Is This App the End of Useless Meetings?

MeeTime destroys office-meeting inefficiency

By Kirk Miller

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23 October 2017

Speaking of Mondays ...

We (apparently) waste two years of our lives in useless meetings.

That’s the conclusion made by the founder of MeeTime, a new app that sets out to make meetings incredibly efficient and productive.

Dubbed “an iPhone app to make meetings less soul-crushing,” MeeTime does not schedule your meetings — it simply manages the meetings you already have.

Think of it as an always-adjusting timer which punishes people who go off the agenda: basically, you set up the meeting on MeeTime in advance and assign agenda items to different owners. When the meeting is supposed to start, the app starts whether you’re ready or not. From that point, it tracks your scheduled meeting with large, easy-to-read timers that count down minutes between agenda items. When people go over their allotted time, the app proportionally reduces the duration of every other item.

The key here is to get everyone started and finished in an agreed-upon timeframe.

MeeTime (2 images)

Admittedly, you’ll have to accept MeeTime as your arbitrator. But if you do ... it’s an impartial manager who’s going to get you out on time.

“I was fed up of people complaining they never have any time yet I was seeing them sitting in endless meetings they did not need to be in, that started late and always ran over,” says designer Gavin Jones, who also notes “this app is designed to help traditional corporate employees rather than tech-based Silicon-Valley-style agile scrums, which I can only guess are better(?).”

He also suggests that people waste up to two years of their lives in useless meetings.

So far, the app seems to be working: It’s already being used by Goldman Sachs, Rolls-Royce, Nielsen, Hewlett Packard, DXC and Molson Coors, among other large companies.

Need a little more help surviving the meandering pace of business? Five more resources to consider:

Boomerang
Finally launched for the iPhone last week, the updated app for managing emails now has a work-focused AI assistant that offers overviews of your day and, more importantly, a simple way to create, reschedule or cancel meetings via voice commands.

The Cooper Review 
Comedian Sarah Cooper’s caustic blog on office dysfunction. See: “10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings.” (#3: Encourage everyone to “take a step back.”)

Doodle 
Recently redesigned and simplified, the popular online scheduler allows meeting owners to create a poll so attendees can “vote” on the best time to meet (and it’ll sync with your calendar of choice).

X.ai
We’ve used this program for a little while now. It’s AI that’ll schedule meetings for you via e-mail — you just cc the bots Amy or Andrew, and they’ll handle the back-and-forth of scheduling a meeting by working with your respective calendars.

Our office meeting bingo game
Don’t worry, “This could have been an email” is the free space.

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