The minutes of a meeting are a summarized written record of what occurs, and is said, at a meeting. While there isn't one universally applied format for how to document the minutes, the minutes generally consist of the following information:
The minutes are usually written by a designated person and they usually use shorthand notes to maintain pace with the flow of the meeting. Once the meeting is completed this individual will usually consolidate the meeting minutes and put the information from the meeting on a template that will be distributed to all neccessary personnel. In some cases, a meeting may be recorded and this recording will serve as the record, or it may be used to transcribe the information to the meeting minutes template at a later time.
A key area of consideration for the individual that is responsible for taking the minutes of the meeting is to keep the notes brief and only summarize the discussion and outcomes of the meeting. The purpose of the minutes is to provide a summarized overview of the meeting. Additionally, some organizations have a prescribed outline of who is supposed to receive the minutes and how long the minutes are supposed to be maintained on record; ensure that these are maintained accordingly.
For a fairly thorough description of how to take minutes of a meeting, visit our page Robert's Rules for Minutes.
Robert's Rules of Order is THE guide for how to conduct meetings.
The following are a few useful meeting minutes tips that will make your job a little easier.
• If you aren't familiar with all the attendees that may be present at the meeting, have an attendance sheet ready to pass around, ask them to print so you can read their names when you complete your template.
• In addition to the attendees, if you aren't familiar with who the committee members are, get a list of who they are and be able to identify them so you know who makes a motion.
• Take notice of the time that the meeting begins, as this will be part of your minutes template.
• When taking minutes, the most important part is transcribing the main points. You do not need to write down everything that is said. Additionally, be objective and try to remove any personal feelings from your notes... less adjectives is better.
• When a motion is made, the main points that need to be documented are: what the motion was, who made the motion and the number of votes. If a motion will need to be addressed at a future meeting, document that "motion x to be voted on at next meeting (or whenever it is decided to be addressed).
• Finally, document when the meeting ends and make sure to print, sign and date your name at the bottom of your notes, or template.
The following video is a very good quick overview of how to take meeting minutes
Meeting Minutes Template
The regular meeting of [Name of Team/Organization] was called to order at [Time] on [Date] in [Location] by [Meeting Chair].
List of Attendees
A. Approval of Agenda
The agenda was unanimously approved as distributed.
B. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.
C. Open Issues
Summarize the discussion for each existing issue, state the outcome, and assign any action item.
D. New Business
Summarize the discussion for new issues, state the next steps, and assign any action item.
E. Agenda for Next Meeting
List the items to be discussed at the next meeting.
To open, view and use the .pdf minutes template, click the "View Template" button below.
You can also download this template in Word:
Meeting Minutes Template (Word File)
For more sample templates, visit our page: Minutes Template