It’s been nearly a year since we talked about what’s happening in our little corner of the software industry. Last July, we shared tips and links to other apps in our post Free tools for organizing meeting agendas and taking notes.
Since then, several new products have appeared on the market. This is great news! I take it as a hopeful sign that we’re collectively tired of the whinging and ready to actually fix the bad meeting problem. After all, despite the constant complaining, meetings aren’t going anywhere. So let’s make them useful!
I’d heard the buzz around the startups WorkLife and Do, two very simple and very pretty meeting productivity widgets. But I hadn’t heard about Simple Team Meeting until we learned of Jeff Ramlee’s review of Lucid Meetings on their blog.
Like WorkLife and Do, Simple Team Meeting is free and very streamlined. But unlike the others, Simple Team Meeting provides a no-nonsense interface that's clearly the result of working directly with customers who care more about getting work done than about background graphics.
The 1000-foot overview
Simple Team Meeting focuses on making it simple to have internal team meetings. Really, the name says it all - no hidden agendas there!
In fact, the whole application centers around a clean agenda view for each team’s regular meetings. Every team member can contribute to the agenda in advance of the next meeting, making sure any problems they have get discussed.
Once a team begins to use the software habitually, this should help keep meetings focused on only those topics that people really need to talk about.
During the meeting, people can add notes to a topic, or turn any topic into an assigned action item. Actions can then be emailed to the responsible party, so they show up on their calendar where they won’t be lost. And when the team returns for the next meeting, those actions can turn back into topics for review and follow-up.
On their About page, Simple Team Meeting explains that the tool was originally built to solve the meeting problem for a large dental practice. It’s clear that this is a tool real teams have used to make their meetings more productive, and one you might consider if you’re in a similar situation.