Meeting minutes made easy

Whether school, university, SME or large company – in all cases, important meetings have something in common: the meeting minutes. Although the minutes (also Meeting minutes) as a task is one of the more unpopular and is occasionally ridiculed, the Protocol elementary for many processes.

The meeting minutes can do more than their reputation suggests

Thereby it can be e.g. to discuss the interim status of project management, the kick-off meeting, hybrid meeting or entrepreneurial development. A good meeting protocol facilitates follow-up as well as the evaluation of the decisions made and the status quo immensely. In addition, team members who did not participate in the meeting can also be informed in this way. With the right preparation, the minutes of the meeting are not a burden.

1. What belongs in a meeting protocol?

In order for the meeting protocol to fulfill its important function, some contain basic information its. What belongs in a meeting protocol:

  • date and place
  • Invited and participants
  • Moderator and Recorder
  • the Goal
  • the Items on the agenda (TOP)
  • the most important statements
  • the decisions made
  • the new and important findings
  • the outlook and next steps, if necessary. Follow-up meetings
  • the next tasks

Furthermore, meeting minutes can vary in length. Which details from the discussions flow into the writing depends thereby on the kind of the minutes.

Result protocol or progress protocol

In many cases, a distinction is made between Minutes of Results and the progress report distinguished. The results protocol summarizes the results of the meeting. It therefore focuses on the concrete results, but not to the discussions, consultations and agreements that led to these results. This type is particularly suitable for meetings that have a clear outcome as their goal, but where conversations can be very long or in large rounds if necessary.

The Progress log also covers the course of the conversation and thus show the decision making process. This variant is therefore more extensive and also requires a little more concentration in order to also record the important milestones up to the conclusion.

If it has to be very precise: the verbatim record

An even more concrete form is the Word protocol. This is followed by a Transcription of all statements, so that the entire conversation is written down word for word. Due to extensive follow-up and greater effort, verbatim minutes are now rare, especially in regular meetings.

2. write minutes

To write meeting minutes, you should 5 important steps follow. This way you can reliably take notes during the meeting and also effectively prepare and follow up on everything important.

(a) Define principles

First and foremost, work with your project manager, facilitators, or stakeholders to define the Define principles for "writing minutes. If it is to be a record of the results, the course of events or the verbatim record? Here you can determine how extensive the minutes will be and what should be included.

At this point you should also Define the objective. What are the minutes for??

  • as a compact summary of the most important decisions and findings
  • as a protocol of the process or. of the decision making process
  • will it only be archived or should it be possible to use it afterwards? If yes, for what?

(b) Preparation

The proverb "Organization is everything" also apply to the Writing minutes. If you have determined in advance what content is to be included in the minutes, then you can use fields or. Create placeholders for them. For regular events, this works best with a Meeting protocol template resp. a meeting agenda template, more on this later. Create this either as a printout, if you are taking notes on paper, or in a digital document.

If people participate who do not know you as the minute taker, then the preparation should include u.a. Putting up name tags. If specific materials or presentations are to be used, they should also be provided in advance.

(c) Take minutes

The next step is! Record all important information in accordance with the arrangements Structured as clearly as possible, To simplify the post-processing. Also adhere to second document ready, on which you note ambiguities to be able to clarify at the appropriate time. This way, you won’t forget any queries and the actual protocol writing won’t get mixed up.

If you have questions about certain topics or terms Consider shortcuts and hold on to them, then you can thereby take notes faster. You should document the abbreviations so that they can be understood by others.

(d) Follow-up

Following the meeting, it is often a question of Follow-up of the meeting minutes. For this purpose you should u.a. Photograph sketches made on boards or paper and include them in the digital minutes, or. provide as an attachment. With the wrap-up of the meeting minutes should you also Have clarified all open questions and write out your transcript legibly, should you have taken notes in bullet points.

(e) Distribute

As soon as you are done with the wrap-up, the Distribute meeting minutes to participants. Make it available to parties who were not present if necessary. Share your record in the right place, for example by e-mail, on the intranet or in your project management software. So it is also digitally archived and retrievable at any time.

Meeting minutes: tips for writers

Follow up 5 tips for good meeting minutes:

  1. Do not moderate and take minutes at the same time
  2. In case of ambiguity in any case ask questions
  3. Taken down directly in the right place locate
  4. Start follow-up immediately, because the memory protocol is deceptive
  5. Remain neutral and not judge

3. Prepare meeting agenda

The The basis of every meeting is the meeting agenda. It contains fields for the most important information and summarizes the Agenda items (TOP) together, which are to be discussed. The Meeting Agenda is the roadmap for all participants and make the task much easier especially for the minute taker. The meeting agenda contains all information about the meeting, i.e. participants, background, date and co.

In addition also a time allocation for the agenda items made – so time management also comes into play here. In this way, the agenda also sets priorities, so to speak: If topics are given a large amount of time, it may also be because you are very important and should be discussed in more depth. Of course, the time allotted also depends on the extent to which key issues have already been addressed in advance and therefore require less discussion.

4. Templates for protocols

With Meeting Agenda Templates you can plan efficiently, especially for regular appointments, and thus also facilitate the creation of the meeting minutes. If your appointments follow a clear structure, you can Create as meeting minutes template and use it again and again. This eliminates the need to query the organizational fields in particular and allows you to focus on the relevant TOP in each case. If you prefer, you can choose to use the meeting minutes Work directly in the template or your Transfer results to the template.

create a template and reuse it

You can create an agenda template in many different ways. On the Internet, for example, you will find many Templates for Word or Excel. These help with easy and quick editing, but are relatively rigid and not necessarily suitable for team sharing either. Especially if the files are often only on local storage, the advantage fizzles out.

Another option for meeting minutes is to use project and task management software such as z.B. factro. Here you can quickly and easily create lists from the relevant tasks, to go through them in a meeting. Each task is an agenda item. Decisions, next steps or intermediate statuses can be directly annotated into the task and be directly visible to everyone. This is how Minutes interactive and targeted.

Meeting function with automatic minutes

Alternatively, you can create your own Create a task for the meeting and write in it. In the future, the factro meeting function will make it even easier to create, edit and summarize the meeting agenda. In a separate program area you can collect all tasks specifically for an agenda.

At the start of the meeting, the tasks come into focus as an agenda item. You can make adjustments directly, write comments and add attachments. Afterwards automatically create a log of the changes created, so that the follow-up is easier.

5. Conclusion: Writing minutes without frustration

Although meeting minutes are a disliked task in many places, they don’t have to be. It has Important operational function, it summarizes important decisions for all participants – from project team members to stakeholders. It also helps retrospectively with lessons learned and constant improvement.

Moreover, with good preparation and the right meeting agenda templates, meeting minutes are not a hurdle in terms of organization either. If you use a collaboration software, you can also record all decisions in real time for all participants.

See for yourself!
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