Let’s talk about meetings

Meetings. Many meetings. That’s what’s going on in my job. Not that I have to attend many of them (there’s probably about five meetings that I actually attend). But I do schedule them. Quite a few of them, in fact.

Given the large project I’m working on . . . yes, meetings need to happen. The team meets to coordinate tasks or discuss design. Then the team meets with the Program Administrator and/or the Deputy Program Administrator to brief them on project status or get the okay-to-proceed. And the Program Administrators have to brief upward to their leadership—more meetings.

So I get it; I really do. Meetings are a necessity on large engineering projects.

What I don’t get (but am learning to live with), is how those leading the meetings can easily allow the meeting to not start on time, or allow it to run past the calendared time.

We could try to find the root cause of why the meeting started late, or why it ran over. Sometimes it’s obvious—the meeting leader chose to wait until all attendees had arrived. (But trickle that down and you’ll have to ask why those attendees were late. Because the meeting they just left ran over?)

Is it just me? Am I the only one who cares if a meeting starts on time and ends on time?

I just don’t get why the meeting leader doesn’t put more of an effort into making sure the meeting starts on time. And then managing the meeting so it ends on time.

Is it just me? Am I the only one who thinks it’s the meeting leader’s job to make sure their meeting starts on time and ends on time?

If you’re the meeting leader—I’m curious as to why you don’t start the meeting on time. I’m curious why you can’t control the discussion so the meeting ends on time.

I have a simple solution.

Get a timekeeper! Ask (or assign) someone to keep an eye on the time. If the topic is going longer than planned—ding ding ding! (Or whatever form it takes to indicate time’s up).

That should help, ya think?

BTW, once you’re in the groove of keeping track of meeting time, you know what your agenda should look like, right? It has to have time blocks listed for each agenda item. (Ugh—please don’t tell me you don’t have agendas for your meetings; that’s a whole ‘nother discussion area!)


$10 webinars

My favorite all-things-MS Office guru is Melissa Esquibel. I’ve attended a number of her webinars and there’s always some take-away that I, well . . . take away afterwards and apply it at work. I love being able to do that. A webinar that actually has some content that I can use, that is meaningful to me at work (and sometimes outside of work as well).

And now she’s doing Sawbuck Seminars!

And I’ve already attended one of them—not live though, since it was during work so I had to miss it. Did you know though, that at Sawbucks Seminars you can register for a webinar and get the replay afterwards? You can. And I did.

And it was only $10. Ten dollars! For an almost hour-long session on creating fillable forms.

At first I’m like, “I already know how to create fillable forms using MS Word.”

And then I’m like, “Yeah, but it’s guru Melissa Esquibel, and you KNOW you always learn some new tidbit when you attend her webinars.”

So I registered (it was ONLY ten bucks!), and I finally watched the replay.

True to form—I learned something—the part about extracting the info that was entered into the form into a CSV file so you have all the responses in one file (along with a few other tidbits Melissa shared during the webinar).

Totally worth the ten bucks I spent.


P.S. The Seattle Chapter of SDA is hosting a 2-hour Melissa Esquibel webinar in October. Anyone can attend. Learn more here.

New-to-blogging tips from some pros

Somewhere along the line (six months or so ago), I stopped blogging. (Okay, wait. I checked and it was more like eight months ago—ugh!) And in that time, I also slowed down, way down, my reading of other blogs I follow (Heck, I wasn’t even faithfully checking my email to see what all of you fellow bloggers had been blogging about. My bad!)

I know why, or at least partly why. I was in a get-ready-for-considering-running-for-chapter-president mode. I was thinking about my work future, knowing in a few months my job on a project would come to an end. I just had things on my mind and unfortunately (for you, dear follower?), I quit blogging for a while.

I’m back now, thank you very much. And I’m going to try to be more consistent about blogging.

Consistency is one of the tips that other bloggers recommend.

Check out these 14 tips for new admin bloggers, co-authored by Christina Holzhauser and Layne Tinsley. It’s an oldie (a few months), but still a goodie.

So if you know of any bloggers (admin-types or otherwise), share that link with them, will you?