A Better One-on-One Form



If you are a manager you need 1:1s with your team. My Tuesday afternoon is pre-booked with my direct reports. I meet with them all, one at a time, and it’s worth every minute.

Since I don’t have the world’s most amazing memory, I use a form to jot down the things I want to talk about during our 30 minutes and to keep record of what they have to say. Also, since it’s not uncommon to end up talking about things we need to do, there needs to be a spot for action items.

At first I used a generic form I found on the Internet. But I kept getting frustrated by its horrendous layout and lack of flexibility. So I designed my own. And then re-designed it. And re-designed it again. I’ve gone through many different 1:1 forms over past Tuesdays, and I’ve finally found a minimal and flexible design that woks.

1-on-1 Tracking Form

The font is Gotham Bold, each text box has a quarter-inch grid, the headings are written in very plain and inviting terminology, and the color is 1/0 so a lot of these can be printed for dirt cheap.

I keep used and empty forms in a binder near my desk. It helps me not think about Tuesday afternoon until it’s Tuesday afternoon, when I just pull out last week’s forms and jot down any left-over items onto this week’s. If something comes up in-between Tuesdays I just pull out the binder. Or if I’m not at my desk, there’s a text file on my Mac that I throw things into.

If you’d like to use the form, redesign it and make it better, or anything else, feel free to go nuts: