How to Write Meeting Minutes: Examples & Tips

June 12, 2023

Meeting minutes provide a formal record of discussions during a meeting, including decisions made, actions assigned, and deadlines agreed upon. They function as an official reference document for both meeting attendees and those who were unable to participate.

However, many people find the task of writing meeting minutes daunting, often due to a lack of understanding of what it involves or how to make the output both effective and efficient. If you're tasked with this responsibility or are looking to enhance your minute-taking skills, you will find this blog post highly beneficial.

We aim to guide you through the basic principles, onto the detailed processes, all the way to the advanced nuances of writing meeting minutes. Our step-by-step approach will enable you to capture important information accurately and concisely, thus, becoming an integral part of the corporate communication chain. So, let's delve into the practical and valuable world of professional note-taking, where every decision, task, and deadline is critical.

What Are Meeting Minutes?

Meeting minutes are an official written record of a meeting, encapsulating discussions, decisions, task assignments, and deadlines. These notes are not only a tool for accountability, indicating task assignments, but also serve as a reliable reference for decisions, preventing future misunderstandings. In certain organizational contexts, they can also act as legal documents.

Examining minutes over time reveals progress on tasks and assesses meeting efficiency. For non-attendees, these records offer an overview of the proceedings, keeping them informed. While preparing minutes, it's vital to maintain clarity and conciseness, capturing essential details like date, time, participant names, agenda items, and respective discussions and decisions.

How to take meeting minutes

  • Prepare Ahead: 

Understand the meeting agenda in advance. Identify key items that will likely require decisions or actions.

  • Be Objective:

The minutes should be an unbiased record of the meeting. Avoid personal interpretations or asides.

  • Stay Focused:

Keep track of the conversation, and don’t get too caught up in small details. Concentrate on decisions, tasks, and key points.

  • Use Participants' Names:

Record who said what. This is important for accountability and follow-up.

  • Clarify Uncertainties

If a point isn't clear, don't hesitate to ask for clarification during or immediately after the meeting.

  • Record Action Items:

Include who is assigned each task, the task details, and the deadline.

  • Review and Edit:

Re-read the minutes for clarity, grammar, and punctuation while the meeting is still fresh in your mind.

  • Quick Turnaround:

Try to finalize and distribute the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting, while the discussions are still fresh in everyone's mind.

  • Get Approval:

Once finalized, meeting minutes typically require the approval of the meeting chair or facilitator.

  • Maintain Confidentiality:

Some meetings may discuss sensitive information. Ensure you respect and maintain necessary confidentiality when taking and sharing minutes.

  • Save:

Keep minutes in an easily accessible and secure place for future reference. They are official documents and should be treated as such.

  • Amendments to previous meeting minutes

If you realize something from a previous version is incorrect or a key detail is missing be sure to mention it in the next meeting so you can accurately amend it.

What Should You Include When Writing Meeting Minutes?

Remember, meeting minutes need not capture every single detail. Rather, they should provide a concise and clear summary that reflects the discussion and decisions made, tasks assigned, and the timeline for those actions.

  1. Title and Type of Meeting: Whether it's a board meeting, a team meeting, or any other type, note it down along with a clear title.
  2. Date and Time: The exact date and time when the meeting was held.
  3. Meeting Location: Where the meeting was held. In case of a virtual meeting, mention the platform used.
  4. Attendees: A list of the participants present and their roles. Include a note of those who were expected but could not attend.
  5. Agenda Items: Each topic or issue that was meant to be discussed during the meeting.
  6. Summary of Discussion: A brief account of the conversation for each agenda item, capturing key points, ideas, and debates.
  7. Action Items: Who has been assigned what tasks, including a brief description of the task, and deadlines for each.
  8. Decisions Made: What was decided or agreed upon during the meeting for each agenda item.
  9. Vote Counts: If votes were taken, include the results, noting how many were in favor, against, or abstained.
  10. Next Meeting: Details of the next scheduled meeting, if applicable.
  11. Attachments or Supporting Documents: Any reports, charts, or other documents discussed during the meeting can be attached or referred to in the minutes.

Who takes meeting minutes?

Typically, the responsibility of taking minutes during a meeting falls to a designated person called a minute-taker or a meeting recorder. In formal meetings, such as a board of directors' meeting or a shareholders' meeting, this person is often a professional secretary or an administrative assistant. They are usually not involved in the substance of the meeting, allowing them to focus on accurately recording the proceedings.

