Many years ago, Rob Lauten of Lauten Construction, in Purcellville, Va., began holding weekly meetings with his clients. It only took a few months, however, before he realized that these relatively unstructured confabs weren't accomplishing what they were supposed to. "They became really conversational," Lauten says. "This form helps us focus them."

The first two sections of the agenda are filled out prior to the meeting; the second two, during it. Lauten uses the form -- and holds the meetings -- with clients on jobs lasting more than a couple of weeks. He's found that it's generally the most efficient way to communicate with clients.

"Sometimes, homeowners can be hard to get a hold of," Lauten says. "If you write down your questions and ask them all at once, it's more efficient." Click here to view a PDF of the sample form.