Quick Links to Help Save Time

Plan a Meeting

First, agree on a day and time when most people can attend

There are a number of on-line resources to find days and times where you can share your availability with your colleagues:
  1.  Doodle: http://doodle.com/  (the one I've used for our meetings)
  2. ScheduleOnce: http://www.scheduleonce.com/
  3. TimeBridge: http://www.timebridge.com/
Make the final choice at least a few days before the actual meeting, as you still have to reserve a room, and that takes a little bit of time.

Second, find a room

To reserve an ECE/ISR/PHYS/ASTR/IPST Conference room, go to the site: https://sites.google.com/a/ece.umd.edu/ece-room-reservation/ece
There, you'll be able to:
  1. check a calendar of availability
  2. check room size (number of seats)
  3. request a reservation for that room
Keep in mind two points: (1) please, give a detailed name and explanation for the meeting, so the schedulers understand that it's important. (2) The reservation is not instantaneous (even if the time slot appears to be free on the calendar), so send the request a day or two before the meeting.

Third, now tell everybody about the meeting

Now that everyone has been migrated to Google, we can use that tool to save yourself (and your invitees) some hassle. By using this tool you'll get some benefits:

  • Recipients can accept or reject the invitation by clicking a button on the same invitation email
  • If a person clicks Accept, then their Google calendar automatically gets this meeting inserted (with time/location/etc.)
  • Your calendar will keep track of how many people accept or reject, and will show all emails with a check-mark (for yes), a question-mark (for maybe), and a crossed-circle (for no). It will also give you a head-count:
    head-count  as you can seen in grey, here.

Not everyone is familiar with using the calendar resources, so here is a little step-by-step list, for your convenience:

  1. From your Gmail account, click on the array icon on the top of the screen: 
    array icon
  2. You should get a menu of several Google options, one of which is your Calendar; click on the Calendar:
    Google selection
  3. The calendar will appear on a new tab on your browser, and it will look something like this (scaled): 
    calendar tab (detail)
  4. You can view days, or weeks, or months by selecting from the top/right buttons. You can change the date forward (or backward) with the top/left arrows. Say, you want to announce the meeting for Thursday, October 6 at 10AM. With your mouse, click on the Thursday column... roughly anywhere between 9AM and 11AM. You'll see a box show up prompting you to fill in some information: 
    new meeting
  5. Now, click on the lower/right button labeled "Edit event". The calendar will open the event up for you to enter information and emails for distribution. It will look like this: 
    mail to colleagues
  6. This is the last step:
    • Enter a descriptive title for the meeting (or else, people tend to ignore it)
    • Check that the date, beginning time, and end time are correct... right under the title
    • Beside where it says where  enter both the Building and room number (we're all from different departments, so don't forget the Building!)
    • Beside where it says Description  enter your invitation email: "Dear Leadership sub-Committee, We've finally agreed on a day..."
    • Beside where it says Notifications   select 10 or 15 minutes for reminders: that means all invitees will get a pop-up and email reminder a few minutes before the meeting, to give them time to get there.
    • On the right side of the page, you'll see  where it says 
      invite guests Here is where you paste all the email addresses of all the meeting attendees. If you already have them as text, separated by commas, you can just use your mouse to click/copy/paste all of them. You can also enter the emails one by one.
    • Finally, on the top/left of the page, click on the red Save button. You'll get prompted if you want to send the invitations by email: 
      confirm send  Click on the "Send" button. If some emails are from outside of Gmail, it will ask you if you want to send the invitation to those emails, as well. Just agree to it.

What If A Member Wants To Attend, But Is Out Of Town?

Getting a large group to attend a meeting is almost impossible; but you can help more people participate, if you bring a laptop to the meeting and use some on-line resources. Here are some examples:
Tip: make sure your plan your meeting well ahead of time, in case you need to setup an account, or download/install software (not always necessary, but, just in case).

Organize Teams Within A Group
So, your sub-committee has 12 people, and 10 strategies. You've already met, and you've come up with 5 action items. Now, each individual needs to sign-up to commit to do one of these action items. Here are a couple of on-line tools to help people sign-up for the different tasks: