10 Tips For Running Effective Team Meetings

Meetings. Let’s be honest; most of them can be a waste of time. Effective team meetings are few and far between. If you shudder everytime you hear your manager utter the words “team meeting” you’re not alone. A survey of 2,000 employees in the UK, France and Germany found that people spend a total of 187 hours in meetings every year. The poll claims 56 per cent of these meetings are usually  “unproductive” – and 66 per cent of those surveyed admitted they make excuses to avoid meetings. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. With some planning and preparation, you can run meetings that are not only efficient and enjoyable, but meetings that drive team collaboration, get decisions made and inspire action.

Here are CatchApp’s 10 top tips for running effective team meetings like a pro.

1 – Do you even need a meeting?

Controversial first point! Before you go on auto-pilot and schedule a meeting, think about whether you really need to take time out of your day to have a meeting at all. Can you achieve everything you want to with an email or phone call instead?

We need to put an end to meetings for the sake of meetings.

2 – Only invite the right people

Meetings often go wrong because there are too many people there, all trying to give their opinions. When arranging your meeting, be selective about who you invite. The fewer people, the better. Make sure all the decision-makers are in the room, as well as people who can influence change. Remember Elon Musk’s rule for meetings – only people who are adding value should be present. 

3 – Have an agenda

You should have an idea of how you want your meeting to go before it starts. Before your meeting, speak to stakeholders about the problems that need to be discussed and resolved. Set out an objective for the meeting, detailing what you need to achieve. Distribute the agenda far enough in advance to be useful, with clear notes about who is responsible for reporting on what information during the meeting. Use the meeting to finalise your plans and actions.

4 – Take notes

Assign someone to be the note-taker in your meeting. This is essential for accountability so you have an accurate record of key input and decisions made. Create an actionable status report to hold everyone to account and send out to the attendees and other relevant stakeholders. 

The art of effective team meetings is to ensure that everyone is on the same page and things actually get done! 

5 – Avoid big egos

If there’s someone who has a big ego and tends to dominate meetings, don’t invite them unless you really have to. Your aim is to create an open environment where everyone can have an input without fear of being judged or talked over. Big egos in these situations can create friction.

Instead, talk to them in advance to get their input and ideas.  Then email them after the meeting with a recap to keep them in the loop.

6 – Set a time limit

Keep meetings short and to the point. 

Meetings don’t have to automatically be half and hour or one hour long. Think about setting a fifteen minute meeting if that’s all it is going to take and then  make sure it doesn’t drag on for an hour. Meetings become time-wasters when they go on for too long.

7 – Location, location, location

Hold your meeting in a location where you can discuss everything without distractions –  a private meeting room if you can. If this isn’t possible and you have to meet in a public place,  find somewhere quiet. No-one can concentrate with the violent hissing of the coffee machine going off in your local coffee bar!

Remember,  CatchApp integrates with Google Maps, so you can add any location to your invitation and it will provide the photo, full address, telephone number, website and reviews to your invitation.  So no-one will ever get lost on their way to your meeting ever again!

8 – Choose the perfect meeting time

When choosing a time for your meeting, remember to factor in travel time. You don’t want people to be late or stressed when they arrive. 

The best way to schedule a meeting time is to use CatchApp. With CatchApp, you can suggest multiple times for a meeting, allowing your attendees to choose the time that’s best for them.

9 – Send meeting invitations

Use CatchApp to send your 1-on-1 or group meeting invitations. You can also set up groups so that you save even more time in the future. Make sure you have accurate contact details and that you spell all their names correctly. 

10 – Fuel Your Meeting

Meetings always go more smoothly if there is food and drink available. If you know what your attendees’ favourites are, lay it on for them. It will always make a good impression.   Don’t forget the soya milk for the non-dairy people – and it’s good to think beyond the basic biscuit tray! 

If you are hosting a meeting in the office, use services like City Pantry or CaterWings. For external meetings use Foursquare City Guide or Google Maps to identify a cool cafe or a fancy restaurant for your meeting.

Our picks to book in for a business power lunch are the trendy Latin American hotspot, Amazonico in London, Grand Bar and Lounge at the Soho Grand Hotel in New York and Italian at Perbacco in San Francisco. 

How effective team meetings  can accelerate your growth 🚀

Best way to schedule your meetings? Download CatchApp. The Meeting Scheduler that’s 100% Free, and Ad-Free!

