I don’t know about you but I always keep my own meeting minutes. I don’t summarize the entire meeting but I always keep my own notes and have a meeting minutes sample that I want to share with you.
Why? Because once you find a meeting minute format that works for you, you can train your staff and coworkers to follow it as well, therefore synchronizing your efforts and saving a lot of time for everyone.
Meeting Minutes Sample
Before we get into meeting minutes check out this post on the proper meeting agenda format [yes there are free templates that you can download there too.]
A few things to remember before you start typing or writing away. Taking minutes is pretty much an art form. Remember the kids in college whose notes you used to photocopy ALL the time versus the “one photocopying stand” ones. Well minutes are kind of like really good lecture notes that are hard by come by.
Here’s a free meeting minutes sample that I use all the time.
How to Take Meeting Minutes
- Be objective. Only write down the facts that were presented in the meeting, DON’T add your own take on things or draw any conclusions. Don’t write “we’re going to come over budget” if someone says “we spent an extra 5,000 on tablecloths”
- Get organized. If the meeting is going in a thousand different directions break your notes into a couple of sections and add your notes into the appropriate section as the meeting progresses.
- Work around the action items. People tend to be sidetracked, keep the minutes close to the action items to keep the minutes focused.
- Don’t make it personal. Don’t use names if possible and don’t get into he said, she said. The minutes of a meeting should focus on the decisions that have been made and the tasks that have been assigned.
- Writing meeting minutes is the perfect time to be boring, avoid personal observations especially if you have something to say about the person making a point and specifically if you disagree with that point.
Meeting Minutes Format:
These are the must have components of any meeting minutes
- Date and time of the meeting
- Meeting participants and who was absent
- Action items – who is to complete them, by when (due dates)
- Next meeting date and time
- Here are a couple of tips additional items that should be on your list
How to Conduct A Meeting
A Few More Meeting Minutes Tips:
Think about what you like to have on hand when going over your meeting minutes. For example, the presentation or report that was being presented at the meeting? Solution: Attach handouts and presentations electronically. A few templates from Microsoft that you can download and use.
Don’t forget to cross reference the meeting minutes with the agenda of the meeting, this will make sure that you didn’t forget anything and that all areas have been covered.
When you’re e-mailing the meeting minutes to the attendees (and those who missed the meeting but need to be filled in) write the action items in the body of the email. I find this to be a very proactive and helpful approach.
Finally don’t throw out or delete the draft of the meeting minutes that you’ve been working with at the meeting before you send out the meeting minutes and see the email and the file in your Sent Items. Check to see that the file opens and that it hasn’t been corrupted because if this was your only copy no great meeting minutes sample is going to save you now.