Too many people in a meeting. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Too much of a good thing.  If you’re trying to complete a specific task or make a decision, five is generally the maximum number of people who can meaningfully participate in a meeting.

Being the thorough and attentive assistants that they are, Amy and Andrew will work with everyone on an email—in both the “To” and “Cc” fields—to get your meeting on the calendar.

And yet, there are times when you initiate a meeting and not everyone on the email chain needs to attend. We’ve designed Amy and Andrew to be smart about attendees. You can let them know someone is “optional,” and they won’t reach out to this guest to coordinate a time. They will send them the final event invite, so that everyone on the original email chain stays in the loop. Here’s all you need to say—

“Amy please set up a phone call for early next week; Angela and Dwight are optional.”

You can also send this information in a separate email, if you only want Amy or Andrew to see who you’re deeming optional.

“Amy, please make Pam optional for my meeting with Stanley.”

As with all communications with Amy and Andrew, be sure to send your private note within the original email chain. That way, they’ll  know which meeting you’re referring to.

There’s one other way to let Amy and Andrew know who they should be working with to schedule a specific meeting. Let them know who’s required to participate. When you hand off the meeting, you can just let them know who you want to meet with, and they’ll assume anyone else is optional. Like this:

“Amy, please find a time for Michael and I to have a call”

Amy will know you want to meet with Michael. And if Kevin is cc’d, she’ll know she doesn’t need to reach out to him.

Letting Amy and Andrew know that certain participants are optional helps them schedule your meeting faster. Not incidentally, you’re also saving your colleagues and contacts precious time. You may even rack up some good karma in the process.


More tips from Amy & Andrew’s human help.

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