  • Powerful 1:1 meeting scheduling
  • Juggle dozens of 1:1 meetings with 1 invite
  • Group meetings scheduled super-fast
  • Works with Apple, Google, and Microsoft Outlook calendars

Follow our 10 effective meeting tips and you’ll never doodle uselessly through a boring meeting again! 

Effective team meetings start with proper organisation. Use CatchApp to schedule times that suit all of your attendees. The follow-up confirmations and reminders will make sure everyone is there on time and actually at the right location. All done with a few taps! It couldn’t be easier.

Meetings are crucial for facilitating excellent collaboration, creativity and innovation. They help create positive relationships between team members and ensure proper communication which then leads to business acceleration and growth. However, this only happens when the meetings are well-organised and well-run. 

iOS Meeting Scheduler App - CatchApp

 


Make effective time management your New Years Resolution CatchApp

Make effective time management your New Year’s resolution

With the arrival of the New Year comes New Year resolutions.  It’s the question on everyones’ lips from the end of December and into the first few weeks of January. There’s no doubt that it’s a great time to reflect on the year just gone and think about what you’ve achieved. Did you do everything you wanted to do, go everywhere you wanted to explore?  Effective time management is key!

And it’s not all about work. It’s important to make time for your personal life and wellbeing too.  There’s only one way to help you achieve more in 2020 and that’s to be clear about your objectives and improve your time management. 

Most people I talk to are busy all the time. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day for them to do everything they want to do. There’s pressure from all sides; work, family, hobbies, the occasional need to sleep. How can you get more from the time you have?

Productivity is a hot topic in the world of work at the moment. Several companies are streamlining costs by reducing the number of personal assistants and leaving tasks such as scheduling meetings to executives, who are already strapped for time. These busy professionals find themselves having to spend several hours a week scheduling meetings and phone calls in their calendar, creating a massive productivity gap of wasted time. We need to find new ways of working to reverse this gap.

In this article, I’ll show you five ways to regain those wasted hours.

1 – Download CatchApp

CatchApp is the all-in-one calendar management solution that minimises the time it takes to set up meetings.

The aim of CatchApp is to reduce the headaches that come with managing multiple meetings with different people, whether they’re personal catch-ups or work meetings. 

I knew something had to be done after it took me nearly two months of endless back and forth emails to schedule two days of meetings with people I wanted to see whilst at a conference in Berlin. Once I got back, I started working on getting the team and the technology together to create CatchApp.

Apple recently chose CatchApp to be its App of the Day for the US App Store. If you are serious about improving your time management, your first New Year’s resolution should be to download CatchApp.

 

2 – Effective Time Management with CatchApp

Now you have CatchApp on your phone, use it to schedule all your meetings for the next few days, weeks, or even months – in just a few minutes!

With CatchApp, you can set up as many meetings as you like, with as many contacts as you want, with just a few simple taps. CatchApp manages your availability, so you never double-book. Plus, it automatically syncs with your phone’s calendar, so you always know where you need to be. It’ll even send you and the person you’re meeting a reminder before your meeting, so no more no-shows!

 

3 – Set regular times to complete specific tasks

You are more likely to remember to do something and do it more efficiently if you make it part of your weekly routine. Then, it becomes a habit without you having to think about it.

Whether it’s a job around the home, like putting away the laundry or a task for work like scheduling meetings, set a time in your week to do it. Then, stick to it. 

Friday afternoon is a great time to think about your schedule for the forthcoming week and to arrange all your meetings. Or, maybe you prefer Monday mornings? Find the time that’s right for you.

 

4 – Batch similar tasks together

You might think you’re a brilliant multitasker, but trust me, you are better when you concentrate on one thing at a time. Avoid the ‘mental switching’ that happens when you try to do different types of tasks in a short time, by batching similar jobs together.

For example, when scheduling your meetings, classify the different types of meetings you want to arrange:

  • 1-1s
  • Coffee catch-ups
  • Skype video calls
  • Internal work meetings
  • Client lunches

Then, choose times for each type of meeting in one go, using CatchApp. It only takes a few minutes to get your entire week or month in order.

One more thing, don’t forget to effective time management means more time to spend with your friends and family!

 

5 – Protect your time, fiercely!

