The minutes of a meeting, or simply “minutes,” is an instant written record of a meeting or hearing. The minutes describe the events that occurred in a meeting. Sometimes, the minutes include a list of attendees, as well as the responses or decisions being discussed by the attendees. Minutes are the official written record of the meetings of an organization or group but they are not transcripts of those proceedings.
In this article, we will be helping you create minutes for your own meeting. We have provided examples and templates (in PDF), as well as simple tips to help you create a minutes of the meeting.
Listed below are the elements of a minutes of a meeting. Make sure to include all the elements so that you can create an effective meeting minutes.
1. Basic details of company or organization: The meeting minutes always begin the basic details of company or organization conducting the meeting. The basic details include the name of the organization, business address, and contact number. No other information should be added aside from the ones previously mentioned as the basic information does not carry too much weight in a meeting minutes.
2. Date, time, and location of meeting: Aside from the company or organization’s basic details, the date, time, and location of the meeting should be listed in the meeting minutes as well. This is one of the most important elements of a meeting minutes, as the information is needed for record and file keeping. If the meeting was cancelled or moved to another date, then another minutes meeting should be created for that specific meeting.
3. Meeting objectives: The meeting objectives is also another important element of a minutes of a meeting. The objectives list down the topics or agenda that will be discussed in the meeting. The objectives primarily helps the individual writing down the minutes so he or she can focus on the agenda or topics that will be discussed by the attendees of the meeting. You may also see minutes writing examples.
4. Meeting attendees: The individuals attending the meeting should also be listed in the meeting minutes. You don’t have to list down everyone who is attending the meeting (especially if the meeting will be attended by more than a hundred individuals), just list down the ones who hold high positions within the company or organization. You can also group the attendees by teams or departments. Listing every attendee takes too much space and the other elements will get lost in the shuffle if the focus will be on the attendees alone.
5. Discussions from attendees: The discussion from the attendees is the most important element of the meeting minutes. The discussion covers all the important notes being mentioned by the attendees of the meeting. Take note that the minutes is not a transcript of the entire meeting, as every word or sentence should not be written down in the minutes. Focus on the gist of the discussion when taking down notes.
6. Action plan: The minutes meeting always end with an action plan. The action plan will be discussed by the attendees and should be listed down by the individual who is creating the action plan. If there is no action plan discussed during the meeting, then the individual writing the minutes should add his or her own action plan in the proposal.
Here are some tips to help you create an excellent meeting minutes layout:
A minutes of a meeting is a very simple business document. There aren’t really steps involved, but to help you create an effective minutes of a meeting, we listed them down below:
1. Create a layout: Before you start creating actual minutes, you first need to create a layout on the placement of the different elements. You can create the layout in a separate piece of paper or a graphic design software, but since this is only a minutes of a meeting, you can just create the layout in a piece of paper. It won’t take you more than 10 minutes to create the layout.
2. Purchase necessary materials: Once you are done creating the layout, it’s now time to purchase the materials you are going to use for the minutes. For a meeting minutes, you don’t really need much, as the only materials you need are paper, pens (optional), and markers (optional). The paper that you should be buying should be 8.5 × 11 inches (US paper size).
3. Incorporate all the elements: It’s now time to create the minutes by incorporating all of the elements (i.e. basic details of company or organization, date, time and location of meeting, meeting objectives, meeting attendees, discussion from attendees, and action plan) together. Write down on all the elements in the 8.5 × 11 paper size.
4. Review and revise: Once you’ve completed writing the minutes, it’s now time to review what you’ve written and check for errors (if there any). This step is crucial as you don’t want to notice errors after you have already printed the minutes and already using it in the actual meeting.
5. Print out: With everything set in place, it is now time to print out the minutes of the meeting. Again, do some checking before the paper goes into the printer.
You don’t have to worry about what size to use for the meeting minutes, as there is only one paper size you should use: 8.5 × 11 inches. Together with the 8.5 × 14 inch size, this US paper size is one of the most commonly used paper sizes for all types of business documents.
Although the secretary or clerk holds this responsibility, anyone can take on the job of recording the minutes of a meeting. Even though you can assign anyone, make sure that the person is also not an integral part in the meeting, or else his/her attention will be divided doing two things at once, which can compromise the meeting. You may also see meeting memo examples.
The minutes of a meeting is important because it does not only list down what transpired during the meeting, but it is also very helpful when the company or organization will be making future strategic based on the minutes.
We hope you found this article to be informative as well as helpful when you will be creating your own meeting minutes. We also included some templates and examples that you can download for free. Making a minutes of a meeting is not difficult, as long as you use the templates and examples as well as follow the steps and simple tips we provided you are good to go!