Erik recently saw a message in one of the groups he’s part of where someone asked about simple web-based meeting agenda software recommendations. This person is focusing on a tool that can hopefully make running meetings easier and more effective but this tool would start to become a distraction.
To run an effective meeting, you need the basic tools like an Internet connection but a tool is not going to make a meeting effective and communicate what you want to communicate in the meeting. Good communication, being apathetic about the topic at hand, having a structure to the meeting, and an open dialogue make a good meeting. A lot of the time, people focus on the tool but not on the actual communication. Focusing on the tool rather than thee communication is an escape from the real problem: people being afraid to speak up, being apathetic, and being disengaged.
Just use a simple document to outline the things you want to cover in the meeting. Otherwise, you’re just going to have a rambling session which doesn’t make for a great meeting. The tool Erik would suggest is an agenda and you go from top to bottom. It can be that simple.