Killer Meetings – Google style

I stumbled upon an article a while ago that created quite a lot of feedback in the net community called “How to Run a Meeting Like Google”. Many points in this article remind me of my post “5 Ways to Have Killer Meetings”, so I’d like to revisit the topic. The following are some quotes from the article:

Clear agenda

[Google’s vice-president of search products Marissa] Mayer requests a meeting agenda ahead of time that outlines what the participants want to discuss and the best way of using the allotted time.

I think this is essential. First it helps to predict how long the meeting will take and it helps to keep the meeting on track but, also, remember what I said about holding a meeting only when there’s a need for it? If there’s no agenda there’s also no need to hold a meeting.

Decisions in written form

Those who missed the meetings receive a copy of the notes. When people are trying to remember what decisions were made, in what direction the team is going, and what actions need to be taken, they can simply review the notes.

Also a very good point. We have online notes so the project’s team members can review them later. And I personally track decisions all the time to see if I have done everything needed. Notes are a very good way to make sure everyone knows what we are talking about.

Keep meetings focused, have fixed time

To add a little pressure to keep meetings focused, Google gatherings often feature a giant timer on the wall, counting down the minutes left for a particular meeting or topic.

My idea exactly! Do not spend a minute longer than absolutely necessary. A lot of talking does not necessarily equal a lot of actual work.

And that brings us to our own little productivity tool: Toggl. What do we have? Let me sum it up for you. Agenda? Check. Note-taker? Can be anyone attending the meeting, so check. Stick to clock? We have a timer you can set so it’s definitely a check.

If they’d add Time Tracking to the mix I would say “Hey Google, just use Toggl”…


4 Responses to Killer Meetings – Google style

  1. Arik says:


    I’ve just registed to Toggl and didn’t see any of the mentioned above features (note taking for example). Am I missing something?


  2. kristerhaav says:

    Hello Arik,

    and thank’s for your interest. Unfortunately this feature is no longer available, since it was too complicated to use and we are busy improving time tracking features. But we promise it will be back next year, better than ever so do not forget to check back!


  3. Arik says:

    I will check back – thanks :-)

  4. Antibush says:

    Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? Is killing thousands of innocent civilians okay when you are doing a little government makeover?
    Our country is in debt until forever, we don’t have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
    The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren’t living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

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