In less formal settings, like a team or project meeting, the task may be assigned to one of the attendees. In some teams, the responsibility rotates among members. Whoever is chosen should have good listening, note-taking, and organizational skills, as these are key to producing clear, concise, and accurate minutes.

It's important to note that the minute-taker should always be decided before the meeting starts, to ensure that they are prepared for their role. It is also a good practice to have the minute-taker review and finalize the minutes promptly after the meeting, while the discussions are still fresh in their mind.

Meeting Minutes Examples

Board of Directors Quarterly Meeting

Date and Time: June 9, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Location: Main Boardroom

Attendees: Sofia Martinez (Chairperson), Takumi Suzuki (Vice Chairperson), Nia Davies (Director, Marketing), Djamila Benali (Director, Sales), and Priyanka Patel (Director, Customer Service)

Absent: Alessandro Rossi (Director, Product)

Agenda Items:

  • Review of last quarter's sales performance
  • Takumi Suzuki presented the sales figures for the past quarter.
  • A thorough discussion took place regarding the decline in sales in the latter part of the quarter.
  • Presentation and discussion on the proposed marketing strategy for the upcoming product launch
  • Nia Davies presented the proposed marketing plan for the new product.
  • The board agreed that increased social media engagement should be part of the strategy.
  • Presentation and discussion on recent customer feedback and proposed resolution strategies
  • Priyanka Patel presented an analysis of recent customer feedback.
  • Sofia Martinez emphasized the importance of addressing the issues raised by customers, and the board discussed potential strategies.

Action Items:

  1. Takumi Suzuki to commission an in-depth analysis into the factors contributing to the dip in sales and present findings at the next board meeting (Deadline: September 1, 2023).
  2. Nia Davies to work with his team to develop a comprehensive social media strategy for the new product launch (Deadline: June 30, 2023).
  3. Priyanka Patel to formulate a new customer service protocol to better address customer concerns (Deadline: June 30, 2023).

Decisions Made:

The board approved the proposal to adopt a more aggressive social media strategy for the new product launch (Unanimous approval).

The board agreed to overhaul the customer service response system based on recent feedback (Vote: 4 in favor, 1 abstained).

Next Meeting: Scheduled for September 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM in the Main Boardroom.

Attachments: Sales Report Q2 2023, Proposed Marketing Plan 2023, Customer Feedback Report Q2 2023.

Approved By:

Sofia Martinez, Chairperson, Board of Directors

School Board of Management Meeting

Date and Time: June 9, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Location: School Conference Room

Attendees: Sofia Martinez (Chairperson), Takumi Suzuki (Principal), Nia Davies (Teacher Representative), Djamila Benali (Parent Representative), and Priyanka Patel (Community Representative)

Absent: Alessandro Rossi (Teacher's Union Representative)

Agenda Items:

  • Discussion on recent student performance
  • Takumi Suzuki gave an overview of recent student performance across different grades.
  • There was a chat about the noticeable drop in math scores in Grade 8.
  • Brainstorming session for the upcoming School Open House
  • Priyanka Patel put forth ideas for the School Open House event.
  • The group agreed on increasing the use of social media to spread awareness about the event.
  • Review of recent parent-teacher meeting feedback
  • Nia Davies shared feedback from the latest parent-teacher meeting.
  • Sofia Martinez emphasized the need to take into account the concerns raised by parents, and everyone weighed in on possible solutions.

Action Items:

  1. Takumi Suzuki to collaborate with math teachers for an action plan to improve Grade 8 math scores (Deadline: June 30, 2023).
  2. Priyanka Patel to draft a social media plan for the School Open House event (Deadline: June 15, 2023).
  3. Djamila Benali to coordinate with Nia Davies to develop an improved communication plan between teachers and parents based on recent feedback (Deadline: June 20, 2023).

Decisions Made:

The group decided to focus on social media for the promotion of the School Open House event.

Agreed on the need for an improved communication strategy between parents and teachers.

Next Meeting: Scheduled for July 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM in the School Conference Room.

Better meetings for everyone

Now that we have covered the ins and outs of recording meeting minutes, why not turn towards the meeting itself and look to see what you can do to run a more effective and efficient session?

No matter if it's a workshop, team meeting, or something involving your entire company, we have the tools to help you keep everyone and anyone engaged throughout.

See how you can improve any kind of meeting

Read more here

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