Simple and Free Meetings Minutes Template – a Complete Guide
What is the one thing that companies, clubs or any type of private or public organization or structure throughout the world have in common? The answer is simple – they all conduct meetings where team members exchange ideas, assign tasks, follow progress and propose innovations.
Sometimes, however, not all team members or employees are able to attend a meeting or an event whether it’s happening online or at the office. Further, many companies want to have a written transcript of what happened during a meeting in order to come back to it whenever they want. That’s when meeting minutes or MOM (meeting of minutes) come in handy.
What are meeting minutes?
Meeting minutes represent a written record of everything that is happening during a meeting. Through meeting minutes people get informed of what was decided during the meeting which helps them formulate their future decisions. Meeting Minutes keep track of all the essential data exchanged during a meeting and most importantly, help preserve the sense of teamwork which is necessary for the success of any company or organization.
As mentioned, documenting the discussions and outcomes of any meeting is not just essential for those who were not able to attend it, though. Meeting Minutes allows parties to revisit and get reminded of the agenda anytime they want making the process an absolute must for any company!
Mombit – our revolutionary business meeting management platform, has prepared a free template for meeting minutes entirely for your convenience. Simply click on the following link, customize it based on your company’s agenda and style and distribute it to the team members.
How to prepare before the meeting?
If you’ve been tasked with preparing meeting minutes or taking notes during a meeting, this doesn’t have to turn into a tedious task. Remember, the term “minutes” is not something to be intimidated by. Committees, board of directors or managers don’t really need a minute by minute record of its meetings. What they, as well as the team members need, is a simple document capturing the core of the meeting with essential details, included but not limited to:
- What were the decisions made during the meeting?
- What is the progress of an event or task?
- What are the next steps / new tasks planned?
The fact that there are various types of meetings, depending on a company’s policies, attendees and agenda is a given. With this in mind, the format, style and content requirements for meeting minutes can vary. Whether it’s a weekly team meeting, a board of directors discussion or a brainstorming session, preparation is always the key to have an efficient meeting minutes. Here are some general guidelines to follow when preparing meeting agendas:
- Set up your MOM format depending on the type of minutes.
- Write down Date and Time of the meeting.
- Have the names of attendees ready.
- Store any additional documents, such as attachments and handouts with the meeting minutes for future reference and most importantly, for sharing with the members who were unable to attend the meeting.
Keep in mind that when you take on the role of minutes-taker or secretary, you have to consult with the Board or the Chair of the committee on what their expectations are of your role. For example, confirm the type of detail they expect to see in the minutes, ask if they need names of attendees who will make motions or ask questions, etc.
How to take meeting minutes?
The following are some tips on how to take minutes efficiently:
- Use your outline. As previously mentioned, having a business meeting agenda template or an outline makes it ten times easier for you (the transcriber) to simply put down notes, bullet points or keywords under each agenda item on the template. If you prefer to take notes by hand, make sure you include enough space under each discussion item.
- Type directly on your laptop. It’s better to do so to avoid retyping everything later and lose precious time.
- Track attendance. Check-off or write down the names of the team members as they enter the room. Another option would be to circulate an attendance list so they can do the process by themselves.
- Record any decisions made throughout the meeting concerning each agenda as soon as they are mentioned. Listen carefully and write down as fast and straightforward as possible.
- Don’t get obsessed with capturing every word. You can’t keep up with the meeting if you try to capture every single word. Use keywords and simple phrases to capture the action steps, assignments, etc.
- Ask for clarification. Don’t be shy to raise your hand and ask for a confirmation on a decision, especially if the results were inconclusive.
- Why not record it instead? If you are worried that you won’t be able to keep up with the tempo of a meeting, consider recording it with your smartphone. This is especially valid for beginners. The recording can be very useful for clarification and fact-checking before distributing the notes to the attendees.
How to write meeting minutes?
When the meeting is over, it’s time to collect your notes and write the minutes. Here are some tips that might help you:
- Write the meeting minutes immediately after the meeting while everything is still fresh in your mind.
- Strive for clarity and sufficiency. Review your outline, add more notes and make sure all decisions, votes and motions are clearly defined. Ask yourself if the details on your outline are sufficient. For lengthy arguments and discussions, make sure you write major arguments for and against. For more official meeting minutes, add short descriptions of each action taken and the reasons given for this decision.
- Avoid any personal conclusions or observations. Remember, the meeting minutes should be fact-based and you should remain 100% objective.
- Write in the same tense throughout the entire meeting minutes.
- Use specific names only when requested to do so. For instance, to record motions.
- Don’t try to summarize additional documents. Instead, point out where team members can find them or simply attach them as an appendix.
Examples of meeting minutes:
Here are some examples of meeting minutes, prepared by Mombit – a next-generation meeting management platform. Use them freely next time you have to take notes during a meeting.
Some people say – the simpler, the better. This minutes of meeting template offers a clear and straightforward way to organize the discussion points during a meeting. The template provides spaces for each discussion point, as well as a free space where any additional information, notes or action plans can be described. Our basic meeting minutes template is perfectly suitable for attendees who are more comfortable with using paper and a pen. It’s also easy to customize it by allowing you to add more topics.
Time is of the essence. Especially when you quickly and efficiently have to allocate resources to conduct a specific task or solve an issue. This meeting of minutes template with action items and calculated times gives you an opportunity to enter a starting time and estimated time in minutes for each designated part of the meeting. You can also customize the template according to your schedule.
This team meeting minutes template is a great way for you to provide your project team with an outline of the meeting before it actually happens so that they can come prepared. The template also offers a time column where you can specifically point out what time you are willing to dedicate to each topic of discussion. Keep in mind that the template can be customized in case you want to add or remove items you deem essential to the meeting.
Board meetings usually have a more formal agenda than any other types of meetings. Therefore, a good deal of preparation should be done in order to execute them as efficiently as possible. The provided board meeting minutes template is easy to follow and designed to be easily adjusted according to the official policies the board follows. Add more items and assign a scheduled time for a more productive board meeting.
The following general business meeting minutes gives you the opportunity to fill in the most crucial information for all agenda items during the meeting, as well as write down estimated time for each discussion point. As all of the above examples, this one can also be easily adjusted according to the requirements of the committee or the type of professional gathering.
Should meeting minutes be approved?
Absolutely. Make sure that the team leader or Chair has reviewed the minutes before circulating them to the rest of the team. Before he/she approved them or revised them, they can’t be considered as an official record of a meeting.
How to share and store meeting minutes?
The way meeting minutes are shared or distributed depends on tools your company uses. One thing is for sure, though – no one is eager to have a pile of paper on their desk. Therefore, businesses prefer digital methods of business meeting minutes dissemination. The most preferred method to do so is using Google docs. With it, you can easily share the document with the group once it’s finalized. If you don’t like using Google docs, you can simply prepare a PDF file and send it, along with any other additional documents, via email.
Taking and preparing meeting minutes,although somewhat of a tedious task for many, is a very important responsibility. After all, they represent a written record of significant discussions, votes and decisions made during the meeting. We really hope that this article gave you a broader insight on how to prepare and write effective meeting meetings for your company and organization. Now go and get ready for your next meeting!
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