Notion’s diverse toolbox offers a powerful platform for managing your meetings, including calls, video conferences, and in-person gatherings with internal staff, clients and external partners. Among myriad benefits, you can:
- define goals or outcomes to keep productive;
- compose agendas to stay focused;
- take rich, interactive notes;
- share contextual information for reference beforehand;
- assign and track follow-up deliverables;
- easily populate meeting frameworks with templates;
- access past and upcoming meetings within an intuitive calendar.
With this guide, you’ll construct a universally applicable meeting manager that you can easily adapt to suit your unique needs.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Build the master database.
- Create a meeting template.
- Add a Purpose section.
- Add a Resources section.
- Add an Agenda template.
- Add a Notes section.
- Add an Action Items template.
- Practice using your template.
- Consider category-specific templates.
- Create gateways to your meetings.
- Share your meetings.
Build the master database.
All of your meetings will be stored in a master Meetings database:
Create a new database.
Create a new database wherever it suits the structure of your workspace — you’ll rarely access it directly; instead, you’ll create refined views of it. If your workspace follows the Bulletproof methodology, consider saving it in the master Resources database.
Name your new database “Meetings.”
In your new Meetings database, add these properties:
- Label (
- Format (
- When (
- Location (
Depending on the nature of your work and structure of your workspace, you might also consider adding
Relation properties, such as Client and/or Area if you’re using a PARA-based structure.
Add format options.
Populate your Format property with options. You might consider:
- Video Conference
Add preliminary meetings.
Add a few preliminary meetings. These can be real-life meetings or placeholders. For the Label property, use a short phrase that’s unique to the meeting. Here are a few examples:
- “On-Site with [Client]: May 04, 2020”
- “Weekly Call with [Client] › 05.04.20”
- “Monday Morning All-Staff → 05.04.20”
- “[Project] Kick-Off”
Depending on the medium, the location could be a phone number, video URL, conference room or office address.
For recurring meetings, you may want to populate occurrences to fill the quarter or even year. If you’re experienced with Google Sheets, you can quickly create many instances of the same meeting, with dates that increment weekly or monthly. You can then paste those items into your Meetings table in Notion.
Create a meeting template.
The inner contents of your meetings will likely include many of the same elements, such as an agenda, contextual materials, notes, and post-meeting assignments. Rather than adding these elements manually to each new meeting, you can create a template: Click the arrow within the
New button at the top of your database and choose
+ New template. For the title, enter a name for your template, such as “Meeting.”
Add a Purpose section.
By defining the purpose of each meeting, you justify its time and help ensure a most beneficial outcome. Add a “Purpose”
Heading, perhaps underlined with a
Add a Resources section.
In advance of your meetings, you’ll often want attendees to review contextual materials. You’ll then reference those and other materials during your meeting. By adding a “Resources”
Divider, you can create a central, accessible placement for these materials. Consider making it a column next to your Purpose section.
Add an Agenda template.
Needless to say, a prepared agenda keeps your meeting focused, efficient and productive. Create a
Table - Inline called “Agenda,” and add these properties:
- Topic (
- Mins. (
- Leader (
Add a Notes section.
Divider), dedicates a space for the meeting’s official notes. They’ll remain accessible for reference perpetually.
For each meeting, you’ll likely want to identify an official note-taker or aggregator.
Add an Action Items template.
Productive meetings typically conclude with assigned deliverables. With another
Table - Inline named “Action Items,” you can define them clearly and hold assignees accountable. Consider these properties:
- Deliverable (
- Responsible (
- Deadline (
Practice using your template.
Having created your template, you can quickly add the framework to any meeting. For existing meetings, open the item as a page and click the name of your template. For new meetings, click the arrow within the
New button and choose your template.
With the template items in place for each upcoming meeting, you’ll populate the purpose, resources and agenda. You can then circulate the meeting among attendees to review beforehand.
During the meeting, your note-taker will populate the Notes section and perhaps the Action Items — all of which attendees can reference at any time.
Consider category-specific templates.
The inner page contents of your meetings may vary by meeting type, in which case you might consider creating multiple meeting templates. Category-specific templates also allow you to prepopulate content for recurring meetings. For example, a recurring client check-in may always have the same purpose. You might also want to include an Attendees section for some meetings, and those attendees will likely remain consistent for recurring meetings.
Create gateways to your meetings.
Having constructed your Meetings table, you’re ready to create useful perspectives of it. Wherever it suits your workspace structure, you’ll create
Linked Databases, each with views that suit the context of the placement.
In the sample workspace for Loggerhead Labs, a fictitious creative agency, the homepage displays all meetings with two views: a Calendar, which includes the Area for each meeting, and a List sorted by the When property. Viewers can click any meeting to display its inner contents:
Opening the Sweetgreen client shows another instance of the Meetings database. Like the homepage, it includes a Calendar and List view, but each is filtered to show only the meetings linked to the Sweetgreen area (client):
If you use Notion for client portals, you can include similar
Linked Databases, each filtered for the respective client, or create an independent Meetings database for each client.
Share your meetings.
In advance of each meeting, particularly when it includes materials for review beforehand, you can share its direct link. For information on sharing and permission, see The Notion Sharing Hierarchy.
Questions? Tweet @WilliamNutt.