Meeting note is a write up done by anyone in a meeting to help them remember what was discussed in the meeting. Depending with different individuals it can include the members present, agendas, action points and who is responsible for every action and when they are due. Some of the challenges one can faces when writing a note during a meeting include; writing in short form, not detailing some agendas, not organizing your notes well.
To avoid these challenges, it is important to use a sample to help you write an effective note.
Pre-planning of meeting minutes / notes
Planning helps things to flow smoothly. Just like you can plan for an event it is so important to plan for a meeting and minutes taking. The best way to plan for minutes is to share the agendas beforehand. In case there was a previous meeting and there were actions to be taken, sharing the minutes of the previous meeting and requesting for feedback will help planning for the meeting even easier. With proper planning it becomes easier to write the minutes faster as you have already captured the agendas of the meeting beforehand. Planning can also involve working on a template to use to capture the minutes. With this one will be able to capture as much during the meeting as possible.
Meeting agenda / outline
It is important agendas for a meeting to be communicated before the meeting. The chair and the secretary should work together to ensure this is communicated on time to help each member of the meeting to understand what the meeting will be all about. Unless the meeting is an urgent meeting that was not planned for.
The agendas should be clear to understand. They should be outlined in order of priority starting with the most important to the least and most often the last agenda is AOB any other business.
Before the agendas are discussed, it is important for the previous meeting minutes to be read and members to discuss matters arising before addressing the agendas for the day.
What to include in meeting minutes / notes
- Date , time and the meeting place of the meeting
- Members present and absent with/without apology
- Acknowledgment of the reading of the previous meeting minutes
- Agendas for the meeting and details of their discussion.
- Any Other Business
- Next meeting date
How to write meeting minutes / notes
During the meeting it is hard to write everything and still be part of the meeting. After the meeting that is when the secretary seats and writes a comprehensive minute. When writing the minutes below are some guides that might come in handy;
- Write the minutes as soon as possible. This will help to cover a lot of the discussions that occurred during the meeting.
- Ensure your agendas are outlined in line with their discussion during the meeting.
- If there were any action to be taken include the person who was allocated and the time, they are due. This will help on follow up and closure.
- Ensure to use the correct format which the company have outlined. If they are any document that you are referring to it is important to attach it to the minutes.
- After writing the minutes edit to ensure brevity and clarity.
- Finally, to ensure you have not left any information out and to ensure your minutes are free of errors it is wise to request someone who was in the meeting to proof read them before sharing them.
Tips for taking meeting notes
- If you have been appointed as secretary, to be able to take notes a bit faster in a meeting it is prudent to learn shorthand.
- In an official meeting where agendas are well outlined you can use your computer to take notes. In other instances, you can use a pen and a paper to take notes. This will help you to be fast and be able to communicate effectively during the meeting.
- You can’t be able to write everything that is being discussed just highlight the key points. In case there is a motion indicate the motion, the major point for and against the motion and the conclusion.
- To be able to capture the correct names and spelling for all the members present circulate a sheet of paper where everyone will write their name.
- Ask for clarity if you don’t get the point clearly.
- If it is allowed you can record the meeting, this will help to write good and comprehensive minutes later on.
Different Meeting Notes
Project Meeting Minutes
These are minutes written when there is a project meeting. Project meeting can be either to discuss an oncoming project or an ongoing project.
For an oncoming project the meeting discussion will involve project start and finish date. Members involved in the project and the reporting line during the project.
For an ongoing project the meeting minutes will entail the project progress, any challenges that are coming about and milestones achieved.
Board Meeting Minutes
These are minutes written when there is a board meeting by the company secretary. Usually they entail the board members present and absent. The agendas for the meetings and any resolutions passed by the board.
Meeting Notes Template with Action Items
At times notes requires you indicate action points, when they are due and by who. A good template should have those titles to help capture all the necessary information.
Minutes of Meeting Email
These are minutes shared on email. They can be shared as a direct email or an attachment. The email should be addressed to all participant of the meeting whether they were present or not. The email should be sent early before another meeting to ensure its actions points are communicated early enough.