Meeting minutes template really can save you a lot of time, let's find out why. If you’re familiar with the Ebbinghaus's Forgetting Curve, you probably know that the key points of the theory are:
- Memories weaken over time
- The biggest drop in retention happens soon after learning
- It's easier to remember things that have meaning
- The way something is presented affects learning
This explains why you can’t remember much of the things you discussed during this morning’s meeting, doesn’t it? But you do remember it was too long and unproductive.
Meetings can become an unnecessary burden for the whole organization or a valuable tool for your business, depending on how you use them. Almost 50% of employees consider regular meetings a complete waste of time.
When used correctly, meetings should get everyone from the team aligned and on the same page regarding their business activities.
If you want to make your meetings more productive, here's where you can start - write meeting minutes. It is a simple change in your routine that can bring great results in terms of efficiency.
We'll guide you through the concept of minutes and give you useful tips on making the most of them in the following text.
- What are the meeting minutes?
- What should meeting minutes include?
- Why is it important to take meeting minutes?
- Meeting minutes template
- How to get the most out of your meeting minutes template
- What to do with minutes after the meeting
- FAQ: How to Take Meeting Minutes in 2022
What are the meeting minutes?
Meeting minutes are records of a meeting's proceedings. They document the key decisions and course of the discussion. This way, all participants are on the same page with regard to the meeting's key takeaways.
Meeting minutes are used by people within the company who manage others as a primary source of information. It is critical to take accurate meeting minutes, as they serve as the legal record of a company's activities. To keep things simple, we break down all of the basics below.
What should meeting minutes include?
General details, like names of the participants, date, time, and meeting location. They are usually included at the top of the meeting notes and help find the ones you need in the future.
Meeting agenda, which will guide you through the points discussed during the meeting and help you recap important points by the end. It usually includes key points from the previous meetings, reports and data related to the topic of the meeting, topics to be discussed by urgency, stoppers, and goals, tasks, and actions the meeting should lead to.
The meeting objective is an important part of the minutes of the meeting since it provides a clear goal for the duration of the meeting. Let's say that the meeting aims for a pricing strategy for a new product on the market. With this in mind, all the participants will gravitate towards the topics contributing to it. For example, presenting research on the competitors' pricing strategies or a forecast of the revenue for the next quarter.
Follow-up actions should be tracked through the meeting minutes to clearly show what needs to be done after the meeting. When writing them, make sure to be as clear and concise as possible to avoid confusion. For example, "do a competitor's research" could be pretty vague when discussing a new product launch. "Do a competitors research for X product on X market" is a much better action point.
Besides that, you should assign every action point to one of the attendees, even if they need to delegate it further. In the next meeting, you'll have a person accountable for each point you spoke about, so tracking progress will be easier.
Any document that was mentioned as relevant during the business meeting should be a part of the minutes of the meeting. This will save you a lot of time that is usually spent on finding the reports and presentations mentioned in the minutes.
Lastly, when the attendees decide on the next meeting date and time, this information has to be marked at the end of the minutes. As with action items, it is important to be as precise as possible and avoid unclear terms such as: "a week from now" or "when the research is complete."
Why is it important to take meeting minutes?
You can use minutes for whichever type of meeting you want, from the one between team leaders and employees to a much more informal meeting. And for all of them, they provide immediate benefits. You’ll notice an increase in the effectiveness of the team and company overall.
Meeting minutes increase the effectiveness of meeting through:
- Providing a written record of important decisions and takeaways from the meeting. This saves you a lot of time in communicating with the teammates and stakeholders - you can simply send them the minutes.
- Being a trusted source of information. Later, the meeting participants can use them when forming future decisions. Through this, there is little space for miscommunication about responsibilities and the action that needs to be taken.
- Informing other employees and serving as a knowledge base for the company. This is especially important when topics discussed in the meeting impact multiple teams or stakeholders. Besides that, exchanging information becomes easier for all players since they can share meeting minutes.
- Let's say you have second thoughts about a certain decision you made during a meeting. With meeting minutes, you can go over attendees' main ideas. It can help you look at the situation differently, with all the necessary facts.
- Meeting minutes can help you plan the actions for the future because, if done well, they should reflect company strategy and keep you focused on your goals.
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Meeting minutes template
To get a clearer picture of what the minutes of the meeting should look like, we'll provide you with an example of a meeting minutes template:
Minutes: Project Progress Meeting
Date and location: August 5th, 2022, Company HQ.
Objective: Review if the product is aligned with the business strategy and if the project can be completed by the deadline.
Deadlines: The final product version has to be ready for deployment by Q1 2023.
- Luke spoke with the stakeholders. They have an additional request regarding ____ functionality.
- Mary gathered feedback from the design team on current challenges and presented them at the meeting. The main ones are:
- Kathy presented a revised marketing plan for the product. The main changes that need to be done are:
The main obstacles and risks are: The design team needs feedback before continuing to work on the product. Stakeholders need a detailed presentation on why the modified product will have the best product-market fit, and no further changes will be needed.
- Luke needs to present planned modifications to the stakeholders and get their approval to continue product development by August 8th.
- As soon as we get the approval of the stakeholders, Mary needs to delegate tasks to the design team so we can move ahead.
- Kathy will start preparing the implementation of the marketing plan, so the promotion can start at the beginning of September.
- John needs to create a revised financial plan that will be a part of the presentation for the stakeholders.
The next meeting will be held on August 13th to review the newest project updates.
Here is a team meeting minutes template you can copy and paste to get started:
- Date and location:
- Meeting agenda
- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3
- Key discussions
- Decisions made
- Next steps
- Action items, responsible person, deadline
Here is another, more formal meeting minutes template:
- Call to Order
- Company name, date, time
- Voting members
- Members not in attendance
- Approval of minutes
- Related reports
- Main Motions