If you’re feeling the pressure of a busy life, like you’re being pulled in hundreds of different directions at the same time, you need to start taking control of your time. That way, you take control of your life and get better results.

 

Don’t give other people access to your calendar unless it is essential. Start saying ‘no’ more often if you feel the meeting isn’t crucial. Finally, run your meetings so they start and end on time.

You’ll soon feel that weight lifting from your shoulders.

What will you do with that extra time?

There’s nothing like the feeling of getting your life organised so you can make the most of it. It frees up time so you can do what you want to do; things that make you feel better, physically and mentally. Try it and see.

The New Year is a great time to create new habits. Let CatchApp help you make the most of 2020 and a brand new decade!

Have a great 2020! From Andreas and the CatchApp team.


Scheduling Your Work-Life Balance - During Christmas & New Year

Juggling your work-life balance during the holiday season 🎄

No matter how organised you are, December has to be the most challenging month of the year to juggle work and home Iife. It’s normally great fun: streets lined with decorations and lights; Christmas parties at work; visits to relatives; school events and present-buying.  But the boss still wants all your work completed and the end of the year makes people remember the projects they’ve left uncompleted. Suddenly, it just feels like there is too much to do and not enough time. After that, you’ve got New Year’s Eve! 

Scheduling Your Work-Life Balance - During Christmas & New Year

It’s an exciting time, but it can also be quite hectic and stressful. You need to prepare. You need to get everything done so you can switch off and enjoy the festive period in style. 

How can you do that? Read on to find out how to become a scheduling genius with the help of CatchApp this holiday season.

Become a festive scheduling genius 🎅🏽

CatchApp quickly and easily creates 1-on-1 or group meetings,  giving invitees the chance to choose their preferred time slot.

Imagine you want to schedule lunches or evenings out with three of your favourite clients; Nick, Chris and Holly, but you don’t want them to clash with any of your family events.

1 – Make sure everything you need to do with your family is entered into your calendar. That includes a few hours blocked off for shopping, visiting relatives and attending school events. Don’t leave it until the last minute!

 

2 – Open CatchApp.

 

3 – If you haven’t done so already, make sure CatchApp is synced with your phone’s calendar. You can do this by going to Manage Calendars in your Settings Menu (all calendars work in CatchApp; Apple, Google, and Microsoft Outlook!)

 

4 – Hit the orange + button. Let’s make some meetings!

5 – Give your meetings a title. How about ‘Christmas festivities’?

 

6 – Add a message to give some context for the person you’re meeting, but don’t make it too personal. (You’ll see why later.)

 

7 – In the ‘When’ menu, choose as many free slots as you can when you are available. You’ll see that all the time slots you blocked out for family activities in Step 1 are visible, so you can offer times around those. Try to give your clients as many options to choose from as you can.

 

 

8 – Here’s the clever bit… In the ‘Who’ menu, enter in the details for Nick, Chris and Holly. Or, if they are in your phone’s contacts, just select them. Email addresses or phone numbers will be fine, CatchApp does the rest.

9 – Press ‘Send Invite’  – and you’re done.

CatchApp will send Nick, Chris and Holly invites, where they will be able to select the time slots that suit them best. You’ll get a confirmation when they pick a time. It will also sync to your phone’s calendar and send you a reminder alert nearer the event.

Plus, if Nick chooses Tuesday at 1 pm, for example, that time slot will automatically disappear so Holly can’t select it too. No more double-bookings!

That’s the CatchApp scheduling genius!

Transform your work-life balance with CatchApp 🥂💼

Now you can have great times with your favourite clients in the run-up to Christmas, while still being able to fulfil all your shopping and family obligations. 

Once Christmas rolls around, it’s time to relax!

CatchApp helps you effectively plan your schedule with no email ping-pong, no double-bookings and no stress. It’s super-easy to use, with clear directions to help you out. What’s more, it’s completely free!

Now, all you have to do is think about what you’re going to buy everyone for Christmas!

Download CatchApp on iOS and Office 365 now. To manage your work-life balance during the holiday period.


Schedule all your meetings for the week in just a few clicks

How much of your week do you spend scheduling 1 on 1 meetings? Did you know that the average for working professionals is at least two hours? For people in meeting-heavy jobs, like HR and sales, it can be as many as four hours – that’s around 10% of the working week!

