How to write meeting minutes

What are meeting minutes?

Meeting minutes are a record of your meeting. It usually includes details of what happened, any decisions made and by who. Ensuring you do so is important. It serves as a reminder and record of future plans. They can also help you evaluate the effectiveness of your meetings so you can make improvements in the future. Always sit down and create an agenda for the meeting, even if it’s brief. When creating meeting minutes you want to include:

  • Guests
  • Goals of the meeting
  • When actions are happening
  • Tasks
  • What was discussed
  • Any motions that were taken or rejected
  • Any decisions made
  • Any documents, powerpoint slides and related paperwork

Where should I store them?

Be sure to store all your meeting minutes securely and together so you can refer back to them later. They are a good record of the meeting and are helpful for anyone who wasn’t able to attend. They can go over the notes and see what has been decided and why. They’re a tangible record of what’s happening. “Meeting minutes” doesn’t actually mean you have to record what happens during every single minute, but more of an overview. Write out clear and simple notes of what is happening. They can be taken on a laptop or noted down and written up later. There’s also the option of using a recording device and recording it on paper later.

Who writes them?

It’s good to have a separate person in charge of writing the meeting minutes. This way, they can put full focus on the task.  This individual should use the agenda as a guide when writing the notes. Let them know ahead of time the amount of detail you need as well as any special requirements. Keep the notes straight-forward and fact-based. Before sending them out, check them over and possibly write them up for clarity. Share your meeting minutes with your team so everyone has a record of what’s been decided. If you are noticing that goals aren’t being achieved or the meeting wasn’t very successful, use your notes to evaluate your meetings. Is there something you could do differently? Are there some things which would have been more appropriate for an email? Self-awareness is key, and meeting minutes can really help with this.

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