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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Hi, I'm Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. In the last video, I gave you some ways that you can run an efficient meeting and one of the things I talked about was getting meeting minutes out to latecomers so that you don't have to catch them up while you're in the meeting. Well this video is all about ways to take efficient meeting minutes and get them out to people quicker. Now I'll be talking about using cloud word processing software like Microsoft Sky Drive and Google Drive, but finally I'll end up showing you a tool called minutes.io.
Now the last thing you have to worry about is whether you'll be taking the meeting minutes yourself or whether you can delegate it to somebody else. I've got my browser open and right now I'm logged in to my Google Drive. Now if you want to learn more about Google Drive, I do have a dedicated course all about it. So this is a very quick and efficient way to create meeting minutes. And it also works the same way if you use a different kind of online storage such as Microsoft SkyDrive. You can still create a document and share it out with somebody else if you know their email address.
So, the first thing you can do in Google Drive is click the red Create button and select a document because a word processing document is the best format for meeting minutes. Now I've already gone ahead, and created a basic Meeting Minute template. This is what the word processing document looks like in Google Drive. Now remember, this is completely free if you have a Google Account. It's the same thing with Sky Drive. You can create documents, you can create spreadsheets and presentations and you can save them all online.
Access them wherever you want from a tablet, from a browser, and you can share them out, to whomever you want. It's very powerful, and it's very free. So moving on, I've got my Meeting Minutes, the Date and here's those that are attending. Now the most efficient way to take Meeting Minutes, in this day an age where everybody has a laptop or a tablet, is to type the meeting minutes as they're happening. So hopefully, you can have some sort of internet access in your conference room and you can open up a Google Document, start working on it.
Create your very quick bullet pointed notes and your very quick and easy to read action items for people. And when you're ready to send them, in Google Drive on the very top right hand side of that document there's a button that says Share. Clicking that button, will allow you to Invite People to share your document and it's a simple as adding email addresses. So you could type in email address, and then add a message if you want. I'm going to click the blue Add Message and then type Here's the minutes from the meeting.
Now this is fantastic because once you're done with the meeting you can have those minutes delivered to people by the time they get back to their desk. I can click Share and Save, click Done and off it goes. Now everybody has access to see this document. So that's how to use it, using something like Google Drive or Microsoft SkyDrive. There's also dedicated software for this. And one of the most versatile ones out there, is a website called www.minutes.io.
This is how to use Meeting Minutes. And it gives you a built-in template. You don't even need an account, though you can have one. In fact, right when you log in to their website, there's a big green button that says Start using minutes.io. If I click this button, it's going to give me this beautiful template. So the first thing I can do is type in my Meeting Title It automatically puts the date in. I can specify where if I wanted to. Certainly don't have to. As I'm the Minute taker, I can put in my name and email address, and I can put in the names and email addresses of all the other Attendees.
I can put in as many as I want. I can even add CC members, by clicking Others CC, because this might be people who aren't at the meeting, but might want to copy of these meeting minutes. Finally, I can click About this meeting if I wanted to put in a little blurb about what the meeting was about So even gives me, some simple action items. For example, if there's a particular Topic, if there's an action item, or a Decision, or an Idea that we came up with, the Idea here, is to keep these very simple.
An this software, is to try to make this as simple as possible. We want it to be easy for people to read and we want it to be quick for us to type. So this is a Decision. So the next meeting is on August 23rd. I can date it if I want and I can put in the Owner of who the to-do is for, or who came up with the decision. So, once it's all done, an I've come up with all my points, all my Decisions, all my Infos, all my Ideas on all the particular Topics that I want to talk about, then, I can choose to file this meeting.
If I click the Save button, it's going to save it. And I can also click Send and it will send a copy of these meeting minutes to every body who will attend our meeting. I can also do other things like Copy it to a new meeting minute template. Or even Printed out for everybody. If I don't want it anymore, I can click the Delete button. Now if I do have an account there's more things I can do such as call up older meeting minutes. But you'll quickly see that this is very powerful software.
In fact, if there's no Internet access into the conference room that I'm going to, I can bring this up on my laptop. Start working on it offline in that conference room, and then as soon as I have internet access, it will send it out to everybody. It's wonderful software, it's free, and it will make all your meeting Attendees very, very happy.
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