Minutes are written records of a meeting. In business and academic meetings, they are standard process. A basic layout of minutes is quite simple, but in business or legal meetings, they can include extra steps like an approval process and have a more complex layout.
Meeting minutes should be written while the meeting is taking place. This ensures a most accurate record of the topics being discussed and the person who keeps the minutes to clarify on the fly.
Content of Minutes
A record of a meeting should at least include the following:
- Date and time of the meeting
- A list of people present
- A list of people absent
- Name of the person who keeps the minutes
- Fix the agenda before starting the meeting
- Following the agenda, keep track of decisions, assignments, and todos
- Any additional topics can be filed under “miscellaneous”
As a rough estimate, a typical 90-minutes meeting has about two A4 pages worth of notes. These can me in form of bullet points, but should be a written record reflecting the things said during the meeting.
Use the template below for a lightweight framework of writing meeting minutes that can easily be formatted in Markdown and also easily read in plain text.
Template in Markdown:
2019-xx-xx # Meeting Week 01 Members present: Joan Doe, John Doe Members absent: Toni Smith Minutes: Joan Doe --- ## Item A 1. xx - xx 2. xx - xx --- ## Item B --- ## Meeting Schedule - next meeting: xx/xx
Be diligent with taking notes. Sometimes, discussions are getting too complex, fast, or too far away from the agenda. Point this out to your team or ask for a short break before continuing.
Ask for the meeting agenda before it starts, preferably in digital format. This way, you can prepare, e.g., the above template before the meeting starts.
Don’t focus on typos or grammar too much while writing. Correct these errors after the meeting and then send the minutes to your team members.