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@Agendas use: to plan or ro wait?

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  • @Agendas use: to plan or ro wait?

    Do you use @Agendas category? If you do and if you have some agendas you want to communicate to someone do you wait for an occasion with him or plan a meeting (i.e. next action for that should be @Call someone to discuss the agenda). Please advice what's right.



  • #2
    re: @Agendas

    I'd love to hear the answers too, Eugene. I've had luck using agendas for relatively low priority things - next actions that can wait a week or so, until I run into the person. But training myself to look at them with my spouse, for example, as not been very successful so far - I see her so often (good), but there's always something going on (child).



    • #3
      I don't use @Agendas. If I have to talk to somebody about something, I'll create an NA to e-mail, call, or set up an appointment with them (whatever is most appropriate for the type of communication).

      I do like the idea of @Agendas, though.

      I listen to a great Podcast called Manager Tools, and one of their biggest recommendations is a weekly "One-on-One" meeting with each of your subordinates. In fact, they keep files specifically for each One-on-One meeting, so if there's something they need to sit down and talk about with a subordinate, they'll often put it in the file so they can talk about it during the One-on-One.

      I've been thinking recently about personally establishing a weekly time to meet with certain important peers -- even if it's just a "stopping-by-the-cubicle" meeting. If I did, an @Agenda would be very helpful.


      • #4
        I've being using the @Agenda cat. and find it very useful. It's a good place to break out specific areas (ie meetings, staff, project dump spot etc).

        In terms of bring the information forward and acting on it, it depends. For some of my agenda items (ie board meetings) they occur monthly on a fixed schedule so I wait until then to act. For others, its a matter of getting with the individual ASAP, so a meeting is arranged.

        In any event the @Agenda cat. is reviewed weekly and any must act on items are flagged, then acted upon as N/A. I also have set up the @Agenda cat. (paper based) so that more pressing areas are at the front while the longer term ones are at the back.

        For the wife/child situation. I have a @Agenda cat./wife file and use it to place documents, notes etc into. I then provide my wife with the file once she arrives home or after the kids have gone to bed. If necessary, I place a notation in my @waiting for cat. to follow up and get back any documents that needed her action.


        • #5
          For me, the @Agendas list is used to capture non-time-specific stuff that I need to discuss with specific people. Any time I have a thought like "next time I talk to Annie, I need to ask her about...", it goes on Annie's @Agendas list. Then, the next time I have occasion to see or talk to Annie, I can pull up her list and see what I have pending.

          I sweep through my @Agendas as part of my weekly review, looking for things that have become urgent enough to require more immediate attention. If I find any, I typically move the @Agendas item to my @Call list, so I can discuss all of the flagged items with the person at the same time.


          • #6
            Oops! I just realized: I have created one @Agenda, for when I go to my parents' house.

            However, I have had the following difficulty with @Agendas: I often forget to look at the appropriate @Agenda when next I see the appropriate person. Does anyone have any tips for reminding oneself to check one's @Agendas?


            • #7
              Maybe it's a good idea to keep all the stuff to discuss if you have a meeting with someone in one place and then move that to some more usable category that depends on you (like @Call or @Computer). There're no files to keep that kind of info except for @Agendas... but maybe as a sales I could use project files for that though (what items to cover, what questions to ask, what progress to make on one big project overview spreadsheet)...

              Other ideas are welcome!




              • #8
                Instead of @Agendas, I create a context for the person. This context might contain Waiting For items, items for the next time I see them, and so forth. Some items will usually have deadlines or followup dates, and I'll simply cover the other items in the context at that time. Or, if I notice the list is getting long, I'll add an @Call or @Email NA to cover everything at once.

                *shrug* Works for me.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by Brent

                  I listen to a great Podcast called Manager Tools, and one of their biggest recommendations is a weekly "One-on-One" meeting with each of your subordinates. In fact, they keep files specifically for each One-on-One meeting, so if there's something they need to sit down and talk about with a subordinate, they'll often put it in the file so they can talk about it during the One-on-One.
                  This system works very well, each of you prints a copy of the current "next actions" for the sub, and that can be reviewed at the following weeks meeting. That way there's also very little wiggle room when decidinf what work has been agreed to be done.


