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It is always helpful to have the minutes of a past meeting on hand. Whether it is to review the list of decisions that were made or to find out who was in charge of this task. It is also a good source of information and reference for those who were present, as well as for those who were absent.
Avoid neglecting this task, since a minutes could be very useful in the event of a disagreement on a subject. At the end of a meeting, take a few minutes to write a detailed minutes and then send it to the participants quickly. This document can also inform those who are absent of the topics discussed.
First of all, be aware that the minutes are a summary of the meeting based on the agenda. The minutes therefore contain the same basic information as the agenda as well as additional information obtained after the meeting. Using the contents of your agenda, you may even be able to write a good part of your minutes.
How to write a good minutes of meeting?
3 simple steps
1. Take Notes
If you want your minutes to be complete and detailed, you must take notes during the meeting. Otherwise, it is obvious that you will forget important information. To help you, you can use abbreviations; this makes note-taking much easier. You could also record the meeting so that you don’t forget anything.
2. Have a good structure
Before the meeting, be sure to prepare a detailed agenda. This will greatly assist you in writing your minutes using this template. Then you will be able to add your notes directly under each heading, which will allow for a quick layout once the meeting is over.
You can even use meeting management software to help you write the minutes. How? During your meeting, bring your favourite tool (laptop, tablet, smartphone) and immediately transcribe your notes in the topics discussed. At the end of the meeting, your minutes will be almost complete (80%). All you have to do is take a few minutes of your time in the post-meeting room to proofread and correct your texts using Antidote for example, and that’s it!
3. Publish the minutes of meeting
If you want your minutes to be useful, don’t forget to make it available to all participants via a centralized directory or by email, once the writing is done! The sooner the better, ideally 48 hours, because memory is a faculty that forgets quickly.
Important information to include in your minutes
- Basic information: The date, address, room and start and end time of the meeting.
- Names of attendees, absentees, and guests.
- The main objective of the meeting.
- A summary and objective of each agenda item: Inform / Exchange / Generate ideas / Consult / Decide.
- The actions and tasks that have been assigned, to whom it is assigned, task priority and the due date.
- Write down the decisions that have been made, if any.
- Attach the necessary documents, images or web addresses.
- Approval of the minutes.
- Send the minutes by email or use a meeting management tool to centralize all your minutes.
- Date and place of the next meeting.
Minutes of Meeting Template
Here is the template of the minutes generated by Beenote that will be produced following your meeting. This simple structure will allow you to include all the important elements without forgetting the most important thing: your discussion.
What are the next steps after the minutes have been written?
Of course, once the minutes have been written, and read by all, the project continues. The execution of the tasks and the follow-up of the actions are the steps that need to be taken to achieve the main objective of the meeting.
Let’s get to work!
Melanie is the Marketing Director at Comnet Technologie who handles design, content, user experience, and all marketing for Beenote. Melanie helps individuals, teams, and organizations to adopt good meeting practices.