The minutes of a meeting are an integral part of a meeting’s documentations. The minutes records everything discussed during the meeting and ensure that everyone is on the same page. They also serve as a reference for those who were unable to attend the meeting, or for those who are conducting research on a related topic. They form an official document, and their value is incalculable as they permanently record all decisions made during a meeting and the circumstances that led to the decisions. Meeting minutes template helps you document minutes successfully.
- How to Write Meeting Minutes: 7 Vital Tips Part 1
- 2 Best Meeting Minutes Templates: Free Download Part 2
- How to Improve Meeting Agendas and Minutes Part 3
- How to Spend Less Time on Meetings Part 4
- Additional Sources Part 5
Given their importance, writing down minutes during the meeting is critical. Here are some points to consider when taking the minutes of a meeting:
Take down the minutes as the discussion is taking place.
Write down everything you hear during the discussions and try to compose coherent sentences. If you wait until the meeting ends before you record the minutes, you are likely to forget a large proportion of the relevant matters discussed during the meeting.
Do not forget to state essential information
such as: the company or organization name, the title of the meeting (e.g., “4th Board Meeting”, “7th Project Status Meeting”, etc.), the date, time, and venue of the meeting, reference number, and most importantly, the agenda of the meeting.
First, list all completed actions from the previous meeting, even if these were not the first item discussed.
If an assignment was not yet complete, provide a status update, as reported by the person or department concerned.
The most important things to state in the minutes of a meeting are the names of the attendees and those who were not able to make it;
the tasks assigned and the person or unit tasks were assigned to and the decisions made during the meeting.
Using a meeting minutes template will make the task easier.
Your team can create one or can search the Internet for a free template to download. When choosing a template from those available on the Web, take into consideration all the fields or sections that need to be filled up. Make sure that these areas are relevant to your project or to the organization and that the discussion includes all those items.
Use tables when writing down the minutes of the meeting.
Aside from the fact that a narrative in a tabular form is easier on the eyes, it is also effective when people want to see the points which are directly relevant to them.
As soon as the minutes of the meeting is ready, send them out immediately.
Make sure to send a copy to all the attendees and, to those who were not able to attend, so they will have an idea what was discussed during the meeting. Ensure that the minutes of the meeting is circulated before the next meeting.
The key to effective minutes of the meeting is to be thorough with the statements. Be sure to check all the facts and figures, and as much as possible, write everything down as it happens so that you don’t miss anything out.
Meeting Minutes Template: Free Download
Free online tools for work:
1. Fluxes.com — Free Project and Task Management Software
2. Status.net — Software for Daily and Weekly Status Reports
How to Improve Meeting Agendas and Minutes
How to configure online meeting agendas and/or meeting minutes:
- Create a “Meeting Agenda” or “Meeting Minutes” applet on status.net — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders
- Configure who will submit it by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill it in and submit it.
- Participants can comment on a meeting agenda in its comments section, which ensures the right context for discussion and further reference.
- Mention those people who you want to take action or pay attention by using @ before their names. These people will receive personal notifications on their status accounts and by email.@mention a team member in your meeting agenda or in its comments section by using “@” and your team member’s name.Example comment: “@Peter and @Mary, do you have any comments regarding the “Metrics” section? @Don, are you coming to the meeting?”
In this case, Peter, Mary, Don will automatically receive an additional personal notification, so they know they’re expected to take action or pay attention and won’t forget to add their input in the meeting agenda’s comments section.
Info such as the date and the name of the person will be added automatically.
As soon as a new meeting agenda/minutes record is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time when they log in to their status.net accounts. They will also automatically receive an email notification.
Step 3 (Optional): Print it.
(Skip this step if you share meeting agendas and minutes online and don’t print them.)
- Choose date
- Click “file” button
- Click “Generate”
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- Make meeting agendas and minutes instantly available to the meeting participants.
- Save time with auto completion:
Fields such as date, name, formatting, etc. are inserted automatically by software.
- For regular meetings:
Configure recurrence and assign people who will receive automatic reminders to create and share upcoming meeting agendas and/or minutes.
- For irregular meetings:
Start your agenda with info about the meeting date, time and place and this will work as mass-notification: status.net will automatically send emails with full text to all participants as soon as you submit it.
- Improve meeting agendas with the option to gather info for the upcoming meeting agenda from participants.
- Draw attention of specific team members by using the “mentions” feature, if you need input or comments from those people. When you @mention your team members, they will receive a separate personal notification by email.
- Easy sharing:
Meeting agendas and minutes can be either
— exported to files and printed;
— shared online with selected people (in this case, an email with the full text of the meeting agenda will be sent automatically to those with “View” permission); or
— shared online company-wide or team-wide (the latest meeting agenda will be available online and a notification email will be sent automatically to each team member).
How to Spend Less Time on Meetings
How to use status.net for status reports:
- Easily implement daily or weekly status reports for your team members by creating a status feed with questions like “What did you do today?” or “How did you contribute to the team’s goals this week?”.
- Peace of mind:
No one forgets to fill in their status reports because status.net sends timely reminders according to the recurrence schedule you chose.
- Increase workplace satisfaction by improving transparency:
Each status update has a separate section for comments, which is used by team members to clarify information, including upcoming goals, and by leaders to provide feedback and coordinate better without micromanagement.
- Use status reports for future reference and decrease time and efforts spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
- Optionally, enrich reports with the latest updates automatically added from web apps your team uses (such as free task management software Fluxes.com, and other project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status applet.
- Spend less time on meetings by making them more productive because everyone is on the same page at all times.
- Sharing: Status reports can be either
— exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
— shared with manager online (in this case, an email with the full text of the status report will be sent automatically); or
— shared online as company-wide or team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other.
How to configure status reports on status.net:
- Create a “Status Report” applet — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
- Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill in and submit the report.
Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically.
As soon as a new status report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can make every participant to view his/her own reports only. Manager/stakeholders will view all reports.
- Add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)
Click “Generate Report”.