In the News...

Productivity: Tips to an Effective Meeting


I am not a fan of meetings.  I absolutely dread them.  I have always been vocal about the fact that meetings are a waste of time.  A subject gets talked to to deah but nothing comes from it.  Pure waste of mine and everyone else's time.  I could always think of a way to be using my time more taking a nap!


Over time I figured out that the problem was not the meeting itself but the way the meeting was managed or run.  Nowadays, I am a very strong proponent of meetings, as long as they are well run.


During the past several years I have been involved in many, many meetings.  I have been able to observe how different people run their meetings.  I have been able to learn from these people and take qualities and apply them to the way I like to run meetings.  Here are a few of the things I have found that make for an effective meeting:


  1. Meetings take place routinely.  Constancy and consistancy are major factors in creating an atmosphere that fosters productivity.  Having a regular schedule to your meetings, especially staff and work committee meetings, allows all members to find a routine which will make them more productive.
  2. Meetings have a fixed and predetermined length.  Don't intrude on everyone else's schedule by having meetings go longer than the allotted time frame.  Members will already have plans for after the meetings and if they take place during the work day, or be wanting to be home if the meetings are in the evening.  People tend to become restless if they don't know when a meeting will end.  I have found that any meeting, for whatever reason, that goes past an hour and a half tends to be inefficient and less productive than a shorter, more focused meeting.
  3. Meetings have an agenda prepared ahead of time.  Each member should submit their agenda items ahead of time.  It should be a very rare occurence when someone brings up a non-agenda item.  This will largely determine the length and focus of the meeting.  Generic agenda items should be avoided.  "Update on sales" or "Marketing results" or anything that is just information being reported to the group should be submitted to the group ahead of time and everyone will have had an opportunity to read all the supporting material before coming to the meeting.  If you are required to accept these reports at a meeting, then this will take up only enough of your meeting time to hold a vote.  If no one has any real agenda items then you probably don't need to have a meeting.
  4. Meetings focus a great deal of time on alignment.  Are all the areas of your business in alignment together?  Do they fulfill or compliment the vision of your organization?  It would be better to have no staff members than to have staff members whose work goes in a direction other than the established vision or mission of the organization.
  5. Meetings start on time and finish on time.  Begin the meetings even if members are late.  If the meeting gets started late then the chances for this being an effective meeting are greatly reduced.  Make sure you, as the leader of the meeting, are punctual about starting and ending.  This also shows respect to your members by not wasting their time.
  6. Meetings conclude with action items.  As the meeting ends, the leader or facilitator, notes what is to be done after the meeting, who is to do it, and what the timetable for completion is.  The leader makes certain everyone is in agreement with these action items.


Incorporating these aspects of effective meetings into your own will greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your meetings.

Closing Apps in Windows 8


Windows 8 LogoSince Windows 8 has come out the number one question I am always asked is "How do you close an app??????"


Microsoft wants to change the users Windows experience by having any open apps remain open until shutdown. Therefore, they have removed the file menu, close, minimize, and resize options in apps designed for Windows 8 and replaced them with the Windows 8 App commands. The App commands bar appears on the bottom portion of the screen when you swipe up or down from either edge or right-click in the app.


Although the App commands will give you additional options for the open app, it may still not give you the option to close the app. If you want to close the app follow any of the below suggestions.

  1. Move your mouse to the very top of the app, which should change the mouse cursor to a hand, then click-and-drag or swipe that app to the bottom of the screen. Once you let go of the app it will close.
  2. Move your mouse to the top-left corner of the screen and then move down to show all open apps, right-click the open app you want to close and choose Close.
  3. Press the Windows key + Tab to show open apps, right-click on the app you wish to close and click Close.
  4. Press Alt + F4 on the keyboard to close the app or any open program.



We Now Offer SSL Certificates!


We have had several people ask for it over the years so we listened!


We are now able to directlyrovide website cusomers with SSL certificates.  If you are taking any kind of payments or receiving any kind of personal information fromour visitors then you really should have your site secured.


Just email us if this is someyhing that would interest you.



Welcome Energie Personal Training!


Welcome Energie Personal Training and its owner Lisa Glasier to the Prodigal family!  We were able to provide web hosting, site design and online marketing for her micro-business.


You can visit her site,, her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter.


Subscribe to In the News...