You determined the goal of the meeting; you know whom you want to invite and what decisions you need to make. But there remains one essential thing you need to take care of: writing the meeting minutes.
In this article, you'll get to know the definition of meeting minutes and their purpose and types. This article also highlights what the perfect pre-made meeting minutes template should include and how to choose one. You'll also get to know the golden advice to effortlessly write effective meeting meetings.
What are meeting minutes?
You may think that minutes in this context refer to time. But that's not the case. The term minutes in "meeting minutes" comes from the Latin phrase "minuta scriptura," which literally means small writing.
Meeting minutes are the official record of what has happened during a meeting. They're also called minutes, minutes of meeting (abbreviated MoM), protocols, or notes (informal style of taking meeting minutes).
What is the purpose of meeting minutes?
Meeting minutes record two main things that meetings usually revolve around: tasks (actions) and issues. Meeting minutes have several purposes: (1) to have all the information in one place, so people can refer to it for decisions or upcoming meetings; (2) informing those who could not attend the meeting of the discussion and decisions made; (3) a reminder of actions that should be followed up; and (4) providing an informational summary of what has happened in the meeting.
What are the types of meeting minutes?
Meeting minutes have different formats, and each interprets the meeting from a different angle. So, let's explore them.
They're the standard meeting minutes format. As the name implies, it's about recording actions taken in the meeting. They are also called decision-only minutes. They exclude discussions and capture decisions and actions. They can be written as bullet points as they'll most probably be shared internally. Most of the time, the note taker is involved in the meeting
They're the record of discussions that occurred during meetings and led to the decisions and actions. They should include meaningful discussions and exclude personal remarks. For this type, there is a designated person that is responsible for accurately recording the minutes.
These are rarely used unless they're required by law (congress or public hearings). They are a written transcript of what was said during the meeting. They include the names of speakers and every single word said by each of them. They're often long and difficult to review.
Choosing a meeting minutes template
Pre-made meeting minutes templates can be a great guide to having a meeting minutes template that works for your business meetings. So, how can you know that the template you chose is a good one, and how can you customize it to your needs? First, let's start with what a detailed meeting minutes template should include.
What should be included in a meeting minutes template?
(A) The essentials
- Organization name
- Date and time
- Names of meeting participants
- Who is present and who is absent
- The time at which some participants joined after the meeting started (to determine what decisions they were involved with or voted on)
- Meeting purpose
(B) The core
- Acceptance or amendments to previous meeting minutes
- A meeting agenda: it's a guide to how the meeting will go. It includes topics and tasks that will be discussed during the meeting.
- Discussion items: you need to capture each key points and how they were discussed. One of the best practices when writing meeting minutes is choosing a note-taking method that complements the way you process info.
- Votes and decisions: Discussions often lead to decisions that are either instantly effective or need to be voted on. So, you need to include that in your meeting minutes.
- Action items: Productive meetings are actionable meetings. Discussions votes, and decisions lead to tasks that are assigned to responsible people. You need to write down
- Assigned tasks: Meeting minutes should include clear statements on tasks and who they are assigned to.
- Due dates and follow-up: Productive meetings are meetings that lead to defined tasks with due dates to follow up and create momentum between meetings.
- Relevant documents: Relevant documents are sometimes an essential part of the discussion and meeting outcomes. So, you need to mention them to be easily referred to when necessary.
So, the next question is how can you customize a meeting minutes template according to your needs?
After going through a certain pre-made template and making sure it includes all of the above, you can use the following points to help guide you while taking the meeting minutes. By tackling the following points with the meeting owner, you'll have a full understanding of the meeting. And this can assist you in omitting and adding sections in the meeting minutes as you see fit and writing perfect meeting minutes.
- The most important goal of the meeting
- Secondary goals of the meeting
- The most important decisions to be reached
- Highlighting the important agenda items
- Expectations about what the meeting minutes should cover
- Knowing if there is a preferred format
Meeting minutes template examples
Check out these excellent templates and choose what suits you best. They're all free, editable, and inclusive.
How to effortlessly write meeting minutes
We have one advice for you: Make Use of Technology! Do yourself a favor and explore the abundant options out there, and automate what can be automated. An all-in-one meeting management software, like adam.ai, can help you write excellent meeting minutes in a much less time, lift the mundane tasks off your shoulders, and take meeting minutes like a pro.
From having automatically generated meeting minutes to full control over your meeting room, here is what an agile software, like adam.ai, has to offer.
1. Easily add timed agenda items and subitems, which will automatically appear in your meeting minutes. Read on to discover how.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Create timed agenda items and subitems
2. Link relevant meetings and upload important files.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Linked meetings
Screenshot from adam.ai: Uploaded files
Screenshot from adam.ai: Assign and schedule action items
Screenshot from adam.ai: Send tasks to integrated apps
4. Take notes in real-time and turn them into agenda items, actions, or decisions.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Take notes in real-time
5. Record the risks and issues.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Issues
Screenshot from adam.ai: Risks
6. Add decisions and vote on them. Tag people you want to vote on decisions and add any comments or files related to the decisions.
Screenshots from adam.ai: Decisions, in vote, and details
7. Have meeting discussions with the attendees and turn your discussions into actions, decisions, or agenda items or add them to notes.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Have meeting discussions and turn them into whatever you need
8. Have your meeting minutes automatically generated in a matter of seconds.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Automatically generated minutes
All the above features will help you have solid meeting minutes in much reduced time than it usually takes especially if you're new to taking meeting notes. Using adam.ai, you can effortlessly process a huge amount of info and keep track of all decisions and actions.
And while there may be multiple meeting management solutions available, here are a few reasons to consider adam.ai:
- adam.ai is one of Atlassian Ventures' portfolio companies.
- adam.ai is ranked a leader in the meeting management software category by G2 for both quarters, Summer 2021 and Winter 2021.
- adam.ai has been included in the Forrester Report in the AI-enabled meeting technology landscape.
- adam.ai is trusted and used by powerful teams worldwide from Johns Hopkins University, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Microsoft, and other renowned organizations.
- And most importantly, adam.ai integrates with your existing workflow, provides a free plan for life for small teams, and is the most affordable tool for larger teams (starts at $4.99).
Experience how technology can make taking meeting minutes easier by giving adam.ai a try. Just click on the following button, and you'll have access to all of the above features (all features are unlocked for a seamless experience). Enjoy your 14-day trial (no credit card needed).
14-day pro. No credit card. No hidden fees.
To sum up, efficiently recording what happened during a meeting elevates productivity and creates invaluable meeting references, and this is the main purpose of meeting minutes.
You can start with pre-made meeting minutes templates to help you write good meeting minutes. However, it's important to know what a good meeting minutes template includes and choose one that suits your business needs.
More importantly, explore software solutions that can make writing the meeting minutes easier and faster, such as an all-in-one meeting management software.