Meeting management is a blend of art and science. You need mad “people skills” to bring polar opposites together sometimes. Soft touches. Tough love. And a whole host of other soft skills are an important part of making meetings go. Fortunately the “science” side of meetings is a picture that gets brighter and brighter as technology finds it’s groove in this space. For me an important technical resource for keeping things straight and everybody engaged in a meeting is a tool called OneNote. It’s been around a long time and has just recently been getting the credit it deserves. This Microsoft product comes as a free app on all Windows 10 installations now. I think that has helped. But it is available in a fuller version with Office 365 subscriptions (both pc and mac). It has an online web version, which is pretty good. Microsoft has even created iOS and Android mobile app versions.
Because you can not only create local copies of your OneNote Notebooks, but also store them in a free OneDrive cloud account, it’s utility is somewhat endless. In the screencast at the bottom of the page I walk through an example of using the free OneNote version along with OneDrive to build a nice meeting management solution for collecting and sharing meeting content like agendas, action items and meeting assets.
For those who attend or management meetings for ministry purposes, a digital meeting management tool is a welcome addition to your tool belt. I can see many uses for this approach in situations where staff and volunteers come together to plan, report and just get stuff done. Church councils, boards, school faculties are all groups that meet and could benefit from an online, full featured tool like OneNote. I’d probably even go as far as saying even a better tool than Google’s Docs and other G-Suite products. For church/school leadership teams one of the best features might be OneNote’s ability to embed assets like images, audio files and documents. You can craft one page that could include every imaginable resource that would just be there whenever anybody opens the page. No confusing subfolder names, permissioning issues, or broken links. Literally a one-stop-shop for all your meeting stuff. Super easy!