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Meeting Planning Checklist

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • determine if the costs of the meeting are justified by the objective
  • add up salary, overhead, travel time, expense, and lost productivity
  • multiply that by the number of attendees to determine the cost
  • then ask why you are meeting -- what you hope to accomplish
  • to disseminate information? brainstorm? make a decision?
  • if the objective can be reached without a meeting, skip it
  • take care of the issue via phone, email, or a memo instead
  • ask if all the people on your list need to attend
  • remove "dead weight" from the list (slows down the meeting)


  • develop an agenda before the meeting
  • agenda should explain why, when, where, who, and what
  • ask participants to contribute important items to the agenda
  • distribute to participants at least a week in advance
  • ask attendees to review the agenda and prepare questions
  • confirm with attendees the day prior to the meeting
  • decide on the ground rules before starting and list them on a board
  • includes attentive listening, not interrupting, being prepared, etc.


  • designate a recorder (other than the leader) to keep minutes
  • designate a timekeeper to keep everyone on track
  • stick to the agenda and assign a time limit to each agenda item
  • if discussion gets off course, don't be afraid to cut people off
  • write down topics to be tabled for future discussion on a list
  • schedule a separate meeting to discuss that issue, if necessary


  • establish a firm start and ending time
  • choose an odd time to begin -- 11:05 AM -- to improve punctuality
  • schedule in advance to allow participants to plan their schedules
  • schedule before lunch or quitting time to keep it short and focused
  • choose an odd time -- 11:05 AM -- to catch people's attention
  • reward those who arrive on time with a treat
  • don't wait for latecomers unless they are critical to starting


  • establish clear wrap-up procedures
  • ask for a signal from the time keeper a few minutes before the end
  • leader should reach a conclusion and summarize group's progress
  • develop an action plan based on the meeting discussion
  • assign follow-up items to specific members of the team
  • set a deadline for reporting back
  • ask for status reports prior to next meeting to include in agenda
  • state the next meeting time, date, place, and adjourn


  • question whether your attendance is necessary
  • confirm the location and time the day before the meeting
  • get directions, if necessary
  • review the agenda and prepare any questions or concerns
  • be on time and prepared
  • stay focused on the discussion at hand so you can get out on time


Copyright Ramona Creel, all rights reserved-- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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