Using projects for recurring meetings

I’ve been trying to read up on how people use OmniFocus for meetings and am having trouble completely wrapping my head around effective practices.

My Situation
I am a part of several different organizations – I’m a freelancer and volunteer on a few boards, on which I serve on various committees. This means I have a wide variety of meeting contexts (let’s say about 10 total). In some cases I simply attend the meetings, in other cases I run the meetings or play some type of administrative role (e.g. soliciting meeting materials from participants).

For each of these domains I have a [Single Action Project] (e.g. [ Library Board ]) which contains one-off tasks associated with that particular domain / client / whatever.

My Goals

  1. Throughout a week I would like to be able to jot down any ideas / agenda topics I plan to raise in any given meeting to OmniFocus. I would like these items to NOT fill my normal project view, which means I don’t want those agenda topics to appear as available tasks outside of the context of preparing for a meeting. That said, I also want to be able to, for instance, view “all agenda topics for my weekly meeting with the superintendent” so that I’m not sifting through 500 irrelevant items from other organizations while preparing for a given meeting.

  2. I would like any relevant administrative tasks for a meeting (e.g. “draft an agenda” “distribute the agenda” etc.) to regularly appear as available (recurring) tasks.

  3. I would like to avoid creating a huge organization overhead / clutter in OmniFocus (I admit I’m having trouble understanding when it’s better to create a new project vs simply use the appropriate [Single Action Project]).

My Question

How do folks handle tracking meetings? Should I create a permanent (e.g. I never mark it as complete) project for each meeting type with recurring tasks related to the administration? Should I have a single project that captures ALL my meetings with recurring tasks, regardless of the organization they’re associated with?

Should I just store those tasks as a recurring item-set in my [Single Action Project] associated with the relevant organization instead of creating a new project just for those tasks? (I’m generally unsure when it’s more appropriate to create a new project as opposed to just creating a nested task list within the [Single Action Project].)

Should I store my agenda topics in the same project that contains those administrative tasks, or should I have a separate project to track agenda items? Should I have a SINGLE project for tracking agenda items overall?

I would love to know how others approach this kind of problem!

I’ve experimented with keeping Agenda items in OmniFocus and found that they added clutter. They’re not something that I can take action on and, in some cases, I want to share the agenda with other people so that the intention of the meeting is clear.

Instead, I typically store agenda items in my notes app (Craft). I can easily add agenda items as I think of them. Agenda documents can also reference other notes in Craft or external URLs so that I can have relevant information at my fingertips during the meeting.

To help ensure that I’m prepared for the meeting, I sometimes create one or more “Review agenda” actions in OmniFocus with a link to the document in Craft. I also have the option of adding the Craft “Secret Link” to the calendar appointment so that participants can access and comment on the agenda.

For meetings where multiple people are contributing the agenda, it can work well to have a shared Google Doc (I was happy to see that Google now supports checkboxes) or to use a project management app such as Asana to house agenda items for upcoming meetings.

I hope this helps!

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I’ve used Asana and a Google Doc for shared meeting agendas before.

If there are any items that require my personal attention and action, I’ll put it into OmniFocus. When I check off an agenda item in OmniFocus, I’ll also check it off in Asana or Google Docs with any results or personal notes.

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