Seriously, that’s crazy. Imagine what more you could achieve with 10% more time in your working week. You could be winning more business, delighting more customers, growing your company, but instead, you’re playing email ping-pong trying to arrange meetings – getting stressed and frustrated.

What about all those phone calls? Liaising with PAs? Scribbling in your diary? Let’s not even get on to what happens when someone calls to rearrange, or you accidentally double-book yourself!

What if there was something that could reduce that four hours down to a few minutes? What if there was a way to automate your meeting scheduling, an easy way to set up all your meetings for the week with a few simple clicks on your phone? 

In this article, I’m going to explain how CatchApp can win you back those four wasted hours. So, get your phone out and give it a try. You won’t believe the time and stress you’ll save.

Unlock unlimited 1-on-1 meetings

How many 1-on-1 meetings do you have in a typical week? For me, I usually have five or six. Customers, prospects, suppliers, sometimes a quick coffee with someone I met at a conference. Usually, that will take tons of back and forth with calls and emails and a very messy diary.


Here’s how CatchApp makes it quick and easy to set-up multiple one-to-one meetings:

1 – If you haven’t done it already, download CatchApp from the App Store 

 

 

2 – Open CatchApp. (Welcome!)

 

 

3 – Hit the orange + button. Let’s make a meeting!

 

 

4 – Choose a 1-on-1 meeting.

 

 

5 – Add a generic title, eg  Coffee with – *insert your name*  

 

6 – Add a message to give some context for the person you’re meeting, but don’t make it too personal. (You’ll see why later.)

 

7 – In the ‘When’ menu, choose as many slots as you can during the week when you will be available to meet. CatchApp displays your up-to-date calendar to make it easy to see when you’re free. Try to give the people you want to meet as many options to choose from.

 

8 – Here’s the clever bit… In the ‘Who’ menu,  you can just select EVERYONE you would like to schedule a meeting with over the next week or month from your contacts list, which is integrated with CatchApp.  

 

 

9 – Press ‘Send Invite’ – and you’re done

 

CatchApp does the rest.

 

CatchApp sends a message to everyone you have invited to meet with you. The message will show them all the times you are available. They can select the time that is best for them and CatchApp.

• Sends a confirmation to you and the person you’re meeting

• Syncs with your phone’s calendar to block off your time

• Sends you a reminder nearer the time of the meeting

It’s that simple!  You’ve sent one generic invitation to multiple people in potentially multiple companies.  Your diary stays private – invitees only see the slots that you currently have free. Once they’ve chosen their slot, your calendar updates in real-time and the other invitees can only choose available slots. 

You will never double-book a meeting again! That’s CatchApp Scheduling, Genius!

 

 

Bonus tip – If you don’t use the calendar on your smartphone (maybe you’re old school and prefer paper diaries?) choose a regular time every week to update your schedule.


Become a scheduling genius with CatchApp today


Now you can see how easy it is to arrange all your different types of meetings for the week with just a few taps on your phone, what’s stopping you?

CatchApp helps you effectively plan your schedule with no ping-pong, no double-bookings and no stress. It’s super-easy to use, with clear directions to help you out. What’s more, it’s totally free!

Now, all you have to do is think about what you’ll do with all that extra time!


How to Schedule the Perfect Office Christmas Party

The temperature’s dropping, the nights are getting shorter, and we’re all beginning to prepare for that age-old holiday ritual – the office Christmas party! Out of office emails will turn on, city eateries will fill with office workers in festive jumpers over suits, and questionable presents will be handed out by Derek from accounts.

 

But the Christmas party is also a great opportunity to build relationships between teams, celebrate after a year of hard work, bond with your colleagues and let off steam – ending the year with some laughs and a happy team.

 

So what are the key tips to organising an office Christmas party fit for Santa?

 

Take a look at how we scheduled our CatchApp Christmas party!

Step 1: Download and Open CatchApp

 

 

Step 2: Create a Group Invite

 

We enable 100+ group invites!

 

And what’s really cool about CatchApp is that you can invite your contacts by sending the invitation to their email address, or their mobile number as a SMS. And, if they are not a contact, you can just write their email address in!

 

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Step 3: Add Your Christmas Invite Message

 

Here is a template for you to use – remind people to vote on as many options as possible:

 

“Hey all,

 

This is to agree on best date for our Christmas 🎄 Party!

 

Please submit your preferences for ALL the times that work for you 📅 by Friday, and I will confirm it based on the winning date!

