Name: Less MeetingVersion: 1.3.2, I tested the iPad appVendor: Less MeetingHosting options: Web hostingCost and plans: Free trial, then between $12 and $499 per month, with discounts for charitable organisationsLanguages: English
Basic features: Creating meetings
Less Meeting is a meeting productivity tool. It allows you to create and share agendas, manage meeting actions, and even take minutes from one place. It looks great on the iPad, and it works (mostly – more on that later). The basic idea is that you can record and store general discussions during a meeting. This allows you to keep track of minutes as you go. You can also record decisions and actions. Participants can also email actions directly to themselves and add them to their To Do list (since when did To Do become one thing?). ).
To have a productive meeting you need to have a meeting. You can’t schedule meetings directly from your iPad. You will need to sync the app with your iPad calendar or use a web version. You can also schedule huddles (ad-hoc meetings) directly from your iPad. That’s what I did.
Managing your meeting
You are familiar with how meetings can go on forever. You can see how much time you have left in a meeting with Less Meeting’s countdown feature. The app will automatically allocate 10 minutes for each point to your agenda. However, you can modify this whenever you wish.
Agenda is updated at the end. It shows how much time was spent on each item. The app also has a timer that tracks when the meeting begins, so you can see how much time your attendees have wasted. The timer tracks how long you spend working on each agenda item. The timer starts automatically when you begin taking notes for the item. Or, you can manually start it. The clock will turn red if you exceed the time limit. This feature allows you to see how long your attendees spend on an agenda item. As a facilitator, you can decide whether to move them on or allow them to continue on the topic.
Capturing audio, photos, and notes
It can be difficult to take minutes of meetings. But Less Meeting makes it easy. Bullet points allow you to capture actions, notes, and decisions as they happen. Each bullet defaults to Note. It defaults to Note once I have changed it to Action. I thought it would remain there so I could keep track of all my Actions. But that was not the case. You must change it each time. It’s not that big of a deal now that I understand how it works.
You can also take photos from your iPad directly, which is great if you have spent the afternoon organizing software features or project priorities on sticky note and you have a wall of scribbles to capture.
You can record your conversation if you wish and if your iPad’s audio quality is good enough to handle large meetings. Although I was in a small area, the playback was good. The recording was also not very long. Although I don’t know how you would access the recording again for those who weren’t there, the help function is (unusually for many products that I review) very helpful so I would expect the answer. The iPad microphone is not capable of recording audio in large rooms, but it could be used.
Another feature is the Parking Lot. This is a great feature. This feature is great for facilitated workshops, where you want to ensure that everyone retains the important points and that they follow the agenda.
Parking Lot feature in Less Meeting and main note capture screen showing the timer clockAny problems
The app crashed frequently. It could have been my iPad, but I felt like I was wasting time as I restarted the app several times. Fortunately, no data was lost.
This version also has a bug in the way it sends minutes. The agenda at the end of the meeting shows how long it has been.