Be more efficient at your meetings – The Flow / Change the scene

What’s the flow?

The American psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was working on that topic in the 70s. For this he talked to high level performers like musicians, top athletes or chess players to find out what those persons have in common to be successful. He found out that the only thing these persons had in common was the flow state, that they reached.

Csikszentmihalyi found out, that the human’s brain is just able to take 110 Bits per second. It sounds like a lot, but to follow a conversation takes already 60 Bits per second. This numbers show, how important it is to be focused on your task without taking care of other thinks around you. If someone’s in the flow, he or she doesn’t notice anything else that is going on around them. Even natural body-mechanisms like hunger or exhaustion are not notice by the person.

The following graphic shows how Csikszentmihalyi explains the circumstances that prevent us from being productive, like boredom, relaxation or anxiety, get prevented by increase the challenge level and increase the needed skill level of each task.

Circumstances that prevent us from getting into the flow

Circumstances that prevent us from getting into the flow

How I get to the flow in daily life?

There are countless ways to reach the flow state, and the question for the method that guarantees the flow state still engages scientists. But there are still different approaches that make it easier to get into the flow:

Learn from the children!

When children are playing, they reach the perfect flow state, and the interesting thing about it, is that it works for adults as well. Additionally to that, adults are able to stay in the flow after playing and using this state to be more creative for example in a brainstorming session.

The only goal of playing is having fun. It prevents stress, increases creativity and you need to be active and attentive. Additionally to that, scientists found out, that we can learn the most and most efficient while playing.

So what does that mean when it comes to meetings? Gamification may be one successful concept to help meeting attendees to enter the flow state.Of course this will not work on regular status meetings. It’ll probably work for typical brainstorming sessions.

Another thing might be to switch the scene completely for your next meeting. Not only because of – getting into the flow. Why are people having “offsite” meetings? Prevent any type of distraction. But also see different things, and thus being more creative. When your eyes see a  new environment you may leave the “normal thinking”. You see the world with different eyes. Thus it helps to be more creative.

So in the end two concepts can be helpful for your (important / brainstorming / creative / challenging) meetings. Gameification and changing the place where you meet. Going offsite can be expensive and time consuming, though. But I came across a service ( which offers special designed meeting rooms for rent. I think this is a clever idea. Didn’t tried it for our company yet, but it might be that we’ll have a try.

Managing and Tracking the Status of Tasks

Task listAgreeDo lets you keep track of all tasks you assigned to other team members. Click on tasks to open up the tasks list.

Managing Your Task List

Task list filterThe task shows your tasks and tasks you assigned to other people. At the top of the list you find 3 drop-downs to change the filter settings.

For the first drop-down you may select from:

  • Completed Tasks: Shows only tasks which were already 100% completed
  • All Tasks: Shows all tasks regardless of their completion status
  • Overdue Tasks; Shows only tasks which are overdue
  • Open Tasks: Shows only tasks which are still not completed and are not overdue

In the second drop-down you may select from:

  • Tasks assigned to me: Shows only tasks which I should execute
  • Tasks assigned by me: Shows only tasks which I assigned to other people
  • All tasks: Shows all tasks regardless of whether I was assigned to do or I assigned to other people
  • You also may select a certain person. The list contains all persons you assigned a task to.

In the third drop-down you may select from:

  • Oldest first: Sorts the task list from top to bottom by due date, starting with the oldest date first
  • Newest first: Sorts the task list from top to bottom by due date, starting with the newest date first
  • Shortly due first
  • Shortly due last

Requesting Feedback on a Task

Request feedback on a taskTo request an update from the assignee, click on the task, add a comment like ‘please send me feedback on the task status’. Don’t forget to check ‘Send as email’ and make sure to enter the name of the assignee. Then click ‘add comment’. An email will now be sent with your request.

Meetings: Wasting of Time?

2015-08-29 19_42_35-Meetings_ A Love and Hate Affair [Infographic]

Are meetings are wasting of your time? Unfortunately, meetings are often treated as waste of time by majorities of employees of the world. According to a recent infographic compiled by Lane End Conference Centre, 49% of employees consider unfocused meetings and projects as the biggest workplace time waste. However the good news is that they can be substantially improved by observing a few simple rules. For instance, those leading the meeting should spend more time on making meetings more engaging with things like visuals and activities.

Running the Annual Assembly for Your Club, Association or Corporation

All Clubs, associations and corporate groups who gather once a year for an annual meeting can find some help organizing this event in the following paragraphs.To build the right setting in order to tackle major decisions around budget, HR issues, and strategic goals, a few tasks need to be conquered. We asked Event Inc, the online event & location experts, how to best plan an annual assembly.

First of all, its essential to know an association rules, laws and statutes. Oftentimes, the constitution dictates that all decisions are legally binding. Sometimes, the constitution of an association also dictates the procedure and schedule by which an annual meeting must be structured by. When fixing a date for the assembly, consider that the date should not be during vacation because many members are on holiday at this time. Other faux-pas are: setting the assembly on dates such as national holidays or major sports events such as football events.

