Why do teams hold meetings?
To discuss actions and agree on certain decisions to be made.
Then how do they document the whole process?
By generating minutes of the meeting. Meeting minutes make the agreement stronger and hold everyone accountable for their actions.
A meeting minutes software helps teams and their leaders document meeting content, generate meeting minutes automatically, and archive those minutes for future reference.
And this is what we want to prove in this article: every powerful team, of any size, should adopt a meeting minutes software (aka, meeting minutes generator) into their workflow to end up with a productive and effective meeting.
Let's agree first that the best meeting minutes software programs are part of a bigger, comprehensive, all-in-one meeting management software that allows users to prepare for, run, and follow up on the whole meeting.
What are meeting minutes?
Meeting minutes, in its broad sense, refer to the notes taken during a meeting.
In general, they are intended to record the attendees who were present, the issues that were discussed, the decisions that were voted on and taken, the actions that were assigned, and the future activities that are to be done.
Depending on the type of meeting, the minutes vary in importance and formality; yet, any kind of documentation is needed for all types of meetings.
What do you write in meeting minutes?
Basically, a meeting minutes should include meeting's date, time, and location; names of the participants; and record of actions, votes, and decisions, as well as links to the files or presentations shared during the meeting.
Of course, this is not all about taking effective minutes of meeting; there are some good practices and do's and don'ts to create meeting minutes that hold as a solid reference for everyone to go back to.
Unfortunately, many teams still depend on the traditional way of taking meeting minutes — manually!
How do I take meeting notes automatically?
Especially before the pandemic, teams were used to taking meeting minutes manually, writing down notes and emailing them name by name.
The process looks something like this:
- Using Google Docs or any other note-taking app to jot down notes.
- Sending the file by mail to all attendees, manually.
- Receiving comments and notes on the minutes, also by mail.
- Amending the minutes and sending them again.
And in between, content, as well as time and effort, is lost.
On the other hand, powerful teams and organizations opt for a solution that facilitates and automates the whole process of documenting meeting knowledge — a meeting minutes software solution.
What is a meeting minutes software?
A meeting minutes software is a solution that helps big organizations, as well as small teams, take minutes of meeting in a fast, easy, and efficient way.
It also helps leaders approve the minutes and share them with their teams easily, making sure that everyone has a true reference for meeting knowledge to go back to.
What is the best meeting minutes app?
There are plenty of tools that act as a meeting minutes application online, but how to choose the best tool among so many options?
Well, I'm not naming the platforms out there or recommending one over the other. I'm only laying down the features that nominate a software to be successful as a meeting minutes application.
Look for a meeting minute app that's easy to use and doesn't add complexity to your workflow.
The meeting minutes app must be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. You and your team should draw value from it, rather than spending a lot of time learning how to use it.
Choose a minutes management software that embraces simplicity while fully satisfying your needs, so quickly and so effectively!
Check how many features this meeting minutes app provides to its users, and how much usefulness these features add to your team's productivity.
How do you get to share the minutes with the team? Are you able to collect approvals from everyone? Are these minutes easily accessible any time for anyone? How easy is it to go back to a specific meeting's minutes?
Recording and transcription features are good options to have the whole meeting recorded for future reference.
Do some research, weigh your options, and make sure you're aware of your team's needs that made you consider adopting a minutes management software into your workflow in the first place.
Look for a software that not only generates minutes of meeting, but also integrates well with the company’s other programs.
Other integrations make the online meeting experience more seamless and really enjoyable, like those with collaboration and project management apps, such as Slack and Asana. This way, everyone gets to focus on the meeting content itself rather than the multiple tabs they have to shift among.
Find a product that offers an all-in-one experience that compliments the minute-taking task, because many separate parts have to come together to execute a meeting effectively.
For example, it'd be great if the app lets you create and share an agenda, assign tasks while speaking, and share files, so that all meeting content is reflected automatically in the final minutes documents without manual intervention by you or by one of the team.
Wouldn't it be impressive if the same app provides follow-up options as well? That way, you can follow up on actions and deadlines, link relevant meetings together, and keep everyone on the same page.
Taking into consideration how sensitive and private minutes of a meeting are, you'd want the minutes automation software you use to be secure and protected.
Further, you, as the account owner, should have control over who gets access to meeting content and be able to restrict access to authorized users only.
Think of how much a minutes software costs your organization.
