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How to write meeting minutes (template included)

We discuss the process for taking meeting minutes and how to do it effectively.

Published : January 27, 2023

Author : Alexis Turner

If you've ever been in a meeting where you’ve been tasked with taking notes, you know that it can be a daunting responsibility. Not only do you have to make sure you don't miss anything important, but you also have to try to capture what can be a rapid discussion in a clear and concise way.

This can be especially challenging if you're new to taking meeting minutes or if the discussion is particularly spirited. In this article, we will discuss the process for taking meeting minutes, including tips for who should take the minutes and what should be included in the notes. So let's get started and learn how to take meeting minutes that will help keep your team productive and accountable.

What are Meeting Minutes?

Meeting minutes are a set of notes, taken during the meeting, that capture key information. At a minimum, the minutes should capture who was present at the meeting, the decisions that were made, and the actions that were assigned. It’s also helpful to include a brief summary of the discussion that led to the decisions.

After the meeting, the minutes provide a document that can be referred back to, ensuring everyone knows what actions they are responsible for and what decisions were agreed upon. You can also use illustrations or diagrams to explain concepts more clearly and include relevant links to websites, articles, and other sources to support points made in the minutes.

What is the purpose of Meeting Minutes

The purpose of meeting minutes is to provide a record of what happened in the meeting and to serve as a reference for all those who attended. Meeting minutes are an essential part of any meeting, as they ensure that all important information is recorded, agreed upon, and documented. Meeting minutes should provide a clear, concise summary of what was discussed, decisions that were made, and actions that were assigned. 

They should also provide any relevant links or further sources of information. Meeting minutes help to ensure that project goals and objectives are tracked and that all stakeholders are kept up to date on progress. Additionally, meeting minutes are a helpful tool for understanding where the project currently stands and for making sure that team members follow through with their assigned tasks.

What Should You Include When Writing Meeting Minutes?

As silly as it may sound, mundane information is sometimes the most important. Noting the date, time, and people attending is standard. What isn’t helpful is having the whole word-for-word conversation that was said during the meeting, recorded.

Instead, note and summarize the key topics discussed and decisions made during the meeting. These should include any assignments or action items agreed upon.

You can use Craft's free meeting minutes template to quickly capture your minutes for your next meeting.

Free meeting notes template
Craft's meeting meetings template allows you to capture and share meeting minutes easily

How To Take Efficient Meeting Minutes: a step by step guide

Clearly Identify The Agenda Of The Meeting

You should review the agenda and understand the topics to be discussed prior to the start of the meeting. During the meeting, the minute-taker should pay close attention to the conversation and record the highlights of the conversation, including any action items, decisions, and agreements. Meeting minutes also help keep the team or organization focused on the agenda. For more tips read: How to create an effective meeting agenga.

What To Include In Meeting Minutes

During a meeting, it is important to record action items to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the tasks are completed in a timely manner. Additionally, tracking the action items helps to measure the success of the initiatives discussed and to ensure progress is being made. Action items provide a lead for everyone to follow and are useful for recapping decisions, action items, points of discussion, and any further follow-up that may be needed.

Debates and thoughts pertaining to the conversation should be noted, along with who mentioned them. It is essential to record the details of any choices made or action items identified, including who is accountable for each.

Furthermore, the minutes should include any assignments or action items agreed upon during the meeting, along with contact information for each participant. Finally, the minutes should also include any other relevant information, such as timelines and deadlines.

To summarise - you should include the following points in your meeting minutes:

  • Date
  • Attendees
  • Agenda
  • Acceptance or amendments to previous minutes
  • Actions (with deadlines and persons tasked)

Approval Of Meeting Minutes

Your minutes should accurately reflect what was discussed during the meeting. So, after writing up the notes, you should ensure all parties involved agree with the contents.

Sharing Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes can be shared in a variety of ways depending on the preference of the group. If you use Craft, you can simply create a link to your meeting minutes and share that with all attendees. 

You could also send the notes via email, share them via file-sharing programs such as Dropbox or Google Drive, or post them on a collaboration platform. Additionally, the meeting minutes could be printed out and shared with the group physically.

It is important to ensure that the minutes are shared with all the meeting participants in a timely manner. This is so everyone is aware of the decisions and action items made during the meeting and is able to follow up on any tasks assigned to them. Go over and discuss the description of the task, the deadline for completion, and the person responsible for carrying out the task.

Hold Stakeholders Accountable For Key Actions

By accurately documenting the topics discussed and decisions made, meeting minutes can serve as a reference for your whole team. They provide a written record that can be used to remind stakeholders of any action items or assignments that were agreed upon. This can be especially helpful when team members are working on long-term projects and need to reference back to previous meetings.

Meeting minutes can also be helpful in documenting progress on specific projects. By documenting what was discussed and what decisions were made at each meeting, you can track the team's progress and identify any areas where further discussion is needed. This can be a valuable tool for project managers and team leads who need to stay on top of multiple projects at once.

Final Thoughts

Overall, meeting minutes (aka meeting notes) are a valuable way to keep your team organized and on track. By taking the time to accurately document the topics discussed and decisions made, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that important information is not forgotten.

You can use Craft’s free meeting minutes template to quickly capture and share your meeting minutes.

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