Writing minutes of a meeting: guide, checklist, sample

It is not uncommon to be faced with this situation on the job: the boss or a colleague cannot attend an important meeting. To ensure that all important information is transmitted correctly, a Meeting minutes important. You can find guidelines, a checklist and an example of an interview protocol here.

Table of contents: What to expect in this article

Call log: The meaning behind it

The meeting minutes are the record of the conversation that took place. Prepare well for the meeting with our checklist. It would be a shame if you were interrupted in their recording by a dead pen or laptop battery. (#3)

The meeting protocol is the record of the conversation held. Prepare well for the meeting with our checklist. It would be a pity if you were interrupted in your recording by an empty ballpoint pen or laptop battery. (#3)

Basically, the interview protocol from the job is not much different from the protocol, as it is already known since the school days. Anyone who is active in an association will also be accustomed to taking minutes. The purpose is clear: in retrospect, with the help of the recordings, it should be clear, even for people who did not participate in a meeting, a session or a conversation, what the most important points were that were raised in the meeting.

However, the purpose of a meeting transcript is not only to inform people who were not present. The minutes also record the agenda items so that participants will know later what topics were brought to the table.

For this reason, it is essential that the minute-taker notes exactly what the meeting was about. There are two main methods of taking minutes: On the one hand, the entire flow of speech is logged. This can be particularly stressful at times and also difficult to read afterwards. The second and quite popular variant is to record the theses, the most important points and all relevant results as well.

It goes without saying that the person taking the minutes must be equipped with paper and pen or a laptop to take notes at the meeting. Numbering and main points already help to structure the transcript clearly when writing it down.

Key Points: Interview transcript

The most important thing about the minutes is their clarity. This saves valuable time later on, no matter whether the participants themselves read the minutes or a person who was absent. It should be clear at first glance what meeting is being held.

Essential information should go directly into the log header:

  • Heading
  • Date and Time
  • Topic of the meeting
  • Participants

With the help of the short and concise protocol header it is possible to quickly identify which meeting or. which meeting it is. All core information can therefore be found in the header of the interview protocol.

Then briefly record who all took part in the conversation. This has the advantage that it can also be determined at first glance who is working on a project or who is not. participated in the meeting. After that, the minutes are divided into so-called "sections" "Agenda items" (TOP.). This does not have to be done directly when taking notes, but can only be structured during subsequent editing. However, an outline is definitely important and useful in order to maintain a certain degree of clarity.

Video on the "Why actually a protocol?"

Guideline for the preparation of a meeting protocol

When preparing a protocol, the W-questions help to collect the essential information completely. (#1)

When writing a protocol, the W-questions help to collect the essential information completely. (#1)

The protocol header

If you are unsure which contents should be recorded in a meeting protocol, you can help yourself with the help of the so-called W-questions. In the head of the protocol the most important W-questions must be worked off at first.

  • Who? (Name the participants)
  • What? (Meeting protocol for the [occasion])
  • When? (date and time)

If all these questions are answered, the Minutes header already very meaningful and can also convey the essential information to absent persons at first glance. Afterwards, it is important to record further important contents that were mentioned in the conversation. This includes not only dates, deadlines, the current status of the project and conditions, but also possible solutions or criticism.

The transcript of all events

As already mentioned, it is not necessary to write down and reproduce the entire conversation word for word. Such specific protocols are usually only required in court. In the case of meeting minutes, it is sufficient if the key statements or. the quintessence should be recorded. Here, too, a certain procedure helps:

  1. Problem / Statement / Thesis
  2. Proposed solution / answer
  3. Deadline / Date / Responsibilities

In a meeting often hardly other contents are addressed, than the points specified under 1) to 3). These keywords help with each new bullet point, not to lose the thread and to write down the essential information.

Things to know about the meeting protocol

So if you have to take one or more minutes of a meeting, you should first make the right preparations: First of all, you should have enough paper and a pen. Remember that especially in long meetings a pen that writes well is essential. The writing tool should be comfortable to hold, so that even after two hours of taking notes, it still works perfectly.

If you decide to take notes with your laptop, you should make sure that the battery is fully charged. An empty battery or a forgotten charging cable makes for embarrassing moments and may unnecessarily prolong a conversation if remedial action is still required.

Nothing can go wrong after proper preparation. If you are not sure how to write the minutes, you should always ask again. Especially during the conversation, participants tend to speak quickly and in a disorganized manner.

This often happens too quickly for the person taking notes. You should not be afraid to ask again in the case of specific deadlines or important information. This is the only way to ensure good quality of the transcript.

Checklist interview protocol at a glance

Checklist: this is what you should prepare for the interview protocol. (#2)

Checklist: what you should prepare for the interview protocol. (#2)

Preparation:

  • Pen and Paper Ready
  • Laptop check, Battery charger cable take with you
  • Head of the protocol already written
  • Bullet points in the document facilitate the writing flow

While taking minutes:

  • Conversation participants and its Core statement note
  • Especially Deadlines Enter
  • Report if it goes too fast resp. ask
  • Numbering help to structure

Write in the pure form:

  • Protocol on red faden check
  • Completeness Review: Are all important information included?
  • Proofread

Example of a conversation protocol

The following example shows what a conversation protocol can look like. In this case, the record was limited only to the essential results and the mentioned deadlines of the fictitious meeting for the catalog creation of a company. But as a sample or template for a conversation protocol you can use it without further ado.

Protocol header:
Minutes of the meeting catalog design with Mr. Schneider on 01.02.2017, 11 o’clock

Participants:
Mr. Schneider,
Mrs. Muller (minute taker),
Mr. Meyer (Meyer printing company)

Subject: Course of the catalog design for the winter collection 2017/2018

  • TOP 1: Greeting
  • TOP 2: Prioritization
  • TOP 3: Printable files

ITEM 1:
Mr. Schneider welcomes the attendees and submits the topic of today’s meeting: the catalog design for the winter collection 2017/18. Mrs. Mueller is selected as a protocolist. It is incumbent upon her to inform Ms. Hansen (who is ill)

TOP2:
Mr. Schneider sets the following deadlines and responsibilities for the catalog design

  • to 01.04.2017: Selection of product photos (Ms. Muller, Ms. Hansen)
  • 02.04.2017, 10 a.m. Presentation of Findings ..

Photo credits: © Fotolia – cover photo Sergey Nivens, #1 Tatjana Balzer, #2 stas111

About the author

Marius Beilhammer, born in 1969, studied journalism in Bamberg, Germany. He has been writing for technical magazines for many years, and is also a freelance author on a wide range of market and business topics. As a Franconian cheerful nature, he always finds the balance between lightness and comprehensive know-how in his work due to his pronounced affinity for technology.

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