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I'm working at a university medical center, and among (a lot) of other things, I'm responsible for organizing our executive/advisory board meetings. While preparing and doing the actual meetings is quite interesting, there is a lot of boring, repetitive and error-prone clerical work involved that I'd like to have some IT support for. I have been googling and looking around for a while but haven't found anything that seems to fit.

I'm looking for a database where I keep and document these meetings. For each agenda item, I'd like to document

  • standard information like author, date, references, title etc.
  • a description of the item to be decided upon
  • the text of the motion to be decided
  • any attachments/enclosures relevant to the item (as PDF or MS Office files, and it would be great if these could be searched)
  • the person(s) responsible for implementing whatever is decided
  • the person(s) that need to be informed of the decision
  • any additional discussion that needs to be documented for the minutes
  • any changes to the motion as decided during the session

It would be nice if the system was capable of accepting new agenda items from other sources than myself (via a web interface in our intranet, for example). And of course I'd love it to store the addresses of everyone involved, inform them about the decisions that are relevant to them, and generate the meeting's invitations, agenda and minutes automatically from the information stored in the database.

I would have expected that these tasks are so common in so many organisations that there must be some standard off-the-shelf software for it, but I seem to be have been looking in the wrong places.

I'm grateful for any tips short of building my own database in MS Access :)

EDIT: An additional requirement is that this software can be installed locally inside our intranet. A web-hosted solution will most probably not be possible.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You might have a look at NovusAGENDA.
This is a Web-based solution, but designed to be installed on your in-house server.

NovusAGENDA is an electronic solution designed to help you create, approve and track items for upcoming and past Board meetings. The entire process creates an automated Paperless Agenda Solution. Adding an Agenda item such as the approval for a new project can now be controlled in a well-organized systematic solution.

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This does look very promising. Thanks! I've contacted them for more info. – Tim Pietzcker Oct 31 '09 at 8:58

It's quite a large setup but have you considered a sharepoint site? These can be setup to include document sharing, workflows, email reminders, schedules, etc. You can then setup the pages in a sort of community wiki style or limit it to only certain people. Also depending on how you handle your email/documents (exchange server/ microsoft office) there is quite a bit of integration. Sounds like it may be just what you need.

Microsoft Sharepoint

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+1 There are out of the box site templates specifically for meetings. – shufler Oct 30 '09 at 14:52
Thanks! I think we already have Sharepoint at our IT center. Will look into it. – Tim Pietzcker Oct 31 '09 at 8:59
Too bad I can't accept two answers. Or upvote twice :) – Tim Pietzcker Nov 6 '09 at 7:05

Do you mean something like MeetingSense?

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This looks interesting. It looks like it might not work for us since all data is stored on a MeetingSense server. Since there are highly sensitive topics and data, management probably won't approve such a solution. I'll check it out in more detail, though - thanks so far! – Tim Pietzcker Oct 30 '09 at 12:37

Have you considered a wiki?

Wikipedia has a comparison of wiki software.

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