How to write effective meeting minutes. With templates and examples.

Dec 16th, 2019

What are meeting minutes?

They're an official record of the meeting for its participants and a source of information for teammates who were unable to attend. They are meant to be a permanent written record for future references about decisions made. It's often useful as a back-up document.

Despite the name, meeting minutes don't have to be a record of every single "minute." On the contrary, it is vital to learn how to include the most relevant pieces of information, while staying synthetic and structured.

Step-by-step guide
1. What should you include when writing meeting minutes?
2. How to prepare before the meeting?
3. Examples and templates of meeting minutes
4. After the meeting: finalize and share the meeting minutes
5. Easily run productive team meetings with Slite

Meetings are essential to move things forward in organizations. But they're also infamous for their inefficiency: according to Doodle 2019 state of meeting report, the cost of poorly handled meetings in 2019 will reach $399 billion in the U.S solely.

That's why learning how to write effective meeting minutes is vital to leverage all the efforts spent in meetings and make your team or company thrive.

You're in luck 'cause we've put together a step-by-step guide for you to improve your note-taking skills and run more productive meetings.

What should you include when writing meeting minutes?

To write effective meeting minutes you should include:

  1. Meeting name and place
  2. Date and time of the meeting
  3. List of meeting participants
  4. Purpose of the meeting
  5. For each agenda items: decisions, action items, and next steps
  6. Next meeting date and place
  7. Documents to be included in the meeting report

Efficiency & pro tips:

  • Type directly on your laptop, so you don't have to retype everything later.
  • If anything is unclear, speak up and ask for clarification right away, so you won't have to poke around after the meeting. Don't leave room for ambiguity.
  • Capture essential points only. Write down the main decisions and action items concisely, you don't want to miss any. You'll always have time to get back to it when wrapping-up after the meeting if you wish to add some more details.
  • 8 tips to run effective team meetings: we wrote a dedicated guide to help you run great team meetings.

How to prepare before the meeting?

A great meeting starts before you actually start writing minutes. 

To ensure maximum efficiency you should always clarify what is expected of you as the note-taker, especially if you are new to it. 

It's also important to check with the meeting owner that the meeting agenda is set in advance. Not only is it the path to running effective team meetings but it's a great way to be more efficient:

  • use the agenda items to prepare an outline for your document and pre-fill the list of meeting attendees.
  • If necessary, include a reference to items from the previous meeting that attendees would need to be aware of.
  • And last but not least, if you're using a note-taking software (such as Slite), you can set-up meeting minutes templates for different meetings and pre-attach relevant documents to the note (meeting presentation, report to be discussed...).

That way, when you actually get to the meeting, you're ready to write down the important stuff.

Related content: discover how to run effective meetings with Slite

Examples of meeting minutes template

Depending on the type of meeting you'll want to structure your meeting minutes differently.
Below is an example of minutes items for an informal meeting. You can also discover fully customizable meetings notes templates here.

Try it live 👇

Finalizing the meeting minutes

You should wrap-up your notes right after the meeting, while the meeting's still fresh in your mind:

  • Complete your meeting notes and clarify points if necessary.
  • Double-check that decisions and actions are precisely noted.
  • Keep things as concise and digestible as possible. 
  • Proofread with care. Nowadays you can use automated grammar checkers such as Grammarly to help you go faster.
  • If needed send the draft to the meeting leader before sharing with other attendees. (Especially for most formal meetings such as "board of directors" or committee meetings.) 

Share the meeting minutes

You made it! This last step is crucial: make sure to share your meeting minutes with all meeting attendees and relevant stakeholders.
Furthermore, you can choose to host the meeting minutes in a collaborative tool like Slite so that everyone has easy access to it. 

Discover more about how Slite can help you run great meetings with your team or try it for free and start editing your templates.

Easily run productive team meetings with Slite

Productive and effective team meetings are not only good meeting minutes: you'll need to ensure that the right people have access to the right knowledge before, during and after your meetings and can easily collaborate on it. 

Slite will help you make your team meetings better:

  • Save time on team meeting preparation. Prepare your own meeting templates and start taking beautiful notes in seconds.
  • Collaborate in real-time. Every member of your team or external contributors can edit or comment on the same document automatically sync in real-time.
  • Share documents in seconds. Decide who can access them, share it through email, slack or attach it to a calendar event on the fly.
  • Organize and centralize your team meeting documentation. Slite provides a powerful yet simple workspace to act as a single source of truth for your team. 

Write great meeting minutes

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