Society Evernote: Board Meetings

Evernote’s collaboration features make it a great tool to streamline a lot of board functions. By posting minutes, reports and proposals as notes then taking advantage of Evernote’s Work Chat function, board members can review, edit, ask questions and suggest changes well before the meeting begins. Then, during the meeting, all that’s needed is a quick motion/approval of the various items. The toughest part will be making the transition to the new workflow.

Every board has its own quirks and personalities so developing a workflow that best suits your board may require some experimentation and adjustments. Here are some suggestions for using Evernote in board meetings:

  • Have minutes and reports posted as notes and set a deadline for posting them that gives each board member time to review, ask questions and recommend changes before the meeting. Once the minutes/report is approved by the board, that note can then be moved from the board’s notebook to the archive notebook for safe-keeping. Print paper copies for filing, if necessary.
  • Require new proposals and requests be presented in writing as a note. These notes should include all the details about the proposals, estimated costs, etc.
  • When developing the meeting agenda, include links to the appropriate report/proposal so that board members can review them prior to the meeting. Post the agenda far enough ahead so that everyone has time to review the items before the meeting.
  • Develop procedures for posting proposals, setting the agenda and reviewing items prior to the meeting. These procedures are especially useful to help “handle” the board member who has something to say about everything.
  • As proposals and projects are approved, use the agenda note to document task assignments and proposed deadlines.
  • Copies of proposal notes, the meeting agenda and other associated notes can be attached to the meeting’s minutes note. Then, once the minutes are approved, the entire package is moved to the archive notebook.
  • When you use Evernote’s Work Chat feature to review documents and discuss proposals, those conversations are saved with the associated notes. This can offer future board and staff members a better understanding of things that happened before their time.

With a growing number of board and staff using portable devices such as tablets and smart phones, many will find it easier to use those devices to access Evernote during meetings. Encourage that whenever possible. Yes, you may still need to provide print copies to accommodate those who don’t use computers.

Making the adjustment from paper to digital workflows takes time and experimentation. Set goals and work with your staff to find workable solutions. Evernote will help make it happen.

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