When checking Google searches one of the most searched topics on meetings was “how to take minutes at a meeting.” I guess I’ve always called this “taking notes.”
Taking minutes during a meeting actually has nothing to do with time in the sense of hours/minutes/seconds, but instead refers to “small” as in “minute” (my-newt). Minutes (or taking notes) means to condense, or make something smaller. Recording minutes at a meeting ensures all actionable items, decisions, votes, and solutions were recorded. In short, all the “important” stuff was captured.
I did some research, and after reviewing several sites and reading multiple articles, here are my key takeaways and tips to learn how to take minutes in a meeting.
Prior to Your Meeting:
– Gather as much information as possible (have the agenda, a list of participants, meeting topics/proposals).
– Have a template. Just like an agenda template, a meeting minute template is a great tool and save time. You can find a free meeting agenda template here.
During Your Meeting:
– Do not try to record everything. Focus only on action items and key points. Trying to record everything will leave you with confusing notes to cipher through after the meeting.
– Make sure to capture all actions/deadlines, owners of the actions/deadlines, and status of actions/deadlines.
– If you missed a key point or need clarification, ask the facilitator. Asking immediately will keep you focused and on track, instead of trying to figure out what you’ve missed, and potentially miss more key points.
After Your Meeting:
– Review your meeting notes right away. It’s best to organize the meeting minutes while the meeting is still fresh and on top of your mind. You’ll also be able to clarify any missing actions or solutions with the facilitator.
– When you’re typing your notes, be objective, focus on action items instead of discussions, and do not hold yourself to writing the minutes in chronological order. Sometimes it’s more important to list the actions by date or owner, and not in chronological order.
– Once your notes are compiled, have the facilitator review, and then send out to the entire team. It’s best to file the minutes in case they need to be referenced at a later date.
Hopefully this quick reference to meeting minutes is useful. I’ve also attached some links below for more detailed direction and sample meeting minutes to serve as a guide.
Whether you take meeting minutes or not, meetings are always more effective at sparkspace…at least that’s what guests from companies like Nationwide, Abbott Nutrition, and Ohio Health tell us. Schedule a tour or book your next meeting today!