                  • #10
                    I thought about one-on-one meetings but they seems to be waste of time sometimes. So I scroll through Projects-Delegated category and if there're any projects I need information on or I want to push I make that kind of meeting but it's not a weekly routine.




                    • #11
                      @Agendas no more

                      If you use Outlook, you can do what I have I done (using a different application).

                      Create a new task in Outlook. In the bottom left of the Tasks tab there is a Contacts field. Put the person's name in the Contacts field.

                      Now create an Outlook view which sorts by and includes the Contacts field. Next time Bill, my accountant, calls me to ask me a question, I can open my Outlook view and ask him for an update on the 13 other things he owes me and didn't call me about.

                      I have found this to be an extremely powerful aid to my system. When I had an @Agendas context, I only created @Agendas for the people with whom I dealt with on a regular basis. Everyone else was in an @Calls or @Waiting For or some other context. I couldn't create an @Agendas for every person I had dealings with.

                      Now I can keep my contexts to a manageable number and put as many different people I want in the Contacts field.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for great advice! But I use PDA so don't have customized views.




                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Borisoff
                          I thought about one-on-one meetings but they seems to be waste of time sometimes.
                          I think whether or not it's a waste of time all depends on the approach. I've got a weekly one-on-one meeting that I find very useful - if there are many important things to discuss, we can talk for the allotted hour or even longer, but many times it can be covered more quickly, and we won't hesitate to talk for just 10 minutes and then move on with our days. Regardless of the length, it helps each of us stay connected with what the other has going on.

                          I think the only time when these types of meetings are a complete waste is when a block of time is scheduled and there is a perceived need to fill the time regardless of value added.



                          • #14
                            use of @adgenda

                            This is one of the better functioning parts of my implementation. I use the Memo function in Palm for this because it alphabetizes. I may end up with ten items to discuss with a person and they are all together. It is most helpful if I have a name for the project, or the reason, and the date I need a response, if applicable. Obviously this would not apply to every n/a but I have been in the situation where I have asked a question or introduced a notion, and got a half-baked, irrelvant, or dismissive response and did not quickly link back to my objective or time-frame and as a result let myself get pushed away from my purpose or time frame. If I see the person several times a day, I get in the habit of checking when I see them or am going to place where I expect I'll see them. By not calling, e-mailing immediatly, I can also gauge whether it is appropriate to mention the matter when I see the person face-to-face. A lot of the people I deal with are very stressed, can be very dismissive if my adgenda item is not yet in their minds, or can turn the whole thing around if I don't supply enough context. I will e-mail or call if the matter is something urgent. If the matter or action is "date-lead", meaning that a date is already on the calendar and agreed upon, I will put a note on that date "see @adg "name of person". This works really well if you usually see certain people at certain meetings or events. I am thinking that @waiting might be combined with @adj because you immediatly see it without going to two different categories. For example: @ADG Husb: mo's day plans? After I mentioned this, he was going to check on tickets for a game). So, I added, @ADG Husb:mo's day w/f-tickets (d/s 4/2? That way I am cued not just as to the tickets but the event itself that needs further discussion, and that he told me on 4/28 that he would determine the ticket situation.


                            • #15
                              @Agendas and one-on-ones

                              I use @Agendas fairly extensively. I use the Add-in for Outlook and sync to a palm...

                              I use a notation similar to the built in waiting for functionality of the add-in. When I create an agenda item I use the following format:

                              John Smith 05/05/06 Discuss impact of press release on xyz project.

                              The data is the date I recorded the Agenda next action. The name helps me find the person I'm looking for in palm to do when I filter by the @Agenda category.

                              I've also created in outlook a custom field "Agenda For" which I fill with the person's name. I have a custom view "@Agenda's" grouped by this field and filtered on the @Agenda category.

                              I typically have @Agendas for my direct reports and any staff matrixed to me for a project. I keep several for my boss and for the peer managers in my business unit. I also keep agenda items for staff meetings, etc.

                              When I do a one-on-one I use the @Agendas view (and a similar @Waiting For view) for an agenda.

                              Seems to work very well for me.