Q. I often create agendas and schedules with a certain amount of time allotted for each agenda item — for example, 10 minutes for introductions, six minutes for each team to propose their ideas, etc. I have to change the times manually each time I make a new agenda. Is there a way Excel can assist?
A. You can incrementally increase times for your agenda by a certain number of minutes. This helps calculate the exact times by the number of minutes allotted to each agenda item without having to keep adjusting the times. I find this particularly useful when there is a hard end to a meeting, so it is imperative that we don't run out of time for certain agenda items. See the screenshot below for an example of an agenda with time increments included. Download an Excel workbook to follow along.
In cell A1, I entered the start time of the meeting. In cell A2, I entered =A1+TIME(0,5,0). As you can see, I have added the TIME function to the start time of the meeting. The TIME function has three arguments: hours, minutes, and seconds. I entered zero for hours, 5 for minutes, and zero for seconds. You could change this to any time increment you choose, but I only wanted five minutes for introductions in my meeting.
I knew I had to be done by 7 p.m., and I wanted each team to receive equal time, so I allocated four minutes for the transition, 22 minutes for each presentation, four minutes for each discussion, and three minutes for concluding remarks. See the screenshot below for the formulas in A3 through A10.
View a video demonstration of incrementally increasing time in Excel at the bottom of this article.
About the author
Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D., MBA, is an associate professor of accounting at the Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University.
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