Many times when I attend meetings I have faced a boring but quite necessary task – writing minutes of meeting. We all know how important it is to circulate meeting minutes among stakeholders, but at times it becomes a time-consuming task, which many hate. On top of it, writing MOM is not the end of the task – in most cases we need to schedule a next followup meeting and also distribute todo list among attendees of the meeting.

Will it not be nice if we had an in-built module inside Outlook which lets us do just that? Imagine being able to right click on a Outlook meeting and click a menu like this –mom_1

clicking this Write MOM menu opens a form, where you can write the minutes, mark attendees, schedule the next followup meeting, assign task and send the MOM to everyone – all in a single form.

mom_2
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To inject more efficiency, this tool pre-populates lots of data into the minute body (e.g. subject, date/time, meeting room etc.).

In fact, the idea is the MOM writer should only focus on writing the important thing – the minutes body. Rest of the things – selecting a proper template, creating a to-do list, mark attendees – should be assisted by the tool.

The source code of this project is available on this Git Repository – https://github.com/shibathethinker/Outlook_MOM_Plugin

Let’s take a closer look at the above form, as its encapsulating all the details.

The form is divided into three sections.

The top section is mostly auto populated which pulls information about the meeting and displays here. Many items like date,time,chair, minute writer are fetched by this tool.

All these will automatically go into the MOM when you finally submit this form.

The middle section is for scheduling a follow up meeting. The tool tries to find out whether there is already any follow up meeting scheduled on the same subject line, if not it shows an alert “next meeting on this topic is not yet scheduled. You can create the next meeting details from this screen”. Here you can enter the details of the next meeting including a body and select the invitee list. Note that the invitee list has a outlook like type ahead feature to easily select invitee from your most recently used contact’s list. This most recently used contact list is also calculated by this tool where it scans all your recent meetings and finds out all the invitee details from those meeting. At the end, when you submit the form, the next meeting is created on our calendar using the details you have submitted here.

The last section has two sub-sections. The left side text editor lets you write the minute’s body of the current meeting. You can also attach files into the meeting minutes body using the attachment link.

On the right side there is a task assignment module. This one lets you write short description of tasks and assign to any of the people who were invited to this meeting. You can also mention the reminder setting for each task which is being assigned. To add to this, you can also attach file to each task being assigned. Once you submit the form, all these tasks are sent separately to each of these assigness. Also, the assigned tasks are mentioned in the final minutes body for everyone to see.

Once you’re done with all the above you can click the submit button located at the center of the form. This will create the followup meeting, send tasks to assignees, create the final minutes of meeting and send it to the invitees of the meeting. This tool uses an inbuilt template for the MOM which can be changed as per your wish. The final MOM look like this –

mom_3

Now, if you don’t like the look and feel of the final MOM, don’t worry. This MOM is customizable and template based. All you have to do is to use a different template to have a different look and feel.