Meetings are the perfect time for people in an organization to gather and connect, share ideas, generate solutions, establish team action plans, and be aware of what’s current and necessary. It’s also important to have a record of the discussion gists and main points that can serve as a documentation and valuable reference in the future. This is why it’s important to note the sessions’ topic with meeting minutes. Learn more about it below.
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What Is a Meeting Minutes?
The meeting minutes are simply a record or an account of every topic, decisions, tasks, and plans that took place during a meeting session. More than being a report of actions during a gathering, it can also serve a legal purpose. Board meeting minutes have legal implications as they can be a valuable document as the basis for agreements and decisions.
How to Hold Productive Meetings
Did you know that a single unproductive meeting has grave repercussions? You might think it’s another boring session at the conference but not according to relevant data. According to Business Insider, unproductive meetings cost $37 billion annually. According to Inc, among the causes of unproductive meetings include participants multi-tasking during the session, insufficient planning, and unengaged remote participants.
Here are ways on how to hold productive meetings:
1. Plan shorter meetings. Aim to meet present brief discussions. Dragging on your sessions for long periods can have adverse results. You might think you’re making progress because you’ve covered more topics, but your participants’ minds could be flying somewhere halfway through the meeting.
2. Limit your participant’s number. It’s no secret that the more people there are in a single space, the less engaged they become. If you want to achieve a more productive meeting, get only those who are directly involved in a meeting agenda or a project plan. If there’s plenty of them, divide them into different groups.
3. Add entertainment. It never hurts to have icebreakers during your sessions, ween when you’re dealing with plans on an urgent deadline. This works efficiently in taking the pressure off the task and getting everybody’s attention.
4. Hold face-to-face meetings as much as possible. According to a study featured in the Atlast, 65% of employees continue with their job and pay little attention to conference meetings. If you want your participants to understand what the plan is all about, it’s best to meet personally.
Tips on How to Take the Minutes of a Meeting
If you want to learn how to take the minutes of a meeting effectively, here are some helpful tips for you:
1. Know What to Prioritize
When you’re asked to write the meeting minutes, the first thing you need to know is what things deserve a space in your notes. While it’s true that every matter in a meeting should be significant to its agenda, your note shouldn’t absorb every word of the session lest you’ll end up with a very lengthy meeting summary. When you walk in a conference room or any meeting venue, here are the things you should keep a lookout for:
- Name of the participants
- Duration of the sessions (specify start and end times)
- Action plans
- Task assignments
- Discussion’s main points
- Used presentations
- Future plans
- Vote results
2. Review Meeting Materials Beforehand
It helps to review the materials used in the meeting beforehand so you can have a thorough understanding of what the session is all about. Why should you study when the speakers are going to discuss them anyway? Well, you’ll never know how the pace of the meeting is going to proceed. In some cases, it can be hard to keep up with the discussion, and you might end up frantically writing everything without proper organization and several follow up questions and clarifications. Review plans, presentations, documents, and reports can give you a head start, and you’ll know what the important points are going to be.
3. Take Notes Real-Time
Just because you’re familiar with the topic, you’ve reviewed the files beforehand, or the meeting is running slow doesn’t mean you have to slack off with the note-taking. Complacency might cost you a few valuable details and points because you decided to jot them down later. Actively take notes of valuable information as they come, even if it’s a meeting flow that you know by heart. Remember that a lot of your colleagues will be relying on whatever you write on the report, especially those who weren’t able to attend. You owe it to them to give them accurate details.
4. Use Charts, Graphs, and Illustrations
Your meeting minutes notes doesn’t have to be all-text. It can include visuals presentations that can help you interpret ideas better. This also shortens the length of your meeting outline. Use charts, graphs, and illustrations when you need to. It can contain a full load of details on a single layout. As an example, if you make a rough bar chart of a financial report, you’ll already an increase and decrease of different variables. If the visuals are too complicated to explain, you can include a brief note on your note that says it needs the support of a particular reference. You can get the reference afterwards for a more detailed report.
5. Give Templates a Try
There are many ways by which you can take notes of the meeting minutes during a session. You can use digital notes or good old paper and pen notes. Whichever platform you prefer, the minutes of a meeting templates are surely worth your time. It provides you with a ready-made layout with all the proper sectioning so you can confidently put in details in an organized manner. Take a look at our meeting minutes template samples.
What’s the ideal duration for a meeting session?
The ideal meeting duration should not exceed 15 minutes.
What should you exclude when taking the minutes of a meeting?
These are some things that you shouldn’t include when taking meeting minutes notes: Personal observations and judgmental comments Every word of a discussion Unsummarized points
Is the note containing the meeting minutes confidential?
Meeting minutes can be confidential when the board or its participants decide that it contains valuable and sensitive information.
Taking the meeting minutes notes expertly is a valuable skill that you can use in any organization. This shows that you’re able to grasp complex ideas and interpret them briefly and sensibly even by just listening to the discussion. It’s also a benefit to everyone in the organization when they receive meeting summaries that accurately details what has been discussed during the gathering. Let our meeting minutes template help you. Download now!
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