Mastering Action Item Management: Strategies for Productive Teams

Explore tips, tools, and best practices for boosting team productivity with Fellow, the superior choice for action item management.

The Meetingnotes Team
October 20, 2023

If you’ve been scouring the Internet in search of a resource that teaches you everything you need to know about project task tracking and collaborative task management, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about action item management, so you know exactly how to track action items to keep your team accountable. Keep reading to learn how action tracking works and unlock the best way to track action items!

What Are Action Items and Why Do They Matter?

Action items are specific tasks or responsibilities that must be completed to achieve a shared goal. Used in a variety of settings including project management, business meetings, and even personal planning, action items help ensure that everyone involved knows what needs to be done as well as who is responsible. Action items typically include a task description, an assignee, a due date, the urgency of the task, a mechanism for action tracking to gauge progress and project status, and notes or comments where additional information can be added as necessary. Action items can be documented in various formats including meeting notes, to-do lists, project management software, or a dedicated action item management platform like Fellow

Benefits of using action items 

1. Keeps everyone on the same page

There's nothing worse than leaving a meeting and knowing that your teammates aren’t aligned on the next steps. Assigning action items during your meetings ensures everyone leaves on the same page with the same expectations and goals. 

2. Fosters accountability

Assigning action items during meetings is an excellent way to foster accountability amongst your teammates. It's one thing to say you're going to do something, but it's another to have it in writing with a deadline. If you want your teammates to do what they say they’re going to do, it's important to write it down in the form of an action item. This extra step will go a long way in holding your teammates accountable. 

Best Practices in Action Item Management

1. Set clear due dates

When writing action items, it's incredibly important to set clear due dates that work for the assignee. While you may want the action item to get done right away, it's important to speak to the assignee and make sure they have the capacity to not only take on the action item but also to get it done in your desired timeframe. When you’ve agreed on a deadline, make sure that everyone on your team is on the same page.

2. Include a description of the task

There's nothing worse than receiving an ambiguous task and spending hours on end trying to piece together the information you need to get the task done. As the action item assigner, it's your job to get as granular as possible. You’ll want to include a description of the task and ensure it encompasses everything the assignee needs to get the task done. Including all pertinent information in the task description will not only boost efficiency but will also reduce unnecessary back and forth communication.

3. Assign a task owner

Assigning a task owner as soon as you record an action item will ensure everyone on your team knows who is responsible for the action item, eliminating confusion from the start. While it is important to assign a task owner by noting it in the description of the action item, it's also important to let the task owner know they are responsible for the action item verbally during a meeting. Make sure you discuss who is responsible for each action item prior to ending the meeting. This will ensure everyone is informed and on the same page before getting to work.

4. Establish the priority of each action item

As an employee, it can be frustrating to have a never-ending list of tasks to do and not know where to start. Establishing the priority of each action item will help your teammates complete their tasks accordingly. For example, if the action item in question is an immediate priority, they may need to put other projects on the back burner. If the action item isn’t an immediate priority, they can continue to work on other projects and wrap up what they are currently working on before moving to the action item. This step of the action item tracking process is extremely important and should not be left out. Establishing the priority of each action item will foster clarity and accountability.

5. Use an action item tracking software 

If you struggle to foster accountability within your team after assigning action items, it may be time to incorporate a meeting management tool like Fellow, which is the best way to track action items. Fellow makes it possible to keep the momentum going after each meeting by providing you with one easy-to-use tool you can leverage to assign, visualize, and prioritize action item tracking in one place.

Action Item Management Tools and Software

1. Fellow

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to track action items, Fellow is the place to start. With Fellow, you can assign, visualize, and prioritize all your meeting to-dos in one place and sync them with tools like Jira, Asana, and Zapier. During your meetings, you can use Fellow to make clear decisions on who is doing what and when each task must be completed as well as follow up on action items.

Fellow empowers managers and their teams to: 

  • Keep track of work
  • interactions and feedback over time 
  • Collaborate on a meeting agenda before every one-on-one 
  • Assign clear action items and takeaways at the end of each meeting 
  • Centralize action items from different meetings in one personal to-do list 

After a meeting is over, you can re-organize your to-do list on Fellow’s Action Items page and check items off your list as you complete them! Any incomplete action items will automatically get carried into your next meeting so you can follow up on action items and keep your team accountable from one meeting to the next. These action items can also be grouped as needed—like by Stream, Due Date, or Custom. Additionally, Fellow is the only tool that allows you to assign multiple assignees to action items, so you’ll be able to hold team members accountable by tracking action items, even when more than one person in a meeting is responsible for completing a given action item.


2. Asana

Asana is a project management software platform that helps teams stay on track, keep projects organized, and hit deadlines. With Asana’s web and mobile apps, you can see project progress, track individual tasks, plan sprints, integrate with other tools, and achieve successful launches. Asana’s visual platform makes it possible for you to see project progress on boards as your team moves through the different phases of each project. 

You can access Asana’s features for free with the basic plan, opt for the premium plan that unlocks additional features for $10.99 a month, or provide your entire organization with everything it needs to manage and work cross-functionally through Asana’s business plan, which is $24.99 monthly per user.

Additional features and capabilities include: 

  • Task management 
  • Agile management 
  • Team collaboration 
  • Creation of to-do lists 
  • Workflow management
  • Excel project management 
  • Creation of Kanban boards 
  • Project planning and management
  • Creation of team and project calendars

3. ClickUp 

ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity tool built for teams of all types, in any industry. With ClickUp’s platform, you can plan, track, and collaborate on any project, build the perfect workflow for you and your team, create marketing campaigns, and manage development sprints. 

ClickUp caters to teams of all sizes, offering a plan for personal use that is completely free, as well as a plan for small teams that is $9 a month, a business plan for $19 a month, a business plus plan for $29 a month, and an enterprise plan that is priced according to your organization.

Additional features and functions include: 

  • Ideation 
  • Automation 
  • Time tracking 
  • Goal tracking 
  • Task management 
  • Collaborative docs 
  • Communication tools 
  • Resource management 
  • AI and project management

Mastering Action Item Management -Your Path to Enhanced Productivity

Mastering action item management is the key to enhancing productivity, not only for yourself, but also for your team. Practicing the tips, tricks, and best practices detailed in this article will ensure you have the resources and knowledge necessary to take your productivity to the next level.

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