6 September 2008

Going Checklist Crazy

I am organizing a Board meeting and I have checklists and to-do lists coming out of my ears. I'm sure my assistant must think I am the Checklist and To-Do List Queen.

Making a List, Checking it Twice

The Board meeting I am preparing for is a two-day event and I don't want to forget anything that I need to do leading up to it, or anything that I need on the day of. I have a checklist for each day with a list of things I have to remember to bring or do before and after the meeting.

On Day 1 we have Committee meetings so there is a list of things I need for those. In the evening is the Board dinner with a checklist of what I need to bring to that: menus, name cards, seating map, myself...

On Day 2 is the actual Board meeting, but because I have checklists I only have one item to put in my Outlook Tasks the day before the meeting, "Don't forget to bring my checklists!!!"

It is so easy to forget the little things and sometimes the bigger obvious things that you think you won't forget -- you forget.

I like to take minutes on a laptop (yes, I did say minutes). Some of you may remember my article called The Art of Minute Taking where I bragged that in my almost thirty years as an assistant I had never had to take minutes. Well, now I am the Minute-Taking Queen.

If I forgot to bring my laptop with me to a meeting out of town, that would be an almost disaster for me because I prepare my minutes ahead of time on my computer and basically all I have to do at the meeting is fill in the blanks. As an aside, pen and paper will suffice if I have to, but you can see that the checklist can help avoid any unnecessary stresses from happening.

Another thing to put on your checklist if you are using a laptop is a memory stick. A memory stick is my back up if my laptop and I part ways. I can always rent a laptop, or the venue may supply one for a charge, but with the memory stick, I still have all my data that I need to make my job easier.

Being organized helps de-clutter any task and makes it more manageable and doable. I think I feel another checklist coming on, gotta go...