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Meeting Prep, on Your Own Time: A Template Google Doc

Filed under: Knowledge Management — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

After feeling frustrated that I wasn’t prepped as much as I wanted before a meeting called by one of my co-workers at Plexus Engine, I came up with the following Google Doc template to capture all the info we needed before meeting with someone from outside our company. I really like this system and thought I’d share it.

The procedure we’re experimenting with is to create a copy of this Google Doc, edit it to fill it out, then paste the URL to view it inside our company calendar listing for said meeting. I’ve been experimenting with changes; just tonight I added the field for “confirmed within 36 prior hours” because I try to email people the day before a meeting to confirm and set the stage.

This system helps us communicate explicitly about meetings, but on our own time. It doesn’t take too much time to fill one of these out – generally less than 5 minutes. We’ll see how it works, we’ve only just begun doing it. If you’d like a copy of that same template, I posted one here. I have a link to that master template doc bookmarked in my browser toolbar. If you can think of any other ways this could be made more useful, please let me know.

The Google+ Power-Up Button

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

I’ll confess, I’m a regular user of Google+ but I haven’t played around with a lot of the features to really figure it out that much yet. This week I’ve been experimenting with a paradigm I’ve used with RSS and with Twitter, but in Google+ and I’m seeing some awesome results. It’s this: set yourself up to be disproportionately likely to see content from the most high-priority people in your network so that you’re more likely to engage with them.

I didn’t know you could do this with Google+, but if you look at the screenshot below – I’ve got a Circle I call “Key Peeps” – which is made up of a select few high-priority contacts on Google+. People like O’Reilly’s Julie Steele and Abraham Williams, now building Addvocate with Marcus Nelson, and probably the web’s leading Human Computer Interaction specialist (according to our company Plexus), Ed Chi of Google. These are all super-smart, really awesome people who happen to use Google+ a lot. Now that I get an email and a red square notification whenever they post anything, I jump right on their high quality content, engage with it and them, reshare it with others, etc. If I can do so in a way that adds value to them, well then that helps me move from wannabe to friend of Heavy Hitters to a Heavy Hitter myself.

So that’s the Google+ Power-Up Button, “send alerts for this circle.” It’s pretty awesome.

Think “nobody’s using Google Plus?” This alert system is making it sing to me like crazy. In the interest of full disclosure, Google put me on the Suggested User List of Google+ so I have 2m followers there and see plenty of activity, but I know not everyone does. Check out the big, deep thread of comments on a post I put up about Occam’s Razor the other day though. That kind of conversation may not be available to everyone without loads of followers, but you Google+’s Circle Alerts feature means you can develop a solid online relationship with just a handful of Heavy Hitters yourself too, no matter how many followers you have on the network.

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