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Simple & effective meeting agenda template

We’ve seen (and tried) dozens and dozens of meeting agendas over the years, but this one takes the cake for any general meeting you might have. Give it a try at your next meeting!

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How to use this template

Don’t let your meeting go agenda-free! This is our most effective meeting agenda template and includes all of the most crucial aspects of a well-run meeting: an overall goal, a quick outline (with time estimates!), and designated areas to leave contextual information, questions, action items, and general notes.

We’d suggest sending out your agenda at least 24 hours in advance with the top three sections filled out (goal, background, and agenda items). You can encourage your attendees to add their own questions to answer in advance, or comment on the document if they have agenda items to add. 

Download this template:
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What you’ll find in this effective meeting agenda template (and quick tips!)

There are six key parts of this meeting agenda template. Here are a few quick tips on how to make the most out of each section!

Goal

You and your attendees should know exactly why this meeting is happening, and why it can’t “just be an email.” 😉 We’ve found that most meeting goals fall in one of four categories: decision (a group or individual needs to make a final call), discussion (there’s a topic that warrants this time for dialogue and debate), direction (think of standups or all-hands, where a leader wants to ensure their team is on the same track), or discovery (like a brainstorm or a workshop). State the goal very clearly at the top of the meeting agenda, and note that the minute that goal is achieved, the meeting will be adjourned. We find it lights a little fire under everybody to get to the point!

Background info

Be kind to your coworkers and always add context! This is where you can summarize what knowledge or thoughts you’re coming to the meeting with, reference any meaningful data, or add any links for required reading.

Agenda items

We’ve made it to the meat of the meeting. Here you can structure how the meeting will run and on what schedule. For example, we almost always start with a quick 5-minute intro or icebreaker, and end with 5 minutes to make sure we all understand the action items. Don’t overwhelm the attendees here, and be sure the facilitator is referencing the timestamps to make sure the meeting is on track.

Questions to answer

This is a great way to get early feedback from your attendees and see what’s on their mind, or what questions they have that they want to get answered in the meeting. You can strikethrough them as you go, and/or add questions and peg them for follow-up while the meeting is running. (Think of this as the “parking lot.”)

Action items

Don’t let these get lost in paragraphs of meeting minutes! We like to strictly separate these out in the meeting template, which also makes it much easier to toss into a task or project management system right away. Follow the formula of “who will do what by when?” to make sure there is strong accountability.

Notes

A classic section, to be filled out by the facilitator during the meeting! Bullet points are nice here, since topics tend to branch out rather than follow a straight stream-of-consciousness. Send out the top 3 notes as a recap to anyone who didn’t attend the meeting, but should be informed of any decisions or discussions had.

Download this template:
pdf
google doc
word doc
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