There’s nothing more infuriating than scheduling a meeting only to have no one show up or to learn after the fact that the time slot wasn’t ideal. Taking a proactive stance and sourcing a meeting time that works for everyone before your next meeting will help ensure you get the turnout you desire.
- Should this be a meeting?
- Tips for finding a meeting time that works
- Tools to help find a meeting time that works for everyone
- Find the perfect meeting time with Fellow
Should this be a meeting?
Before moving forward with scheduling a meeting, it’s important to first ask yourself if a meeting is necessary. In today’s day and age, there are several ways to communicate asynchronously, meaning meeting in real time isn’t always necessary. If your meeting can’t be an email or a Slack message, is there another option you can explore? If you just need to provide an update or instructions, you may be able to record a video using a tool like Loom or have a quick phone call.
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Tips for finding a meeting time that works
- Share the meeting details
- Check when your teammates’ work schedules overlap
- Rotate recurring meeting times
- Prepare a meeting agenda
- Record the meeting
- Consider asynchronous communication
1Share the meeting details
Finding a meeting time that works for everyone can be super difficult, especially if potential attendees don’t know what to expect. Sharing the meeting details before the meeting will help everyone gain a full understanding of what to expect before committing to a date and time. This information should provide additional insights that are necessary to make an informed decision. Understanding the meeting details will help potential meeting attendees gain perspective into how long the meeting will last and what’s needed, which may help provide the context necessary to choose a time that works for everyone.
2Check when your teammates’ work schedules overlap
Just because you’re meeting remotely, it doesn’t mean that everyone has the same availability. An important scheduling consideration to keep in mind is that not everyone may be operating within the same time zone, meaning not everyone may have the same availability. When choosing a meeting time that works for everyone, it’s important to be mindful of different time zones. If you’re struggling to find a time that works for everyone, start by looking at schedules that overlap. Choosing a neutral meeting time, if possible, will ensure no one is inconvenienced by the meeting time.
3Rotate recurring meeting times
More often than not, recurring meetings (for example, a weekly standup with your teammates) occur on the same date and at the same time. If this date and time inconvenience a member of your team, they are forced to miss the meeting every week or rearrange their schedule to attend. Instead of inconveniencing members of your team, you can rotate recurring meeting times. This increases the chance of pleasing everyone as opposed to inconveniencing a select few.
4Prepare a meeting agenda
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: no agenda, no attenda! There’s nothing worse than attending a meeting with no agenda—especially when you’re trying to align multiple team members. Creating a meticulous meeting agenda will not only provide potential attendees with the context they need to prepare for the meeting, but it will also give everyone a holistic view of how long the meeting will last. Fellow makes creating a thorough, collaborative meeting agenda easier than ever. Not only does Fellow provide you with templates and guidance, but this tool also allows you to share your meeting agenda before the meeting so potential guests can get informed, collaborate, and weigh in on their areas of expertise before the meeting even starts.
5Record the meeting
Professionals often fail to recognize the importance of recording meetings. The reality of the situation is that there will be times when you can’t please everyone. Teammates may have conflicting schedules and as a result, you may not be able to get everyone together for a meeting. Recording your meetings is an excellent contingency plan that allows you to cover your bases. If you have a teammate or two that can’t attend an important meeting, record the meeting and circulate the recording after the event. Not only will the recording benefit those who weren’t able to attend, but those in attendance will also be able to reference the recording if they need to source an important piece of information in the future.
6Consider asynchronous communication
Leveraging asynchronous communication is an excellent way to boost productivity and eliminate unnecessary meetings. Instead of meeting face to face—whether in person or by video conferencing software—you can encourage your teammates to provide updates asynchronously, which is especially useful when you may have conflicting schedules. In addition to communicating asynchronously, you can also choose to host asynchronous meetings. Meeting asynchronously will empower your team to communicate during a specified window of time, meaning they don’t have to be present in real time to participate.
Tools to help find a meeting time that works for everyone
Google Calendar is an excellent resource that can be used to source a meeting time that works for everyone. To use Google Calendar to find a good meeting time, create a meeting, add potential attendees, and browse their calendars to view their availability. Alternatively, if you’re looking to view someone’s availability before sending a meeting invite, you can view their calendar by opening Google Calendar on your desktop, selecting “Search for People ” on the left-hand side, and choosing the person’s calendar you wish to see. If their calendar is shared publicly within your organization, you’ll be able to view their scheduled events and availability.
Pro tip: Bring meeting notes and agendas into Google Meet and Google Calendar. With Fellow’s browser extensions, access your meeting notes right inside of Google Meet calls and your Google Calendar to supercharge team meetings and 1-on-1 without leaving the tools that you are already using.
Calendly is a simplified online scheduling tool that allows you to schedule team meetings without the hassle of back-and-forth emails. To take the guessing game out of scheduling meetings with your teammates, you can simply share your Calendly availability and prompt recipients to select an available time slot. You can share your availability with a simple click, include a scheduling link, or allow invitees to schedule a time from available times that have been pasted directly in the email or web page. Also, pre-defined meeting availability preferences keep you booked as much or as little as you like.
Plans and pricing vary, so you can pick the perfect plan for your team. Calendly’s pricing plans start with the basic plan with basic features that is free forever and rises to the team plan that is $16/month per user and best for establishing a team scheduling process that integrates seamlessly with Salesforce.
Doodle is a professional scheduling tool that helps users schedule meetings in a breeze. As an individual, you can leverage Doodle to keep your calendar in order and book meetings with your teammates at lightning speed. As a team, you can use Doodle to add teammates to bookings and leverage shared calendars so you can spend less time coordinating schedules and more time in meaningful meetings.
Plans and pricing vary depending on your needs; however, you can save up to 55% when you opt for a yearly plan instead of paying monthly. If you’re just starting, you can leverage the free plan and upgrade as you need. Click here to compare plans and learn which plan is best for you and your team.
Clara is a scheduling tool that works with your email to streamline scheduling. Simply add Clara to any email and let the tool take care of all scheduling and back and forth on your behalf. Clara is a full-time teammate, dedicated to your scheduling and calendar, and interacts with everyone in natural language by email, just like you would. Backed by machine intelligence and human support, Clara adapts to your workflow and works to provide you and your meeting guests with an exceptional experience.
Clara has two simple pricing structures so you can choose the plan that’s best for you and your team without any confusion. Click here to browse each pricing structure and sign up for your free two-week trial!
Find the perfect meeting time with Fellow
Did you know that you can find the perfect meeting time with Fellow directly within the tool? This unique feature is meant to reduce the friction felt when trying to take notes for a basic meeting and eliminates the need to flip back and forth between Fellow and your calendar. Instead of waiting until your interaction ends to schedule a meeting, do it right away and eliminate the risk of forgetting or losing out on a valuable time slot.
Implement these tools and resources to boost engagement today
If you’ve been struggling to find a meeting time that works for everyone, these tips, tools, and resources are exactly what you need to turn your luck around. Don’t forget to check out the Fellow blog for more productivity hacks!