Busy families can have a hard time finding a moment to be together. It's important to have time set aside when everyone can be in one place and catch up on the goings-on of the other family members.
Family meetings can be as formal or informal as you like, depending on your family dynamic. The International Network for Children and Families (INCF) recommends a more formal structure, where the group elects a new leader and secretary at each meeting. Meetings should be held at a table (not during meal time) as opposed to the family room, so that distractions are at a minimum. A key feature of the INCF method is that decisions can only be made by consensus, rather than by majority vote. If the group cannot reach a unanimous decision, then set aside the topic until the next meeting and try again (source: International Network for Children and Familes).
The publishers of the STEP Into Parenting materials (STEP stands for Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) also recommend setting aside protected time for family conferences, but with a slightly more casual approach. Their guidelines include delegating chores, encouraging everyone (no matter how young) to speak and posting an agenda on the fridge ahead of time to give everyone an opportunity to add to it.
Tactics like family meetings and carpooling can help manage your family's time, but what happens when you say "yes" to too many things?