Many people consider meetings to be a waste of time, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re often unorganised, boring, and go on for too long. However, meetings can be incredibly helpful if they are conducted properly. During this pandemic, meetings also have more significance as they have become important chances for teams to have face-to-face contact with their teams. However, meetings still need to be effective use of everyone’s time.

One way to hold more efficient meetings is to set a clear objective and outline this beforehand. With that in mind, here are five tips for creating a better agenda:

Start Making the Agenda Days in Advance

Don’t create your agenda at the very last minute, or else you’ll end up with a messy, incoherent document. Instead, get started at least three days before the meeting will take place. This will give you enough time to craft a professional agenda and make changes based on other people’s feedback.

Preparing your agenda in advance will also give the attendees enough time to read through it. That way, they’ll have ample time to prepare any documents required of them. Attendees will also have the chance to ask for clarifications before the meeting takes place.

Determine the Meeting’s Objective


Before jotting down any other details, you must know the overall goal of the meeting. This will act as your guide as you write down your list of topics. Without a clear objective, it’s easy for the discussion to get derailed. An objective will also inform you whether you actually need to hold a meeting or if an email will do instead.

When coming up with a meeting objective, think of it as a quick summary of what you plan to talk about. This is usually indicated at the very top of the agenda, right under the header or title of the document. As a general rule, you don’t want the objective to be any longer than two sentences.

Set the Basic Details of the Meeting

Make sure to include important information about the meeting itself. An easy format you can follow is the 5 W’s: Why, What, Who, When, and Where.

First, determine why you need to hold a meeting. Then, create a simple outline of what you will be talking about. Next, enumerate who will be attending the meeting. Finally, indicate when you will be holding the meeting as well as where it will be conducted.

Allot Enough Time for Each Agenda Topic

To keep your meetings from going on too long, it’s best to set a realistic time limit per item. But this is easier said than done, as you do have to allow for some flexibility. Hence, there are no hard and fast rules on how long you should discuss any topic.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to schedule the most important items at the top of the agenda. This ensures that you’re spending most of your time discussing high-priority topics. However, you should also avoid over scheduling every discussion item. For instance, it would be excessive to schedule an exact time for saying your introduction and conclusion.

Keep Your Agenda to Five Topics or Less

To make the most of the time during your meeting, you may be tempted to cram in as many topics as possible. But trying to address too many topics at once will just make for an unfocused discussion. It may also cause your meeting to go over your allotted time. To make matters worse, people may not even bother to read your agenda if it’s too long.

Instead, list only the five most important topics you need to talk about. Save the rest for another meeting or see if you can discuss them over email instead.


Try out these tips the next time you have to create an efficient agenda. With proper planning and preparation, you’re sure to make your future meetings more productive and meaningful.