When the date is set, you can start searching for a suitable location. The location should be easily accessible for all members. Other important points are: availability of technical equipment, capacity of the location, finding a space with a great atmosphere, where your members feel comfortable, and other smaller points such as outside space (for smokers), air conditioning (summer), parking spaces etc. If the meeting takes places over several days, accommodation close the the location becomes essential.

Furthermore, you should think about a framework program for the assembly. An excursion or a dinner are great opportunities for a relaxed get-together. All important program points and the conference schedule should summarized in an agenda sent our prior the the assembly. AgreeDo helps you to accomplish that by providing a central location to organize all agenda points.

An last but not least: a good catering partner is of essence to make you assembly members happy. Some location have great catering in house, some ask you to bring their own catering. Just make sure: There is always enough food, coffee & snacks. Ideally, both vegetarian and meat options. Do ask whether anyone has any food intolerances or a kosher or halal preference.

When all major points above are cast in stone, its time for the invitation. Mostly sent out via post, but AgreeDo may also be handful, especially as members may use it to add their own points for agenda points.

Last but not least, the aftercare of such an event is essential: you should sent a summary of all discussed points to the attendees. Also, include members of your organization who couldn’t make it to the assembly. Make sure all important discussion points and decisions are included.

5 Useful Tips for Good Meeting Agendas

by Jorma Bork (

by Jorma Bork (

  1. Keep meetings short. Normally plan for 45 minutes to gain best meeting performance. Of course, there are  exceptions, but normally you’ll want to keep it short. Therefore, the agenda needs to be short, too.  For each topic use precise and short descriptions. Put all additional info within comments!
  2. Try to estimate the time each topic will take and add this information to the agenda items. For example:
    “Wrap up about project status at customer xyz (7 minutes)”
  3. Do not use general descriptions. Be as precise as possible about the intended discussion. Sometimes it’s a good idea to use questions as topics.
  4. Put the overall target of the meeting into your invitation text for the meeting. Tell your attendees why they need to meet and what the intended outcomes or results are. “No-one leaves before xyz is settled”
  5. If you want your attendees to prepare some info on certain topics, make sure to assign them to the attendees and plan for enough time for the preparation! You need to send out your agenda early enough so that attendees can come up well prepared.

Tipp: How to use topics?

Use topics with short and precise titles. This gives attendees best overview of the meeting to come.
Remember that you can shrink / expand each topic level. By shrinking the top level you can give a rough overview to all attendees when the meeting begins.

What to know about “public meetings” in AgreeDo?

When you create a meeting with the checkbox “public meeting” set, the meeting is accessible for everyone who has the link to meeting. So there is no security at all for that. Therefore it’s called public :-).

For additional security we advise to use a password for the meeting and forward it to the attendees on a secure channel.

Public meetings are good where there are people who haven’t got an agreedo account (and don’t intend to create one).

Moving meeting minutes to the cloud pros-and cons!

Is it a good idea to move meeting minutes to the cloud like Especially in times where NSA uses systems like prism to download all communication to their servers…

Collarboration around the globe


  • Sharing meeting minutes in the cloud let’s you easily collaborate with people from within your company and people outside.
  • No software installation necessary, just a browser.


  • Security threads no only from NSA but also industrial espionage

It’s time for your feedback. Do you want to add some pros and cons to it? Drop your comment here!

How to Handle Recurring Meetings

To understand how recurring meetings work in AgreeDo, you first need to understand how meetings work in general in AgreeDo.

The first step to prepare a meeting with AgreeDo is to create an agenda and send it to the attendees of the meeting. During the meeting, you can add new items and comments, so you have your meeting minutes ready at the end of the meeting.

Usually, the next step is to create a follow-up meeting (there’s a button on the top of each agenda to do this). This allows you to take the items from your meeting minutes to the agenda of a new meeting. So you can keep the points which should be followed-up or discussed again, and you can drop the issues which are resolved or don’t need further discussion.

One very important thing to know is that tasks created in one meeting and copied to the follow-up meeting are linked to the two meetings. So if you add comments to the task or change its progress, it will show up in both meetings. This even works if you have a task in more than two meetings in a row. You will always see the latest status of a task.

So here’s how you can handle your recurring meetings within AgreeDo:

  1. Prepare your agenda with all the important topics once
  2. During the meeting, take your meeting minutes
  3. After the meeting minutes are finished, create a follow-up meeting, import all topics to be discussed regularly
  4. Continue on step 2.

How to use AgreeDo together with Google Calendar?

Here’s how you can use AgreeDo together with Google Calendar:

When you schedule a meeting, you can invite the attendees to your meeting by pressing the “Send Invitation” button. This email contains a so called ICS attachment. You can open this attachment in GMail to import the meeting into your Google Calendar (see screenshot below).


In case you want to schedule a AgreeDo meeting using Google Calendar just follow the steps below:

  1. Create a meeting in AgreeDo and copy the url for this meeting from the browser window. The URL of the meeting looks similar to this:;id=00000
  2. Now create a meeting in Google Calendar and paste the URL of your meeting into the invitation body of your calendar entry.