Keeping proper meeting minutes is important because it helps your team to be clear about the conclusions made in a meeting, knowing what are the action items that they need to take after the meeting, and keeping a record that is easy to refer to in the future.
Building the habit of keeping good meeting minutes ensures your team can really act upon the things that are discussed in a meeting and avoid wasting time on looping on the same issues over and over again.
If your team is remote, check out our blog post 12 Tips on How to Run Effective Remote Meetings.
Meeting minutes, also called minutes notes, meeting recaps, or meeting reports, are a summary and record of what are discussed in a meeting. But you don’t need to be scared by the term “minutes”, as a nicely written meeting minutes should be capturing the essence of the meeting instead of really recording everything minute by minute.
This sample meeting minute template and guide will provide you with tips and ideas to help you write and prepare effective meeting minutes and meeting notes.
The process of keeping meeting minutes helps you keep your meeting focused and avoid those long and aimless meetings that are run without any structure.
By pre-filling the agenda items before the meeting and checking off the agenda items on the meeting minutes one by one as they are discussed during the meeting, it helps to make sure all important items that you planned to go through in the meeting are addressed.
And by sharing the background information and agenda items with the meeting attendees before the meeting, your teammates can get prepared before the meeting and avoid situations where they only realize they should have prepared some research / data collection in order to make a decision that is supposed to be made in the meeting.
The last thing you want after spending the precious time for meetings is that nothing is act upon after addressing them in the meeting. By listing out the action items clearly, it will be easier to keep track of progress after the meeting to make sure all next steps planned in the meeting are followed up.
It’s inevitable that sometimes people have to miss meetings for different reasons. Keeping clear and well-structured meeting minutes helps to keep those who are absent informed. For those who attended, the meeting minutes can serve as a good recap and summary of what was discussed as well so everyone can be aligned on the key takeaways.
Important decisions are often made during meetings and it’s useful to note down the rationale and votes behind those decisions made so that it’s easy for you and other teammates to look back in future on why certain decisions were made.
This is particularly useful when new team heads join your team and wonder why certain processes are running in certain ways, and avoid situations where they might overlook things that were already thought out before and loop back to a previous approach that didn’t work in the past.
After the meeting, share the meeting minutes with the relevant teammates so everyone will stay informed and can act upon the action items that are planned.
Storing your meeting minutes in the cloud is a great way to make your meeting minutes easy to share and be retrievable in the future. For example, using document collaboration software like Kipwise, not only you can collaborate with your teammates on writing the meeting minutes during the meeting using our real-time collaborative online editor, our knowledge management system also makes it easy for you to search for saved information in the future.