The Meeting Page is one of the four sub pages of the Red Urchin application. The purpose of the Meeting Page is twofold. Firstly it can be used by a meeting organiser to plan a meeting and/or it can be used to manage a record of a meeting you attended and track actions, outcomes and resolutions arising from it.
You can find an existing Meeting Page by using the Meeting summary page or using the Search field at the top of the ‘To Do Today’ Page. The sub page summary screen allows you to list the current Meeting Pages in any order by selecting the column headings. To use the Search field, enter a relevant search term and select Search and a list of relevant pages will be displayed, ordered by relevance including both Active and Inactive pages. Select the relevant Meeting Page from the results to open the page.
The Meeting Page is broken into three main sections, the Header Section, Outcomes Required Section and the Data Section.
The Header Section details all of the key information for the Meeting Page and consists of a number of free text fields. You can enter all of the information as required. This section is particularly useful if you are the meeting organiser.
A page has two statuses, either Active or Inactive. By default a Meeting Page is active and stays active as required. When it is no longer relevant you can set the page to Inactive by selecting the Active icon at the top of the page. This toggles the page to Inactive, which simply locks the page for editing and decreases its relevance in any searches. It can still be viewed if required but to edit it, you need to set it back to active which can be done by selecting the Inactive icon at the top of the page, which will toggle the page status back to Active.
Home, Help and Export icons
You can navigate back to the current ‘To Do Today’ page, by selecting the Home icon at the top of the page and all of your data will automatically save as you exit. To access help for the Communications Page, select the Helpbutton at the top of the page. The Print/Export icon allows you to print (via airprint) or export the current page via PDF.
Outcomes Required Section
The Outcomes Required section consists of two fields, a free text field to records the required outcomes or results that you want to achieve from the meeting and a Priority field similar to the Priority field on the ‘To Do Today’ page. The priority can bet set as either A or B. The purpose of this section is to provide an outline for a meeting organiser to focus the attendees, agenda and running of the meeting to achieve the outcomes set out for it. Like the ‘To Do Today’ page, an A priority means that you must acheive that outcome, decision or result and a B priority means that it would be nice but not mandatory to achieve that outcome, decision or result.
The data section of the Meeting Page functions very similar to the other Red Urchin pages. All of the entries are made in rows with the functionality specific to that row. Entries can be made in any row (empty rows are allowed) and the only mandatory field for a row is the Agenda Item field. There are a few key fields for each entry.
The # field automatically adds the next incremental number when an entry is made in the Agenda Item field. If there is a number already inserted in the field, you can select the field, change the number and all rows will renumber and reorder, so all rows are displayed in increasing numerical order.
The Time field allows for simple time entry in increments of 5 minutes to help you plan the agenda items for your meeting.
Agenda Item Field
The Agenda Item field is a free text field and the only compulsory field for a row. The purpose is to record the specific agenda item.
The Type field allows the selection of 3 business standard codes to categorise what type of entry the agenda item is. These are:
INF – For Information
DIS – For Discussion
ACT – For Action/Decision
Pre-categorising your agenda items allows you to keep the meeting focussed and manage the attendees expectations.
The Outcome field is a free text field where you can record simple activity based outcomes for agenda items. It is good practice to keep one outcome per row. If you need to insert a row to record additional outcomes for an agenda item use the Action icon.
The Owned By field is a free text field where you can record the owner for a task for record purposes. This is a standard meeting function.
Follow Up Field
By selecting the Follow Up (F/U) field, you can quickly and easily schedule the outcome or activity into a ‘To Do Today’ page entry. Selecting the F/U will bring up a sub-menu with two parts, firstly you can select a date to action this activity. By selecting a date, Red Urchin will make an entry with the text from the Outcome field, in the ‘To Do Today’ page for the date that you selected. It will also auto-complete the Reference Field on the ‘To Do Today’ page activity to reference the Meeting Page so you an easily go back to the discussion as needed.
The second part of the menu you need to select if this is a follow up for you to complete, or for someone else to complete. This selection determines where on the ‘To Do Today’ page the activity is recorded. If it is an action for you to complete, it will be listed in the main section of the ‘To Do Today’ page, if it is an activity for someone else to complete it will be recorded in the Due From Others section.
The Paperclip icon allows you to attach documents from multiple sources. The icon is greyed out if there is no documents attached and highlighted if you have attached documents. See Attaching Documents.
Action Icon (*)
The * icon allows you to performs particular actions on the row. The available actions for the Meeting Page are:
Change Font – this allows you to change the colour or highlight the entry
Delete Entry – This deletes the entire row permanently. It also deletes any related activity that you have time activated in the ‘To Do Today’ page.
Using the Meeting Page Effectively
Meetings come in all shapes and sizes and when to use a Communications Page versus a Meeting Page for attendees of a meeting comes down to personal preference and your role within a meeting framework. If you are the principal of the meeting (i.e. you are holding it) or if you are organising a meeting, it is best to use the Meeting Page. If you are just an attendee, you can use either depending on your involvement, number of outcomes etc.
Like all good time management, preparation and planning are paramount and the key to running an efficient and effective meeting is people, planning and focus in conjunction with someone driving the meeting agenda. There is a lot of great resources on the Internet for running great meetings, the Meeting Page will assist you in structuring that planning.