 

And, get ready to party 🎄 🎉 🍾

Step 4: Allocate Your Suggested Times

 

Make sure you offer lots of times to your invitees, so they can vote on which times / dates are their preference. This way you can see which time is best for most people, before confirming it.

Step 5: Assign a Location

 

CatchApp integrates with Google Maps, so just type the name of a venue, select the right one, and your invitees will see the full address, map, opening times and other details.

 

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Step 6: Send Your Invites! ✉️

Step 7: Wait for the Votes to Roll in

 

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Step 8: Pick the Most Popular Time, and You’re Ready to Party! 💃

 

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CatchApp notifies you when 50% of your attendees have voted – if there is a clear winner already you can confirm it straight away. If not, just wait for the rest of the votes. You will also be informed when most people have voted, and even when All people have.

 

 

Once you’ve confirmed the most popular time, everyone gets the confirmation email, with a way to add it to their calendar!

 

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Need some inspiration? See our top tips below 🤓

📅 Agreeing the date 🎅

 

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Coordinating everyone’s diaries around the flurry of lunches, after-work drinks, and family commitments, makes organising the date the first thing to get right.

 

Avoid the scheduling minefield by organising your Christmas party with CatchApp.

 

Choose a number of potential dates and times, write some witty invitation copy and press send. Once everyone has voted on the times that work best for them, select the most popular time from the list and the event will magically appear in everyone’s diaries, bringing calm to the chaos.

🎄 Where to Host Your Office Christmas Event? 🦌

 

Always start by researching what’s nearest and easiest for everyone to get to. What are the most popular spots and do they have the capacity you need?

 

While group activities like bowling may be fantastic when organising smaller office Christmas events, it’s much better to keep things simple for larger groups of 20 or more. A choice of canapés and a few drinks in a cool new venue will go down perfectly – just make sure to cater for all the different dietary requirements of your guests and those who are taking the wise decision not to embarrass themselves with alcohol.

🍾 No colleague left behind. 🥂

 

For your Christmas party invitations, make a clear list of who needs to be invited, along with their contact details.

 

Tip – get in touch with HR to help with the list, as the email groups set up on your system may accidentally leave off a few names, especially the newest team members.

 

Don’t worry if you have a mix of contact details, some of your colleagues may prefer to be contacted via SMS, some may only want to receive emails, CatchApp’s super-scheduling system allows you to send the same invitation to everyone.

🕺 Now Choose the Perfect Office Christmas Party Music 💃

 

Image result for party office dance gif"

 

There are plenty of playlists out there to save you time, from the cheesiest tunes to the old classics. A tasteful playlist will get your event off to a good start, before going all out toward the end to encourage some spontaneous dance moves for everyone to laugh about at work the next day.

 

Two of our recommended Christmas playlists on Spotify are:
Spotify’s own ‘Christmas Classics’ playlist


The

‘Greatest Christmas Playlist’ filled with all our old favourites

All Those Little Extras For The Perfect Office Christmas Part 🎁

 

Now you’ve got all the main ingredients for your office Christmas party to be a huge success, it’s time to think of the fun little extras that will really make your name as the perfect Christmas party planner. It’s still a good idea to keep things simple here, but a little creativity can go a long way.

 

 

Office Christmas parties are known for tacky decorations. Steer away from this by scattering a few sprigs of fresh holly and ivy across tables – cutting down on plastic waste for the environmentally conscious – and add some tealights in jam jars for atmosphere without a substantial cost. 

 

Want to go all out with your extras? Consider a few classic games – a fancy dress competition, giant Jenga, or a mini Casino to keep your guests entertained.

 

Also, make sure you have the local cab number (or taxi app) available to help rescue any of your colleagues who need a fast ride home after too much mulled wine or who have pulled a muscle whilst on the dance floor.

 

Stick to this party planning formula and your office Christmas or holiday event is guaranteed to go down well. And with CatchApp, getting all this organised is quicker and easier than ever – leaving you with more time to get your work done and more time to enjoy yourself with a glass of champagne on the day.

 

Giving your co-workers a say in the timing (via CatchApp of course!) will make you the hero of the office, saving stress and those all-important workplace relationships along the way.

 

Be sure to enjoy yourself, and from all of us here at CatchApp: we wish you a very Merry Christmas or Holiday season!

Now, when’s your Christmas Party?