Do you feel stressed out and troubled when you are supposed to write meeting minutes? The minutes of a meeting are of tremendous importance and contain all the details of an important, possibly contentious event.
There’s a reason why meeting minutes are important. You may not be able to see the meeting minutes but the outcomes of meetings in the real world, and the decisions that are made from them, can be traced and evaluated – often with unpleasant consequences.
Most of the organizations take minutes because they need to record who was present at the meeting and who was absent, what was discussed, what decisions were taken, and so on. Meeting minutes also helps to measure drive accountability and used as legal protection if necessary. We may not remember what was discussed during the meeting if we don’t have well-written meeting minutes.
This article will help you to free from meeting minutes stress with the effective tools and techniques to prepare your meeting minutes, record relevant information during the meeting and be able to write a comprehensive set of meeting minutes for your readers. Use these tips and tricks to make sure that the meeting is productive and effective.
Preparation Before the Meeting
Formats of Meeting Minutes
Like any other type of writing it is important to structure the meeting minutes properly. You can identify the different standard formats for meeting minutes, select the suitable meeting minute templates then proceed to outline the meeting minute template before the meeting start.
There are three formats of meeting minutes:
- Chronological format (Flow format) is used to write the meeting minutes in a way that there is a proper order of the information. The chronological format is used to record the timing of every event in the meeting.
- Outline format is used to record the most important information in the meeting using headings and subheadings to organize the information.
- Descriptive format is used to record a meeting in narrative form.
The meeting minutes should be organized into four sections:
- The first section should be titled Meeting Purpose.
- The second section should be titled Meeting Objective.
- The third section should be titled Summary of Meeting Proceedings.
- The last section is a brief conclusion of the meeting.
The meeting agenda is important information used to help the participants prepare for the meeting. The meeting agenda must define clearly to cover the meeting’s topics, questions, resolutions, and other agenda items to discuss during the meeting. Clear meeting agenda can help in taking meeting minutes effectively.
Note Taking During the Meeting
Note Taking Techniques
Identify different techniques for taking notes during the meeting, what to include in the minutes and what to leave out of the minutes.
You can start with the basic details such as the date and time of the meeting, location of the meeting, names of the participants, and presenters if the meeting was held. Meeting minutes should be used to record the most important things said in the meeting:
- Actions and tasks assigned to each person
- Resources needed for the tasks
- Date by which the action must be accomplished
- Issues and problems encountered during the meeting
- Next steps to be taken to complete the task
Listening and Summarizing
It’s important to be aware of the fact that you can’t record everything because listening to the meeting and taking notes at the same time can be quite challenging. In order to be sure that you record summarize everything that is important you have to be focused during the meeting especially when there are a lot of participants in the meeting
It’s important to be aware of the fact that you can’t record everything because listening to the meeting and taking notes at the same time can be quite challenging. In this case, the meeting note-taking app can help. It’s a more convenient way of recording what’s going on in the meeting room. So, here are our top 4 picks for the best meeting note-taking apps: Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, Evernote, and Zoho. Most of the meeting note-taking apps allow you to type text notes, attach files, record, and archive audio notes. You can also use it to take pictures of documents and files to archive as part of your meeting minutes. It is advisable to make use of your smartphone or a good audio recorder plus a notepad to make notes during the meeting.
Follow Up After the Meeting
Have the meeting minutes reviewed and approved by the team (or the person who reports to the team) before they are sent to the stakeholders.
After the meeting minutes distributed to all participants after the meeting. It is important to carry out follow up after the meeting. The purpose of meeting minutes is to communicate to the management team the decisions made during the meeting. Follow-up meeting minutes are important because they serve as a reminder for the managers to help them perform their tasks in their respective areas. There are some reasons why you should create the follow-up minutes are:
- To make sure that a task that has been delegated to somebody has been carried out properly
- To make sure that a particular task is not forgotten about To make sure that a task is done on time.
I hope that this article will help you to how to write understandable meeting minutes with the help of effective tools and techniques. If you know some other tips and tricks that you would like to share with us, feel free to do it in the comment section.