How to Hold Better Meetings with Less Meeting


How are meetings in your organization?

Do they need better planning? Better agendas? And better follow up?

If so, you are not alone. Most companies struggle with this issue.

Today, I want to share a great tool that makes it easier to run great meetings.

Better Meetings with Less Effort

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Jeff Steinke, Founder of Less Meeting.

Jeff and I discussed why people hate meetings and why they are a bane to productivity in most companies.

Jeff was quick to point out that meetings aren’t bad, they are usually just poorly organized.

“Meetings aren’t toxic… bad meetings are toxic.” (Tweet This Quote)

– Jeff Steinke

Less Meeting makes a web-based meeting application that helps companies hold better meetings with more structure and organization.

I have been using Less Meeting both online and via my mobile devices. Here is a rundown of its features and how it helps you plan better meetings.

Less Meeting Features:

  • Meeting Structure and Best Practices – Less Meeting makes it easier to do all the things you should be doing to run great meetings. It is a simple way to bring more discipline and structure to your meetings. No more meetings with out agendas, meeting notes, or lack of follow-up.
  • Mobile Apps – One of the features that really interested me was Less Meeting’s mobile apps. They have both an iPhone and iPad app.  I use my iPad Mini as my main computer, so being able to hold meetings from there was key. As well, the ability to access meetings via my phone was convenient when I had to catch a meeting on-the-go. I was able to open the agenda on my iPhone and all of my meeting notes were kept in sync across all my platforms. The mobile app is FREE for stand alone use. Get it via the App Store here.
  • All Your Meetings in One Place – The problem with meeting notes (if they are taken) is that they end up everywhere. Saved on hard drives, buried in email, etc. Jeff Steinke pointed out that Less Meeting can be the “Evernote” for your company’s meeting minutes, keeping them all in one place.
  • Link to Previous Meetings – I loved the fact that the meeting interface allows you to attach previous meetings to the current one. Too often, recurring meetings begin with no history of what has taken place earlier.
  • Action Item Follow-up – Assigning action items during a meeting only works if you follow-up with them. Less Meeting tracks these tasks for you and allows individuals to report back when they are done.
  • Meetings with Clients – I used Less Meeting in my weekly status meetings with my Virtual Assistant. She did not have a Less Meeting account but was still able to receive the meeting minutes and even check off todos via the follow-up emails. This is very convenient if you are interacting with clients or individuals outside of your team.

Plan a Better Meeting

Less Meeting’s web app allows you to create meeting invites, agendas, minutes, and follow-up items.

What I immediately liked about Less Meeting was that it brings structure to your meeting.

It integrates with Outlook (or Google Apps), so that you have seamless access to Less Meeting within your existing meeting tools. Unlike the blank meeting invite that you normally get in Outlook, Less Meeting presents an agenda template with bulleted topics and subtopics.


During the Meeting

When you start your meeting, Less Meeting presents you with an interface that lets you take notes, designate decisions, and assign action items.

The “Meeting History” allows you to link to your previous related meetings. This was one of my favorite features. Too many times, meetings start anew without any thought to what was assigned or decided at the last meeting.

The meeting interface also provides a meeting timer to keep you on track. (It even grades your adherence to the agenda!)

A “Parking Lot” area lets you set aside topics for later discussion that are unrelated to the current meeting. And finally, you can also attached related documents and notes.

Less Meeting 3

Meeting Followup and Action Items

“After the meeting” is another area where many companies struggle.

Less Meeting allows you to immediately send out meeting minutes. As you can see from the next screenshot, you can brand them with your company’s colors and logo.

However, the most powerful follow-up feature is the “Action Item” tracking. Too often, items are assigned in meetings only to be forgotten later.

Less Meeting tracks these action tasks for you and allows each assigned individual to check off when they are completed. They are reminded in daily email digests of what is left to be accomplished.

Less Meeting Minutes

Let Less Meeting Run Your Meetings

I tested Less Meeting with my small team. However, Less Meeting is intended to be used with large teams. (Individual accounts are available, but it is bundled for team accounts.)

The more team members you have on Less Meeting, the more your team can benefit from the collaboration and communication features.

If your company wants more effective meetings, let Less Meeting do the heavy lifting. It makes it easier to do all the things you should be doing to run great meetings.

I recommend Less Meeting to any organization that wants to have better meetings with less effort.

Question: How could Less Meeting help your company hold better meetings?

Less Meeting offers a free 30 day free trial. As well, they have created a special 10% discount on paid plans for TMN Readers. Enter code “TMN2013” at checkout for this special offer.

7 thoughts on “How to Hold Better Meetings with Less Meeting

  1. So many companies hold bad meetings, its scary! Some of my colleagues throughout my career have spent 50-75% of their days in meetings. Thats time that they aren’t getting any work done. Crazy!

  2. I’m definitely going to check this out. Great find, Craig. I’m looking forward to integrating this into my workflow.

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