Whether you come from a big or small business, discussions and conversations can be taken into account using meeting notes. Besides businesses, many schools, courts, communities, and other gatherings may have you sit through meetings. But what if you feel like a meeting is just for the sake of having a company meeting without any important takeaway involved? Or worse, what if you forget every essential detail discussed as you leave the gathering? And that leads us back to the importance of useful meeting notes. Learn more about them below.

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Meeting Notes: What Are They?

Meeting notes are basically the notes taken to summarize the takeaways and critical points in a meeting. Expect such notes to be your best reference in getting the gist, objectives, deadlines, and other data that were tackled in a meeting. Examples include the purpose, agenda, and decisions included in the gathering’s discussion. And for anyone who was absent during such meeting, the meeting notes can help absentees learn about what they missed.

How to Write Excellent Meeting Notes

Compared to meeting minutes, the meetings notes are not that structured. There is room to personalize the layout, format, design, and so much more. In fact, we also have editable sample templates of meetings notes for you to personalize. The process is simple, just search for a sample meeting note template of your choice and tweak its content afterward. And if you need tips on how to write the notes excellently, we got you covered. Kindly follow these five steps:

Step 1: Take Notes During the Meeting

What can you write without paying attention from the meeting in the first place? So while the meeting is ongoing, listen eagerly and take notes on a planner or any document at the same time. Indeed, you can just hear everything out and write afterward. But if you struggle in remembering details, then note-taking is a lifesaver. You can either use a notebook or record with an audio or video. And it does not matter if the details are all over the place because those notes are still your draft.

Step 2: Summarize What Happened

After the meeting, use your draft as your reference to write the meeting notes. And have you used one of our sample templates above already? Let such samples guide you on how to process a meeting notes within minutes. Also, begin summarizing what happened in the meeting. What happened first until the last part. You need not make everything in long sentences because a summary should be brief yet straightforward.

Step 3: Focus Writing on Action Items

Make meeting notes like you are writing an assignment. And a tip is to write action items. Who is assigned in the team to do a particular task? When should a project be finished? Those are some important topics to cover. That way, people would know what to be reminded of in case they have assigned tasks to fulfill. You can enumerate this section instead of writing long sentences and paragraphs.

Step 4: Incorporate Additional Notes

You can add more notes to the meeting notes. But, focus on relevance no matter what. Everything you write there should still be relevant. Maybe you have some questions, ideas, or takeaways worth sharing after the meeting. Hence, add that section in the additional notes so people can reflect from your ideas too. Moreover, those extra notes might be factors worth not forgetting so at least those who read them will be reminded accordingly.

Step 5: Finalize the Output’s Format

How should the meeting notes look like in the end? Decide it. For example, do you prefer the meeting notes in PDF or in PSD? Also, do you want to send handwritten notes, printed copies, or just through email for these meeting notes? Finalize that decision because meeting notes are eventually shared to those who need them. And if you are already confident that the notes are informative, organized, and easy to follow, then submit them now.

FAQs

What is the difference between meeting notes and meeting minutes?

Although both meeting notes and meeting minutes summarize what happened in meetings, they are also quite different. For instance, meeting minutes are more formal than meeting notes. With meeting minutes, they do not only cover the summary but also the complete attendance of the meeting, the absentee list, the time of when the meeting started and ended, every topic discussed, and the actions taken from the meeting.

What are other ways to write meeting notes?

You do not always have to write notes on a piece of paper and a pen. You can document through the use of videotapes, audio records, phones, and sample templates, of course.

What are the main parts of meeting notes?

Meeting notes generally have three basic parts. They are the agenda’s key points, the action items, and the ideas. And your meeting notes must have such elements to make them complete.

What are the different methods for taking notes during meetings?

You have two methods in writing notes for your meetings—the Cornell method and the quadrants method. The Cornell method refers to note-taking where you divide your page into takeaways or highlights on the left side and the basic notes on the right side. The bottom page is for the additional notes. Meanwhile, the quadrants method, which was used by Bill Gates, divides your paper into four. The quadrants are the questions, notes, personal action items, and assignment of tasks.

What are the types of minutes?

In business meeting minutes, there are three basic types of minutes. They are the action, discussion, and verbatim. You should be specific of each use to know which type suits best on your application.

Note-taking from scratch can be tiring but in order to reduce the hassle, follow a template as your guide instead. Rest assured, taking notes during a meeting or gathering has never been easier to process. Use our sample meeting notes template to cover your next meeting agenda.

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