Meetings are part and parcel of running a business; solo, freelance or otherwise.
No matter how despised they might be as a practice; no matter how many memes are concocted about the pointlessness of most meetings; and no matter the general excitement of pivoting to a largely asynchronous, remote working world—the meeting lives on.
That doesn’t mean we can’t be more or less clever about how we run them.
In fact, for this post we’re going to dive into one practice of ‘meetings’ that covers not only what goes into the meeting, but what comes out of it.
Using Notion to take better meeting notes
Note-taking isn’t just about writing down everything that happened. To be useful, notes must:
- Be faithfully captured;
- Be accessible when needed;
- Be stored in a way that’s simple and easy to filter;
- Be stored reliably (in a way that lasts); and
- If you’re lucky, be taken in a way that actually facilitates the flow of any meeting.
Too much to ask of the rather mundane task of note-taking?
Perhaps. But personally, I find note-taking to be an underrated skill that can help to not only run better meetings, but to extract more value from them (and in turn, reducing the number of meetings that are needed overall 🥳*).*
For a deeper dive into note-taking, take a read of this article.
For the purposes of this post, however, we’ll simply cover the note-taking database linked above.
The Notion Meetings Database
Notion databases are powerful, yet can be incredibly simple. Baked into every database are several views, including:
- Board; and
There’s probably an entire post worth dedicating to Notion databases, but for now we’re going to hone in on just two: Tables & Calendars.
In the Meetings component, these two views are prepared for you by default. That means, whenever you input data (like logging an upcoming meeting), it will be available in both the ‘Calendar’ and ‘Table’ views.
Adding a Meeting to the Notion Database
To add a new meeting from the Calendar view, simply hit the ‘+’ on the desired day. A new object will be created in the database, and you can start planning from there.
Alternatively, you can create a new meeting in the Table view by hitting the ‘+’ icon at the bottom of the table.
Filling your Meeting notes ‘object’
Once you’ve created a new meeting object in the database, you’ll be able to:
- Give it a title (say, ‘Team Standup’, or ‘Gerrard / John’);
- And tag it with any relevant topics, content or tags discussed (e.g. ‘Branding Prospect’) to remind yourself of the context for that meeting at a glance.
With those properties filled out, you’ll now be faced with a blank page.
If you have an agenda outline or plan of your own that you want to follow—by all means, drop it into the page now. Everything you write will be connected to this meeting object.
But if you’re looking for a helping hand (or inspiration) to give your agenda a kickstart, you can also get started from one of the pre-written meeting agendas.
Starting from a Meeting notes template in Notion
While staring down the blank page, you’ll notice it isn’t quite empty. There are a couple of template options that you can use to generate pre-written prompts for every meeting.
Pro tip: When you’ve settled on an Agenda or meeting template of your own, you can create it as a ‘new template’ and generate it at will for all future meetings.
Adding the Meetings component to other Notion workspaces
If you’d like to integrate this Meetings component into another Notion workspace, model or OS, you can simply:
- Duplicate the component into the relevant workspace;
- Hit ‘Move to’, and place it in the appropriate page;
- Create a ‘linked database’ on whichever page(s) you’d like to reference the Meetings calendar or table, then select the Meetings DB from the dropdown list of databases.