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How to Write Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes make your meetings more effective when done right. Having created an app that has in-meeting notes and in-meeting tasks built into the workflow, we realize what makes meeting minutes essential and what steps you can take to improve them.

Meeting minutes make your meetings more effective when done right. Having created an app that has in-meeting notes and in-meeting tasks built into the workflow, we realize what makes meeting minutes essential and what steps you can take to improve them.

Difference between meeting minutes and meeting agenda

Many unfamiliar with meeting practices often confuse meeting minutes with meeting agendas.

They are very different from each other and serve completely different purposes. While meeting minutes are designed to make following up after the meeting more effective, the meeting agenda's goal is to make the meeting more effective.

A meeting agenda involves preparation that needs to be done before the meeting regarding topics that need to be discussed, attendee lists, POCs, logistics, etc.

On the other hand, meeting notes or minutes focus on recording and processing information based on what happens during the meeting.

Essential elements of meeting minutes

Before we get into tips and practices to write better meeting minutes, let's take a minute to look at items you need to include quickly on your meeting checklist.

  1. Date, time, and location
  2. Attendees (Participants)
  3. Main topics discussed
  4. Decisions taken
  5. Important comments
  6. Voting results
  7. Follow-up strategy & schedule
  8. Next meeting's date, time, and location (if applicable)

While your meeting minutes might differ slightly, the items mentioned here most likely be part of 90% of your meeting minutes.

Tips for writing meeting minutes

With the definition and item list ready for writing effective meeting minutes, here are some best practices to improve it.

  • Keep your language and tone consistent to avoid confusing those reading the minutes. Do not use words or short forms that people won't be able to understand immediately.
  • Record an audio version of the session if you need to go back to it when in doubt. If you are unsure, do not guess because the diversity of perspectives is usually high in a meeting, and it may not match your guess.
  • Let other members have access to the meeting minutes during the meeting and be able to suggest changes as you are writing them so that there is consensus on the items agreed upon.
  • Summarize the meeting minutes before sharing them with the stakeholders since most people prefer the shorter version of what happened with necessary details rather than the entire meeting play-by-play.
  • Add the names of the POC and contributor along with the topics they are in charge of or the point they contributed. This will help attribute the outcomes of the meeting to individuals.
  • Store all meeting minutes in a safe place. In Routine, you can store the meeting minutes right in the app with our in-meeting notes and in-meeting task features. You can also choose a tool like Google Drive or iCloud to store meeting minutes or use them as a backup tool like Notion or Routine.

And with that, we end this blog post on how to write meeting minutes. If you found value in this post, consider checking us out on LinkedIn & Twitter.

We are also keeping our eyes on topic suggestions for future blog posts, so if you do have some for us, do let us know on Twitter. Thanks for reading.

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