8 Easy Tips to Effectively Take Meeting Minutes

Meetings are a fundamental requirement in business, and every project has many types of meetings. From discovery and planning, to execution and delivery, meetings are essential for ideating and communicating with a team throughout the project life cycle. An effective meeting requires effective meeting minutes — notes that are easy to scan, search, and share. As such, it is important to know how to take meeting minutes.

Meeting minutes, also known as notes, are the actual record of a meeting. More than a meeting agenda, they include the summary of key items discussed, ideas proposed, and decisions made. These are used for future reference, and to inform those team members or stakeholders who are not in attendance. The creation of meeting notes is usually tasked to a designated meeting participant, such as a project manager, or someone solely responsible for note taking, such as an executive assistant.

Read more: Establishing Meeting Cadence for Remote Project Teams

How to Take Meeting Minutes: 8 Easy Tips

  1. Choose and set up a meeting minutes template, and arrive at the meeting fully prepared.
  2. Record meeting notes during the meeting or immediately after in a comfortable format.
  3. Listen before writing. It is better to summarize the concept of what is occurring, rather than trying to write down everything said.
  4. Use bullets and key words for easy readability.
  5. Stick to the facts and leave out personal opinion, or specifics about what a particular person might say.
  6. Record action items, assigning each an owner to be followed up with.
  7. Outline next steps with key dates and people identified.
  8. Keep it simple!

How to Set Up a Meeting Minutes Template

Documenting effective meeting notes begins before the meeting takes place. Using a basic template can help you plan and set up the meeting in advance, so you can stay on task and accomplish meeting goals within the allotted time. Templates are available in most word processing programs, or can be found online. You can also create your own meeting minutes template.

A good meeting minutes template should include these main topics, at minimum:

  • Subject of the meeting, including name of project or phase
  • Date and time the meeting was held
  • A list of attendees, including the meeting leader
  • Specific meeting agenda items, including agenda items from the previous meeting
  • Status of all items
  • Action items identified with key people assigned to them

Additional items to include in meeting minutes, if relevant:

  • Location of the meeting
  • Length of the meeting
  • A list of team members not in attendance
  • Any items that are approved and by whom, such as budget spend
  • Date and time of the next meeting
  • Items to be discussed during the next meeting
  • Expected actions from teammates by the next meeting

If you’re still feeling lost on how to take meeting minutes, know that note taking is a skill that improves over time. For complicated projects and tasks, ask another team member who is well-versed in the subject to review your notes for accuracy — as well as any action items that might have been missed — before you distribute them.

Read next: How to Successfully Host a Project Kickoff Meeting

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

1 monday.com

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monday.com Work OS is an award-winning no-code work management platform that helps teams manage projects and workflows more efficiently.

Used by 152,000+ customers worldwide, this fully customizable software lets you plan, manage, and track every project in one place. monday.com offers time-saving and easy-to-use features such as automations, time tracking, document sharing, and real-time collaboration. Multiple board views such as Gantt and Kanban help you structure and navigate tasks and projects the way you prefer, and dashboards give a high-level overview of your progress.

In addition, integrations with apps such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Gmail, and Excel, allow you to easily continue working with your favorite tools from within the platform. monday.com also offers dedicated solutions, such as monday dev and monday sales CRM, designed to answer the needs of specific industries.

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2 ClickUp

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ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

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3 Wrike

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Wrike is the most powerful work management platform on the market, enabling teams to plan projects and collaborate in real time. Our award-winning software is trusted by 20,000+ companies across the globe, including Sony, Estée Lauder, and Siemens.

Wrike’s customizable features include Gantt charts, request forms, dashboards, cross-tagging, time tracking, and proofing. Integrate with 400+ apps from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce. Automate repetitive tasks and achieve 50% faster planning. Work from anywhere with 100% access to your files via our mobile and desktop apps.

Whether you’re a small startup or an established brand, Wrike has the solution for you. Paid plans start at $9.80/user/month. Join our community of 2.3 million — start your free two-week trial today.

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