen, then the meeting has completely missed its purpose.

With SeaTable you have a central place where all planning steps can be completed. Here you date the team meetings, invite participants to them and create an agenda and topic boards in advance. Afterwards, the meeting minutes and other important documents are stored directly in the table so that colleagues who are unable to attend can find out about the results of the meeting. The storage of minutes also serves to document work steps, ideas and agreements - so nothing gets lost and you have everything in black and white.

But now from the beginning: We start in the table overview of the template, where the meetings are listed. Some important information is already entered here. Enter the name of the meeting in the first column so that everyone knows exactly what it is about. If you are particularly precise here, many questions will be clarified in advance.

1. work collaboratively on topics

We have designed our template to be simple and straightforward. In a table you will find all the important parameters that are important for planning and holding meetings. In the first step, you define a concise and meaningful title for the meeting, such as "Brainstorming for the 2022 Christmas campaign". This way, every invited participant already knows what the meeting is about.

In the next step, you can use the date column to determine on which day and at what time the meeting should begin and when it should end. The following formula column automatically calculates the duration of the meeting so that everyone knows at a glance how much time they have to plan. In the "Employees" column, you specify all employees who are to take part in the meeting. All employees will then receive an automatic notification, which we explain in more detail below.

Manage team meetings with SeaTable

The next step is to determine the room in which the meeting will take place. The rooms are clearly separated by colour so that it is easy to see where you are meeting. The next column shows a particularly important part of the preparation and follow-up: The agenda. Since SeaTable is also a database, all topics, files and minutes can be stored directly on the spot and edited synchronously. Every user who is authorised can work in Base with other users at the same time and, for example, enter important topics.

In the agenda column, all users can enter their topics in advance and thus name important points to be discussed in the meeting. At the same time, the agenda also functions as a protocol aid or even as a protocol altogether: Because all changes in it are immediately displayed to the other participants on their laptops when they have opened Base. Working collaboratively without causing a tangled mess of file versions is an enormous relief in everyday work and simplifies complexity, especially in coordination processes.

The agenda also helps to prepare for the meeting accordingly. A quick glance at it is enough to find out about the topics and perhaps look for information or files that will be needed later. It also helps with the follow-up and the creation of minutes that can be uploaded later in the file column. This is helpful for all those who were not able to attend the meeting or who want to read something again.

Chat function facilitates communication

The chat function makes e-mails superfluous

The chat function in each row, i.e. in each individual team meeting, enables uncomplicated and streamlined communication that makes any e-mails superfluous. When you open row (click on the small blue arrows on the left in row), an overall view of the meeting opens. On the right is the chat, where you can easily add employees and write important messages, such as that employee Müller should please upload the interim presentation with the annual review.

The tagged staff member receives an automatic notification by email about the chat message and can then simply reply to it in the chat itself. In this way, questions can be clarified in advance, materials collected or other important information exchanged. Everything is collected transparently and comprehensibly so that everyone is on board and responsibilities are clearly delineated.

With SeaTable, you can map your entire team meetings in one central location.

2. personal meeting view for staff

Creating different views is one of the practical advantages of SeaTable over other spreadsheets.

Own views enable more order

Create as many views as you like and design them exactly as you need the data at the moment. The settings in the original view do not change. One data set, but hundreds of display options: That's possible with SeaTable.

In our example, we have created a separate view for each employee and defined with the filter rule that only those appointments are displayed in which, for example, Mr. Müller also appears. This way he knows which meetings are coming up soon and how he has to prepare for them. He can design, filter, group and sort the view himself in the way that is most convenient for him.

The views are still important for the calendar plug-in and are needed immediately. If you create a view for each room, for example

3. all meetings at a glance: With the calendar plugin

SeaTable is also equipped with a calendar plug-in. Here, appointments of any kind can be integrated to keep a good overview. For the general meeting view, you can simply select this view in the calendar plugin and set all parameters to suit your needs.

In the calendar you can see all meetings

We have therefore categorised the rooms in single-select columns, as we can set different colours per room here. In the calendar plug-in, this has the advantage that the different appointments can be displayed in colour exactly according to the room colour scheme. For example, if you want to create another meeting at the same time on 20.10., you will see directly that it may not take place in the blue meeting room.

Calendar views

The views created are now used in the plug-in. To do this, simply select the view of the staff member or the room that is to be displayed in the calendar. In this way, each staff member also gets their own calendar view in which all their meetings are entered. The same applies to the room overview: With a filter, the room view EG R002 only shows those meetings that take place in this room. To find a free room when planning a meeting, an appointment can be created and booked directly via the view.

This means that there are no more duplicate appointments and everyone has a visual point of contact for the appointments.

4. automatic notifications directly to the inbox

As mentioned above, SeaTable's notification rules are an ideal solution for simplifying communication and reducing the number of emails sent. This saves time and protects the already well-filled email inbox. We have created two notification rules: The first informs all invited members that they have been added to a team meeting. With one click, they can then go directly to Base and find out about the meeting.

The second rule is a reminder notification set with a deadline. One day before the meeting starts (selectable with the "Start" column), a notification is sent to all invited members so that they do not forget the meeting. A single notification is sent, but you can also set hourly notifications, for example. This reminds everyone of the upcoming meeting and allows them to prepare for all topics in good time.

Manage all meetings in one place with SeaTable

As you can see: With SeaTable, organising and conducting meetings is no magic trick. Optimal preparation is achieved through notification rules, custom views, chat function and the agenda, while the agenda invites collaborative work during the execution. For follow-up, all important details are listed and saved in Base, so that everything can be tracked and read at any time. You'll never miss a meeting again!

Test our template today and register completely free of charge.

Tanja Ott
Tanja is a working student at SeaTable in the marketing department. Like no other, she knows how to write appealing texts and create images in your head. She loves good coffee and is passionate about music.