Enough time and effort should be invested in warming up and in ongoing team building activities, to lay the social basis for good topic-centered collaboration.
The agenda and the minutes are central instruments for structuring meetings and achieving meeting results.
A meeting follows an agenda, which is circulated in advance and can be amended at the beginning of the meeting.
It is good practice to go through the minutes of the last meeting and select a minute-taker for the current session. A template can be used for the minutes. It should include the date, the participants, the agenda and the results of the meeting. To provide clarity on sensitive issues, it might be good to share the screen with the notes for the minutes, to ensure everybody has the same understanding.
In addition to minutes, other tools might be used for visualization and documentation, e.g. whiteboards or mindmaps. These might grow over time. Therefore, it might pay off to properly introduce these tools to all team members.
To make the meeting more efficient, specific rules can be agreed upon, e.g. that during the meeting, all cellphones are switched off, cameras are turned on, participants interact in the chat or by videoconferencing icons, etc...