Then think of the total expenses your organization incurs for tools and apps that enhance performance of the team
When you try to find a cost-effective meeting minutes software, take those variables into your consideration.
Let's put it this way, paying $5 for Box (file sharing), $8 for Slack (collaboration), $10 for Asana (project management), and $9 for minutes.io (minutes taking) or paying $5 for an all-in-one meeting management software that includes all the aforementioned features and integrates with tons of other apps?
You might be wondering now, "How do I capture minutes of a meeting?"
How to take effective meeting minutes?
The process of taking meeting minutes spans over the whole meeting time, and it even starts before the meeting does, because setting a concise agenda paves the way to ending up with proper meeting minutes.
1. Record actions during the meeting
Depending on the meeting minutes software of your choice, discussions and decisions are recorded while the meeting is going on.
The meeting agenda that you previously set and agreed on, the attendees present at the meeting, and the absentees who were invited but haven't shown up are all automatically recorded in the minutes document.
➕ Extra bonus. Use this editable agenda template on your next team meeting and keep everyone on track.
The discussions that took place in the chat area in real time, the upvotes that every idea got, the decisions made and who voted on them, and the tasks assigned to team members as actions are also all documented in the minutes for future reference.
In addition to that, in the notes area, if team members jot down notes, privately or publicly, they are also added to the meeting minutes document.
💡 Do it like a pro. You can take notes yourself, as the meeting coordinator, or you better assign the role to one or more of the meeting participants (who can now be called meeting facilitators).
2. Generate meeting minutes document
Once you finish a meeting, you and your team members, as well as any guests or clients who were present, expect a document with each and every detail of the finished meeting.
An effective meeting minutes software makes sure that formatting meeting minutes isn't a tedious, time-consuming process.
The tool automatically converts meeting notes, conclusions and decisions, votes, assigned actions, and other information and meeting contents into a professionally formatted meeting minutes document.
3. Share the meeting minutes draft
And no, not manually via email adding each attendee by hand; this is exactly why we are here — to use a meeting minutes software.
The software should allow you to share this generated minutes document with meeting participants, whether team members or external guests.
Then, attendees get to comment on the draft and discuss whatever they would like before finalizing the document, without the hassle of emailing back and forth. The meeting coordinator manages these comments and discussion, approving or disapproving as he/she sees fit.
All meeting participants then approve the draft, whether with their hand or digital signature (previously uploaded to the system).
Sharing meeting minutes on adam.ai
4. Approve final meeting minutes
It's non-arguable that running an effective meeting ends with an official document for all meeting content for future reference, which should be easily accessible to attendees and relevant management at any time.
This is why the meeting coordinator signs and approves the final version of the minutes, which is, only then, made public to all participants.
This final version of the minutes is the formal, archived agreement of the meeting that is accessible for everyone to view and share at later events when needed.
➕ Extra bonus. Relevant meetings are linked together on adam.ai, which means that minutes of previous relevant meetings are instantly accessible when information is needed during running another one.
Why do teams need a meeting and minutes management software solution?
It is important for you to understand the advantages of a meeting minutes software:
- The management software helps teams and their leaders focus on the actual meeting rather than spending additional time writing meeting minutes in Microsoft Word or Google Docs and then drafting an email message with the minutes as an attachment to send to all attendees.
- Teams must understand how to get the most out of virtual meetings, because they have become the new norm.
- Using a management software makes people know exactly what to expect when the meeting unfolds.
- Because the meeting is being recorded and transcribed, it is easy to fill in people who miss it so that they don't fall too far behind.
- Using a meeting minutes generator guarantees accuracy better than the traditional way, because speaking is way faster than writing or typing.
- Because meeting minutes are the written document for discussions and conclusions of a meeting, they ensure the next actions after finishing one.
- An efficient management software allows leaders to have a good overview of what needs to be done, making sure that nothing falls through the crack.
To sum up, a meeting minutes software is a powerful productive tool for teams of all sizes, as part of the whole meeting management automation.
Generating meeting minutes automatically saves time and effort, prevents content loss, and holds everyone accountable.
Meeting minutes are the only written, official document that makes the agreement stronger and holds as a trusted source of information for future reference.
A document as substantial as this should not be generated manually in today's world of intelligent automation and smart software solutions.
On top of that, remote and hybrid meetings are the new norm, which means that the tools used should be up to the challenge and enhance teams' productivity no matter where they are.
Hence, powerful teams should use a meeting minutes software that fits their needs and boosts productivity — the end goal of every meeting.