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Going Checklist Crazy

Going Checklist Crazy

Patricia Robb

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 checklist!!!”

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 that I had never had to take minutes. Well, now I am the Minute-Taking Queen.

Imagine 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.

Checklists within Checklists

This is where I become the Checklist Queen. I have created checklists for when I am in the meeting. I have a checklist to take attendance to keep accurate records and also to see if we have quorum. By the way, when there are five people at a meeting and quorum is 75% of the members, that is 3.75 people. Hmmm! How on earth do we do that? Anyway, I digress…

I have another checklist to record the votes. I need to keep an accurate count of who voted and what their vote was. As you can see I have lots of checklists…

But how do you organize your checklists so you don’t look disorganized walking in the meeting with checklists falling all over the place? I keep my checklists in labeled folders. I have three checklists and three folders with the name clearly written on the front. When I take attendance, I remove my attendance checklist, fill it in then as long as there is quorum, I file it in my minute folder that I will use to record the minutes.

Each of my checklists have the name of the meeting participants on it with either a Present, Absent or Regrets for the attendance checklist and a Yes/No for the voting checklist.

Now my minutes are going to be much easier to complete because I will have my backup papers. All of this information will also come in handy if the Chair asks to see who voted for what or to verify that the minutes are correct.

My checklist doesn’t end there. When the members of the Board are leaving to return to their respective cities, my next item on my checklist will be to ask them for their name tags so they don’t leave town with them.

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

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