Recurring meetings are great for accountability, but having too many meetings can lead to your team feeling overwhelmed at work. By keeping your meetings short, engaging, and to-the-point, you can reduce burnout and prevent meeting overload.
But what happens if you need to follow up about a discussion point or action item? Is it better to schedule a follow-up meeting or just send out an email?
Here’s how to know when you need to have a follow-up meeting and how to use AI to streamline your meetings so they take less time and you get more done.
What Is a Follow-Up Meeting?
A follow-up meeting is a meeting that comes after a previous meeting with the intent of resolving unfinished business or making further progress on an agenda item. This could take the form of another full-length meeting with the same participants, or it could be a brief phone call or virtual meeting with relevant stakeholders.
The main difference between a follow-up meeting and other kinds of recurring meetings is that a follow-up meeting should be limited to the items that need to be revisited, and shouldn’t introduce new agenda times.
In fact, if you want to be really efficient, you can send out a follow-up email instead of getting everyone back into the same room or on another Zoom call.
4 Reasons to Have a Follow-Up Meeting
Why is it important to have an effective follow-up strategy for every meeting? Without one, it’s easy for key points to be forgotten or overlooked, resulting in less productive meetings and in a lack of follow-through from one meeting to the next.
Here are four different reasons to put a follow-up meeting on the calendar.
To Track Progress
Some projects have multiple stages or milestones that need to be achieved before you move on to the next one. Although you can use task management software to track the progress of individual tasks, a follow-up meeting is an opportunity to check in about the bigger picture and make sure all of your team members are on the same page.
To Address Problems
Sometimes the plan you come up with at a meeting results in an unexpected problem or roadblock. Instead of waiting for your next team meeting to troubleshoot it, you can hold a follow-up meeting to focus on that specific problem. Schedule a follow-up meeting for strategizing and decision-making before your next meeting comes around.
To Provide Accountability
Team accountability is about more than tracking progress: It’s about fostering a spirit of collaboration and a positive work environment. This is especially important for remote or hybrid team members who don’t often see each other face-to-face. Schedule follow-up meetings as necessary to provide accountability and keep the momentum going.
To Communicate With Stakeholders
Follow-up meetings are great for staying in touch with stakeholders. Maybe you’ve just had a business meeting with a potential client at a networking event, and you want to follow up to let them know how excited you are to work with them. You can also use a follow-up meeting to express gratitude for a great meeting or a job well done.
3 Types of Follow-Up Meetings
Following up with team members after a meeting is key to running an effective meeting, but what format should your follow-up take? Should it be a fully fledged meeting with its own meeting agenda, or just a brief recap of the meeting sent in a follow-up email?
Here are three ways to run an effective follow-up meeting.
Progress Check-In or Status Update
The most common type of follow-up meeting is a progress check-in or status update. A progress check-in can be anything from a one-on-one phone call with individual team members to a review of key decisions made at the last meeting.
A status update is a more formal meeting with department heads or other stakeholders in which they’re informed about the progress of a project.
Schedule your first check-in or status update a week or two after the original meeting date, depending on the timeline of your project management calendar.
Daily Scrum Meetings
Daily scrum meetings or standup meetings are a great option when you need more than an occasional follow-up. These meetings should take place at the same time and place every day for the duration of a project, and are used to address immediate goals and obstacles rather than for problem-solving or decision-making.
Keep your scrum meetings short — ideally not more than 15 minutes — and make sure they adhere to the conventions of your project management framework.
A project retrospective is another type of meeting that happens at the conclusion of a project. Sometimes called a post-mortem meeting, a retrospective meeting is about figuring out what went wrong and what you could do more effectively next time.
A retrospective meeting isn’t just about looking back. Send out a follow-up email with actionable steps your team can take to prepare for the next project.
4 AI Solutions for Meeting Follow-Ups
Running follow-up meetings and sending out follow-up emails can take almost as much time and effort as planning an initial team meeting. Fortunately, you can streamline the process with meeting follow-up templates and project management AI software.
Here are four ways to use artificial intelligence to facilitate follow-up meetings.
Take Meeting Notes Automatically
Taking great meeting notes can eliminate the need for a follow-up meeting by providing a detailed record of what went on in the meeting and what needs to happen next.
Instead of assigning a team member to take notes, use an automated note-taking tool like Anchor AI to take notes for you. Anchor AI can identify speakers, capture action items, and even generate complete transcripts and meeting summaries.
Use the Detailed Meeting Minutes tool for board meetings and other meetings that call for a chronological summary. If you still need a follow-up meeting, use the Quick Prep tool to create an agenda based on your previous meeting notes.
Send Out Follow-Up Emails
Sending out a follow-up email can help you keep participants and external stakeholders in the loop. A great follow-up email should summarize the main discussion points of the meeting and highlight any action items and key takeaways.
Be sure to include your company name and meeting date in the subject line of the email so it’s easy for recipients to identify it. Use a meeting follow-up email template to keep your emails consistent from week to week and save time while writing them.
Anchor AI can automatically generate meeting summaries and follow-up emails for you, so you don’t even have to write them yourself. Our Topical Summary tool will organize your meeting summary by topic so it’s easy for everyone to get up to speed.
Use an Action Item Tracker
An action item tracker can turn your ideas into an actionable to-do list. The best action item trackers let you view your team’s upcoming tasks all in one place, and can even send out email notifications when a deadline is coming up.
Use Anchor AI’s Max Tasks tool to capture actionable items from your meeting and add them to your action item tracker. Max, your AI project manager, will compile a list of tasks automatically and add assignees and a due date based on the content of the meeting.
Chat With An AI Assistant
There’s one more thing AI tools can do that traditional project management tools can’t, and that’s to give you deeper insights into your meeting in plain language. Instead of relying on complex reporting dashboards, you can simply Ask Max how your meeting went — the same way you would ask ChatGPT or another AI chatbot.
After your meeting is over, Ask Max, “Are there any follow-up items from last week’s meeting?” or “Who’s handling social media outreach next week?” and get more insight into your meeting than you can get from notes alone.
Facilitate Follow-Up Meetings With Anchor AI
Follow-up meetings are essential for communicating with stakeholders, ensuring team accountability, and problem-solving complex tasks. But even follow-up meetings can contribute to meeting overload if you don’t keep them short and to-the-point.
Use project management tools to review tasks, track action items, and even eliminate the need for follow-up meetings by sending out follow-up emails instead.
Anchor AI is an AI-powered project management tool that can help you get more out of meetings by taking notes and generating meeting summaries for you. Simply invite it to your next meeting or upload a Zoom recording of your last meeting. Anchor AI will use artificial intelligence to help you turn your ideas into concrete, actionable items.
Try it out for free today and improve team meeting follow-through!