By Klaris Chua

Meetings are necessary for virtually every business or organization. They’re the best way for team members to explore ideas and collaborate on projects. They’re also great for planning or clarifying matters around the office. But while meetings remain crucial to the overall productivity of companies, not all meetings can be tagged as useful.

On the average, employees spend over 30 hours a month on unproductive work meetings. In the United States alone, businesses waste an estimated $37 billion on salary costs for the same unnecessary purpose annually. Given these statistics, you would say that improving the way meetings are handled should be on the business agenda.

Now you may ask, how can you conduct meetings better?

Even though people should always be at the core of work meetings, it can’t be denied that the technology used in conducting meetings are also of great importance. Building a good arsenal of meeting tools can help boost productivity.

Easily schedule meetings with Calendly

Because of today’s modern work arrangements, almost everyone now has the luxury to be on their preferred schedules and time zones. As such, setting up meetings have become more difficult. At times, it would take two colleagues four or five back-and-forth email exchanges before finding a common time.

With Calendly, you can just send a link to the person you’re meeting with so that he or she might view your availability. The meeting invitee can only pick out from the dates and times when you’re available, which means you have full control over your schedule. The meeting is added into all of your calendars as soon as it’s set.

Use RingCentral as a central hub for meetings

RingCentral is a full-service cloud communications solution that offers advanced meeting and conferencing features that eliminates the need for multiple services and subscriptions.

For instance, if you’re meeting with a client and need to make changes to a document while on the meeting, you can just launch its screen sharing or file sharing capability. In case you need to send an urgent note to this client even before your meeting starts, you can use instant messaging as your backchannel for such an exchange. If this client wants to dial in using his desk phone or if he wants to join via his personal computer, he can do so, too.

While it easily connects to the most popular business productivity tools used in most offices, a service that offers virtually every meeting function imaginable will certainly streamline your process even more.

Keep your minutes organized with

You’d usually want to send out notes after each meeting to keep everyone on the same page. However, such documents can be time-consuming to make. The tool is designed to take away these pain points.

With it, you get a template that you can fill out with details such as attendees’ names, agenda items, questions, action points, and others. After filling it out, you can send the minutes to everyone involved right away using a secret URL.

Record important meetings over the phone with TapeACall

Unlike video conferencing or face-to-face meetings whose details can be taken note of by a minute taker or can be recorded using video or audio apps on PCs or laptops, business meetings done over the phone are more difficult to track and use as a future reference.

This is where TapeACall is supposed to come in. Because it’s an app that can be launched using your mobile phone wherein you’ll only need to dial into the meeting using the TapACall access number to start recording (like a three-way call), you’ll get to enjoy this little life saver for phone meetings without having to worry about missing a single detail about your conversation.

Recordings can be accessed on the app right after your call. Do note though, that you can’t record a conference unless everyone consents, so you still have to be careful when using this powerful app.

Keep meetings productive with Less Meeting

As the name implies, Less Meeting wants you to have more productive meetings by having less or shorter meetings. It helps you visualize what should happen in your meetings. If you’re the organizer, you can set an overall time limit for the meeting, and then set a specific duration for each agenda item.

While you’re on the meeting, you’ll see a ticker that will show how much time you have left for a specific item. You’ll get an alert when there’s only a few minutes left on the clock or when you go over time. With this, you’ll have the advantage of streamlining your meetings and you’ll have more time to get actual work done.

You don’t have to be a fan of meetings to appreciate how productive they can be especially when you have the right set of tools coupled with the right meeting practices that can help you stick to your agenda with less effort and greater efficiency.

Have you tried other amazing tools that helped improve your business tools? Discuss them in the comments section below.

Klaris Chua is a digital content marketer who has written many pieces on startups and small business communications.