Make Meetings Matter With yaM

For as long as I can remember, technology has really influenced the way we do things, such as the way we communicate, receive news and generally look at the world. This influence has also spread to the world of work. Nowadays, technology has meant that companies can reach out globally, not just locally, and has enabled them to spread their influence all over the world.

Look at business meetings nowadays. It used to be that meetings meant you had to spend an hour cooped in a hot, sweaty conference room with a cup of lukewarm dishwater posing as coffee. And not to forget the time it takes to get to said conference room. Nowadays, a lot more meetings are conducted over the Net, for example via teleconferencing. This not only keeps costs down but is also a lot more practical – meetings can be conducted straight from your desk.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to conduct meetings remotely. But these tend to be expensive to both set up and maintain. How does a free, Net-based meeting manager sound? Well, this is exactly what yaM (Yet Another Meeting) is. There’s no complicated software to install or monthly subscription fees to pay. You simply sign up, invite your colleagues and get to work.

I think we’re onto something here! Let’s delve deeper…

Introduction

yaM is a free, Net-based meeting manager that works in all browsers and requires no additional software to be installed. You can get signed up (yaM can also integrate with your Google Account) and start exchanging ideas within a minute – signing up is a quick and simple process via their website. Once you’ve set up your yaM account then you are greeted with the main page, which gives you an overview of the whole application.

yaM - Dashboard

The dashboard for yaM

Features

yaM is packed full of features that’ll make boring, unintuitive meetings a thing of the past. Let’s have a look at them in more detail.

Arranging A Meeting

To set up a new meeting in yaM, simply click on New Meeting. A window pops up which allows you to enter all the details concerning the meeting. All of your meetings appear in tabs along the toolbar at the top, allowing you to easily click between them all.

yaM - new meeting

Setting up a new meeting in yaM

You can set the date, time, place, duration and the participants for the meeting. Once this is created, you can set the agenda for the meeting (or import it from an existing one) and each participant in the meeting can freely enter notes and upload attachments to the workflow. You can even print the meeting minutes (a summary of each agenda point as well as any notes and files attached) straight from the application.

yam - minutes

The minutes from any meeting can be printed straight off via yaM

yaM also integrates with Evernote, allowing you to send a summary of the meeting when it is finished to your Evernote account, which you can obviously access using other devices (such as smartphones and tablets).

Adding Participants

Of course, once you’ve set up a meeting, you’ll need some participants so you can start sharing ideas! Inviting new participants to your meeting is extremely easy in yaM. You can either invite them using your address book (if the participants are already using yaM) or using e-mail addresses. If you use Gmail, then yaM can automatically send invites to all your Gmail contacts as well.

yaM - adding participants

Adding participants to your meeting in yaM

Meeting Tools

Another nice feature of yaM is the ability to classify notes according to their subject, allowing you to keep a far better track of what is currently being discussed. All discussions in yaM are, of course, in real-time so you can be kept fully up to date with what’s happening.

yam - meeting tools

The wide range of meeting tools available in yaM

When you select a category for the discussion, a rich-text editor pops up, allowing you to share your ideas. You can select the agenda item for the discussion as well as choose who you want to share it with (you may only want to share it with managers, for example).

yaM - RTE

The rich-text editor present in yaM

Action Items

To ensure that nothing gets forgotten across all your meetings, you can set up action items, which are viewable to all participants in your network.

yam - action items

You can set up action items in yaM, which are visible to all team members

yaM also allows you to assign action items to certain members of your team, ensuring that everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are.

In-Built Calendar

yaM features a very useful built-in calendar which gives you an overview of all your current meetings you have subscribed to. You can also integrate your yaM calendar with Google Calendar, meaning that your appointments don’t lay dormant on yaM’s servers!

yam - calendar

yaM's built-in calendar

Conclusion

yaM is an extremely rare example of a web application that is both beautiful, well-designed, functional, easy to use and, most importantly, completely free. I’m a pernickety person yet as I played around with yaM and delved into its inner core, I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it. Being only a poor, humble student, instead of a big, flashy boss, I don’t appreciate the features in yaM as much as other people would, but I can envisage it being a real and core asset to any business.

yaM fully deserves the highly-prized 10 out of 10 score. Not only is it brimming up to its eyebrows with features, but it is also incredibly simple and easy to use and looks the part as well. The best part about it is that it is completely free, with no subscription fees or sign-up fees at all to pay. This really tops it off as a multi-functional, easy-to-use meeting manager and I couldn’t recommend it enough to any business looking to improve their internal communications and exchange of ideas.


Summary

A free, web-based, realtime meeting manager which works across all browsers.

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  • its really Very good

    • but the sync and the offline options do not seem to work. Also would prefer to have autosave for input as people forget to push the save button before going to another item on the agenda…

  • Yam is great but worthless on my iPhone. When I say that it’s non-responsive I’m not only talking about the screen size. I mean the entire app is stuck on a fixed margin position. Can’t slide left nor right. Up nor bottom. I didn’t think that would even be possible to pull of.