How to write the perfect meeting minutes

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In many companies it is common that meetings are logged. Minutes are a document in which discussion points, decisions and actions of a meeting are recorded. Minutes remind meeting attendees what your next tasks are. Also, the minutes can be forwarded to members of the team who were not present at the meeting. So minutes are there to make meetings more productive and useful. Without a protocol there is the danger that in meetings always the same is discussed without tangible results. So far all clear. But how do you actually write a purposeful protocol?

Before the meeting

Before the meeting takes place, it is important that you send the agenda for the meeting to all participants. The agenda can be created together with the moderator or meeting leader. It is important to note that the facilitator and recorder are not the same person. The following items should definitely be on the agenda:

  • What is the purpose of the meeting?
  • Where will the meeting take place?
  • Who will attend the meeting?
  • What will be discussed in the meeting?
  • What needs to be prepared before the meeting?

Based on the agenda, you can create a template for the minutes. This will help you keep structured notes during the meeting.

During the meeting

Taking minutes of meetings is not about recording every word of the meeting. With our template, you will record only the important items. In any case, decisions, next steps, and issues that need to be followed up on should be in the minutes. Small talk should not be included. However, the level of detail will be different in each company. If you are unsure what items should be entered in the minutes, it is best to ask how much detail is required in your company. Below is a list of all possible items that might be relevant to the minutes. You can use this list to ask internally what is important for your company to include in minutes.

  • Date and place
  • Names of meeting participants and those who cannot be present but should receive a copy of the minutes
  • Corrections / additions to previous meeting minutes
  • Objective of the meeting
  • Decisions made on each agenda item, for example:

o Agreed tasks

o Next Steps

o Voting results (if necessary, details on who made motions and who rejected or approved the motion)

o Actions taken

  • Date and time of the next meeting
  • Items for which there was no time and which need to be parked and followed up on later
  • Questions that need to be answered

After the meeting

Write the minutes as soon after the meeting as possible. This will help you make sure you still fully understand all the notes. The most important point after the meeting is to summarize the notes and share only the most important points with colleagues. Remember that minutes are not a "who said what" document?" document is. Names should be listed – except in the participant or. Copy list – only be included in the minutes if they are tied to action items. Once you have created the minutes, it is time to distribute the document to your colleagues. Send the document to all affected colleagues, including those who did not attend the meeting but are still participating in the project.

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