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How to Write an Agenda for a Meeting...the Remote Way

The transition to remote work has resulted in more meetings and, unfortunately, has also created extra work and added stress. 71% of respondents from the University of North Carolina study said that meetings are primarily unproductive and inefficient. Here’s how you can write an agenda for a meeting, so everyone in the team feels more productive and efficient.👇

What is a meeting agenda?

A meeting agenda, in a nutshell, is the discussion points in a meeting or the meeting outline.

Essentially, a meting agenda should:

  • Set the expectations and the main goal of the meeting
  • Inform the attendees of the discussion points
  • Keep them focused and stay on track

What are the traits of a good meeting agenda?

There are different types of remote meetings, but regardless of the type, the traits of writing a good agenda for a meeting are the same.

Goal-Oriented Agenda

What is the primary outcome of the meeting? If it’s a brainstorming session about a product launch, narrow down the scope of the topics. A product launch has many moving pieces, so everyone needs to understand the main focus.

For example, you can just focus on deciding where to launch. Is it on Product Hunt? Or do you want to launch in a closed Facebook Group first? Having a specific goal also raises the quality of ideas shared in the meeting.

Clear and Specific Agenda

An agenda meeting needs to be clear and specific.


❌ Brainstorm ideas for the launch

When things are vague, it raises too many questions. Instead, decide which ideas you plan to focus on. Or, if your company has many products, which product are you launching?

Clear and Specific

✅ Brainstorm ideas on the best channel to launch our new marketing course

Set a Time Limit

Last but not least, a good agenda has a time limit. This is especially crucial for more creative meetings, such as brainstorming sessions. You want the best ideas to flourish in record time.

Here's an excellent example of an agenda with time slots:

  • Discuss the details of the launch (3 mins.)
  • Set the house rules for the brainstorming session (2 mins.)
  • Brainstorming session: Decide where to launch (30 mins.)
  • Wrap Up and Next Steps (5 mins.)

Having time pressure, in this case, might even fuel people’s creativity. When there's a time limit, people think faster. This might relate to Parkinson's Law stating, "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." If you give people one hour to brainstorm ideas, they will fill that one hour. But if you limit it to 30 minutes, you might get the same results but in half the time.

Things to Include In Your Meeting Agenda Template

When you’re clear with the goal, writing your agenda will be a breeze. In any type of meeting, here are the items to include:

📆 Date and Time

👥 Attendees

🎧 Link to the meeting

✅ Objective

⏲ Discussion Items

🔗 Relevant Links

You might also want to specify a facilitator, especially for cross-department meetings. Choosing a facilitator can save a lot of time and awkward silences.

How to Write an Agenda for a Meeting (With Examples)

Your agenda will largely depend on the type of meeting you have. But in any company, these are the three most common meetings**: staff meetings,** 1:1, and brainstorming sessions.

Agenda Example for Staff Meeting Template

One major factor to consider is the number of attendees and how often the staff meeting is. Does the meeting happen weekly or monthly? If it’s weekly, the agenda could have fewer topics. If it’s monthly, it could have more topics and a longer duration.

Marketing Team Meeting: April 2021 Results

Objective: Present and Discuss the Results of All Campaigns (Paid and Organic)

Discussion Items:

  • Marketing Manager - Review April’s campaigns and target numbers. (5 mins.)
  • Performance Marketing Manager - Review all ad campaigns and costs. (5 mins.)
  • Content Manager - Review organic traffic and most successful content. (5 mins.)
  • Marketing Manager - Discussion, Questions, and Insights. (10 mins.)
  • Discuss next steps (5 mins.)

🔗 Relevant Links

  • Link to the presentation
  • Link to Google Sheets or Analytics tool with all the numbers

Agenda for 1:1 Meeting Template

For 1:1 meetings, you can use questions instead of bullet points. You might want to skip the time slots as well.

Framing the meeting in the context of questions may produce better answers, and as a manager, you can always have a private note of how long each segment will take.

Objective: 30-minute Monthly Check-In and Chat

Discussion Items:

  • How would you describe your April performance?
  • What are your accomplishments?
  • What are things you’re planning to improve on for next month?
  • How’s your experience working with the team?
  • Is there anything you’d like to add or change about the way we work?

🔗 Relevant Links

  • Link to summary and action items

Agenda for Brainstorming Meeting

Earlier, we discussed how to structure a brainstorming meeting. Now, it’s time we put them together.

Brainstorming Meeting for Product Hunt 2021 Launch

✅ Objective: Brainstorm and decide the best video for the Product Hunt launch

Discussion Items:

  • Discuss details of the Product Hunt Launch (3 mins.)
  • Discuss house rules for the brainstorming session (2 mins.)
  • Share ideas based on the guidelines (video ideas only) (20 mins.)
  • Summarize all ideas and rank them (10 mins.)
  • Discuss next steps and action items (5 mins.)

🔗 Relevant Links

  • Link to the Product Hunt Notes
  • Link to the video guidelines and best examples

Where to Create and Manage Your Agenda

Knowing how to write an agenda for a meeting is only half the battle. The next step is to understand the best place to create and manage it.

  • Google Calendar - Copy and paste the agenda on the description box of the Google Calendar invite.
  • Slack - If you’re using Slack for the group calls, you can write your agenda on a Google doc and pin it in the Slack channel.
  • Meeting Tools - Use async discussion tools to collaborate on the agenda before the meeting. Plus, it’s easier to manage the action items after the meeting has taken place.

"Insight without action is worthless," according to author and entrepreneur Marie Forleo. Before ending the meeting, it’s crucial to turn the discussion points into action items to ensure the team is aligned.