Meeting minutes have the power to move companies forward. They embody the essence of vital intelligence that is needed for progression.
They're records that a meeting took place. Each member of the team will find these records or notes as valuable assets to drive action.
Serves as a reminder
The average person has the capacity to remember 30 seconds of information seen and heard. That is why it is crucial to have notes on hand to help remind members of important tasks, actions, decisions, and agreements made during the meeting. Participants during the next meeting will also have reminders set out to avoid repeating topics. Meeting minutes ensure nothing is forgotten and can be an effective way to mitigate wasted time and energy.
Keeps everyone aligned
Meeting members who are aligned and coordinated can help maintain a cohesive front internally and externally. For each meeting, every member’s notes can vary slightly, if not drastically from one participant to the other. One way to ensure that all information stated during the meeting is shared with the relevant participants can be through meeting minutes. Such documentation enables summaries of the meeting to be easily circulated to members that were absent.
Have you ever left a meeting without really knowing what is the way forward? Or who oversees certain tasks stated during the meeting? Knowing well that meetings can get a bit hectic and confusing, it is necessary to have a guide to know which members are in charge of what. Meeting minutes serve as proof of agreements made during the decision process of every meeting. It can help in avoiding conflicts as well.
Aids in tracking progress
Other than understanding the ownership of these tasks, meeting minutes can also be identified as measurements of progress for projects. Having a detailed timeline for how long certain tasks and actions take can help in recognizing unnecessary patterns that waste time. Meeting minutes enable reflective documentation that can aid in yielding more efficient results.
To create a more efficient and effective meeting environment, one should acknowledge and benefit from the advantages of using meeting minutes. It should provide insightful accounts of each meeting. Not only can it be a method to remember important tasks mentioned during a meeting, but it can also enable cohesiveness. Meeting minutes can provide proof of agreements and decisions made and help avoid conflicts.
Meeting minutes template
Having a template ready for taking meeting notes can help you better organize and format your meeting notes and ensure that you capture the most valuable information. Here’s an example of a simple meeting minutes template that you could apply to your own team meeting minutes (or adapt to better suit your specific meeting management style):
Why is this meeting being held? What are the key goals of the meeting?
Who is attending the meeting? What are their roles?
Meeting agenda items
Prepare a list of topics to be discussed at the meeting. Adding timestamps can help keep the meeting moving along.
Are stakeholders sharing ideas? If so, record them
Prioritization of issues
Which issues/meeting items are the most important? Establish a priority order, so the most critical issues can be handled first
What is the measure of success for this meeting/project/product? Establish your success criteria.
Key resource list
What resources should be used by employees following this meeting? Create a list (with appropriate links or file names).
Post-meeting action items
What actions should employees take following the meeting? Who is responsible for each action item? Establish a list of action items and responsibilities.
What were the key takeaways from the meeting? Summarize important notes and takeaways.
After the meeting, it may be helpful to schedule follow-ups with various team members to check progress and make adjustments. Prepare a list of follow-up meetings.
Note: You may want to add or remove some sections to this meeting notes template based on the nature of the meeting or the specific needs of your team.
Best practices for meetings
It's important to follow a few best practices for meetings, so you can capture relevant meeting notes and avoid wasting time and effort.
While using a meeting notes template is a good start, there are other best practices for meetings that you might want to follow to ensure you get the best possible impact from your team meetings:
Assign meeting roles and responsibilities before the meetingGiving people a clear role to fill during the meeting helps ensure that they pay close attention to it. For example, you could make sure that key stakeholders make their own mini-presentations during the meeting. This helps maximize the impact of the meeting by keeping employees engaged and actively participating.
Have several methods of capturing notes/ideasInstead of trying to record everything yourself, consider having multiple note-takers assigned to the meeting. These employees can compare notes after the meeting to put everything into a unified document post-meeting so nothing is missed.
Additionally, having audio recordings and going back over them later can help ensure that no important items were missed. Some video conferencing solutions even have automated transcription solutions that can turn the audio into written text for you (though they often struggle with accuracy, they can help you save time).
Practice active listening skillsIf employees are sharing ideas or information during the meeting, be sure to practice active listening techniques—be sure to hear them out, ask specific questions when appropriate to demonstrate that you’re listening, and pay attention to both the speaker’s tone and body language.
If an employee has an especially good idea, provide some on-the-spot acknowledgment, and make sure that, if used, the employee’s contribution is formally recognized and/or rewarded.
Try to prevent distractionsUnless necessary for the meeting, try to curtail the use of phones, laptops, and other devices as much as possible. Also, try to hold meetings in a distraction-free environment (such as excess noise pollution from people chatting in the background or active televisions not being used to show presentation materials). Moreover, meeting participants should avoid having side conversations while the active presenter is talking.
Follow up with stakeholders after the meetingEven after the meeting is over, there is still a need to check up on stakeholders and project staff to verify how things are progressing. Holding follow-up meetings to track progress towards goals can help employees stay focused and engaged with their work—especially if said follow-ups highlight the employee’s contributions (either in the meeting or after it).
How can adam.ai help you manage your meeting minutes?
With adam.ai you can now not only schedule and attend meetings but also strengthen agreements.
adam.ai will generate the minutes for you. The meeting room is where all your meetings' contents are captured. It is where the real-time notes are taken, the actions are assigned to meeting attendees with their due dates, and decisions are made and voted on during the meeting.
At the end of the meeting, you can easily generate the meeting minutes with a click and ask the meeting attendees for their comments and approvals. Not only that but also with the smart highlights, easily transcribe the meeting recording and get smart suggestions such as actions, decisions, questions, ideas, and many more so you'd never miss anything.
Ready to manage all your meeting minutes at your fingertips? Enjoy your 14-day free trial. No credit card is needed. All features are unlocked. Click below.