Why You Don’t Need Meeting Minutes In These 3 Instances

As a project manager, how many times are you responsible for writing and distributing meeting minutes? Most of the time right? In fact some project managers are so obsessed with jotting down meeting minutes they miss out on the face to face interaction that a meeting provides.

So today I wanted to point out three instances when you can free yourselves from taking any meeting notes.

#1: When there are fewer than 4 people in a meeting.

Three people in a meeting and yet you need to take notes? Why? Can’t each team member write down their own to-dos or action items? As a project manager you are better off getting alignment at these kind of meetings.

#2: When you have the complete trust of your team.

I have heard many state,” You better take that down in writing, because you never know when you will need it.”  If you don’t trust your team members, then you better do everything like taking down detail notes to save your ass later. But if you start out with a foundation of trust, you know that your team members will never play this trick on you. Work on building trust among your team, not trying to compensate for the lack of it by note taking.

#3: When you have a real project plan

If you have a great project plan – a plan that identifies deliverables, a plan that assigns responsibilities, a plan that is updated frequently as things change, a plan that everyone believes in, and a plan that you can track to without working on weekends. Think about it, we spend so much time planning as project managers, give you team the freedom to execute, freedom to decide the path they want to take and not micro manage.

So, if you have a great project plan and the complete trust of your team and there are less than four people in a meeting, don’ t even bother with meeting notes.

Let’s go green with our digital footprint and ask ourselves the real purpose behind writing meeting notes. Hope this was useful to you.

P.S. Here are some other posts about meetings that you may like:

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You can complete a project by…

dropping it.

Let me state that again.

“You can complete a project by dropping it.” 

~by Arianna Huffington

So review you projects and see what you can complete today. It might surprise you.

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. She has been named to the Forbes Most Powerful Women list and the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Watch an interesting interview of Arianna Huffington at Marie Forleo

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1st Grader musical gems for project teams

Spend a wonderful evening listening to my son’s first grade musical concert. The kids were fabulous, but so were the lyrics and songs they sang. As I listened, I could not help but think how many of their songs would apply to our project teams. Here are some:

All That I Can Be
Keep My Promises
Watch My Watch
Tidy Up Your Room
What is a Friend?
Send a Little Thank You Note
You Go First
I'll Understand
Share a Smile
There's Good in Everyone
All That I Can Be


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Delete your To-Do List

The traditional to-do list failed me. It’s time to change.

I’ve had it.

I will no longer maintain a to-do list in the traditional sense. Take a look at your to-do list. Do you ever get to the bottom of it?  Those of you who do, you are super effective  and I am sure you are very productive. For the majority of us it’s a loosing battle.

So I dropped maintaing a stand alone to-do list. My list of things to do are integrated into my calendar. As a result my calendar has gone crazy. I find I have no time left. And that brings a sense of priority and scheduling your work. If I get asked to do a task now, I flip open my calendar and there, I can tell the person exactly when I will work on this task. It makes my life easier, sets expectations with others and I am really really productive.

As project managers, we have too many lists to maintain – our personal to-do list, risk log, stakeholder list, project lists, and the dreaded issues log.

Please try this out, I urge you. Follow it religiously for a week and see the results for yourself. Think hard and long before you add anything else to your already looooooonnnnnng to-do list.

Step number 1: Schedule your current to-dos on your calendar. It will also force you to  estimate the amount of time you think that task will take. Good luck.


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