Meetter Review – A complete game changer for remote work
Why is Meetter different?
I see a lot of applications aimed at facilitating remote work but most are trying to tweak the way that things are currently done. Not so for Meetter. It has taken one of the biggest demons of remote working, meeting overload, and slaughtered it.
Meetter isn’t so much a software application as a totally new way of addressing meetings and it works.
Meeting overload comes up time and again as one of the real bugbears of remote work with workers so tied down by meetings that they end up working crazy hours to get their real work done. There’s a lot of effort has gone into trying to resolve this. Companies with the longest experience of remote work like GitLab say they emphasise the use of asynchronous communication (messaging and e-mails) over than synchronous (meetings). They discuss issues via messaging or e-mail and use a short meeting at the end of that process to sort out a final agreement. It sounds logical and it definitely works better than having endless hours of meetings but there’s a tendency to end up with huge message or e-mail strings, often going off at tangents, and still no solution – in fact after a while people can forget what the original question was. Google have proposed meeting free weeks and allow staff to block out work time in their calendars but both delay rather than resolve the issue. Clockwise makes a decent attempt to address it by reorganising existing calendars to bunch meetings together. This allows employees more continuous working time but accepts the existing meeting culture rather than challenging it as Meetter does.
Meetter’s founders worked as part of a large distributed team where everyone was getting frustrated with how meetings were reducing their productivity. They decided there had to be a better way of doing things and went back to first principles to try to find out what people wanted from meetings. Why do meetings have to be an hour long? Why do meetings always start late? How can I get work done when meetings are constantly breaking into my day? Why is it so difficult and time consuming to find free time in other people’s diaries? Why do meetings always need an agenda when all I want to do is resolve an issue, not discuss world peace? Why do some people bother coming to my meetings when they spend half of the time reading e-mails or with some other distraction? Why does no-one write down what was agreed or if they do no-one ever gets time to read it?
So they built Meetter to fix this.
Meetter’s meetings are single issue and usually last no more than 10 minutes. Whoa you’re thinking 10 minutes can’t possibly be enough, we usually spend the first 5 waiting for everyone to turn up and the next 5 moaning about the management. Well, Meetter’s users don’t agree, they’re very happy with 10 minutes and what’s more everyone turns up on time and they don’t waste time talking about the weather. Meetter calls its 10 minute meetings ‘meets’. Thousands of meets were held in 2020, 70% of which were 10 minutes or shorter. Meets are usually recorded which means if there was a meet you were interested in but weren’t invited to you can always watch the video – great for a 10 minute meet, but try doing that for a one hour meeting and staying awake. Focus is much better too – the clicking of keyboards from distracted attendees just doesn’t happen in a 10 minute meet. Then there’s writing down what was agreed. Meetter fixes that problem too – it shows a notepad where actions and decisions can be agreed while the meeting is running and then automatically distributed via a close integration with Slack. One factor that screams success for this approach is that users have indicated that no-shows are rare in Meetter meets.
Impressed? Well, it gets even better. Scheduling meetings can be a real pain especially where you need to book busy or senior people. In Meetter it’s a breeze. All users of Meetter set up blocks of time in their diaries when they’re happy to attend meetings. You tell Meetter who you want to meet and what you want to talk about and that’s it! Meetter does the rest by matching meets with blocks of meeting time. No more searching through diaries for free time – Meetter does it all for you. As you might expect this often results in successive back-to-back 10 minute meets in your meeting block, so Meetter has video conferencing built in so it can seamlessly switch you from one meet to the next. Meetter shows a countdown so you know how much time is left in your meet and if you don’t think you’re going to finish then just click ‘follow-up’ and Meetter schedules a follow-up meet. As you would if you were scheduling tasks, you can also include a priority for a meet, anything from urgent to low. My main concern with this was abuse by the guy who think all of their meets are urgent but in practice it has proved to be self-regulating with anyone abusing priorities getting called out.
After seeing Meetter you start to wonder why all meeting and calendar apps don’t work this way.
Meetter works on Windows 10, macOS, Android and iOS and for Google and Microsoft Calendars. Pricing starts with a limited version at $5 per active user per month but Meetter say most customers go for the full version at $25 per user per month.
The Propinquity effect
Not content with solving the meeting issue, Meetter have gone one further and addressed the other big one for remote work – isolation, loneliness and getting to know everyone. Offices work socially because of the Propinquity effect. The more people meet each other the easier it is to build relationships. Meetter has addressed this with ‘Small Talk’. Small Talk looks for spare time in people’s meeting blocks and hooks them up for a bit of small talk. It’s an ice breaker that gets everyone introduced and talking to each other and has proved very popular. Small Talk can be turned on or off, be configured to be for two or more people and it’s really democratic – you might find yourself having a chat with a new joiner one day and the CEO the next! It’s become such a hit that customers are asking Meetter to expand Small Talk and that’s what they’re working on right now.
Meetter is a game changer for remote work. It doesn’t just help organise meetings, it makes remote meetings work far better than the office-based way of doing it. I’ve rarely seen a tool that’s blown my mind by the end of the demo. Meetter did just that – I absolutely love it and I think you will too! Enjoyed our Meetter review and want arrange a demo or start a trial? Request one here
Here’s one of Meetter’s videos: