How to Write Meeting Minutes

Once your meeting has an agenda and the person who should keep minutes has a strategy, here are some tips on the content of meeting minutes. (See How to Prepare Minutes for a Meeting.)

Particular information to gather can include:

— Date, place, and time of the meeting
— Purpose of the meeting
— Name of the chair or facilitator
— List of attendees
— List of outside guests or participants
— List of absent members
— Approval of previous meeting’s minutes and all resolutions
— Record of principle points discussed, actions taken, and decisions made
— Time of adjournment
— Date, place, and time of next meeting
— Name of person taking the minutes
— Copies of materials distributed at the meeting
— Any audio visual displays used

Notes should be brief and to the point. Important decisions and actions should be recorded on the template or notepad as they happen.

Circulate an attendance list in order to record who was present at the meeting. If a list of expected attendees is prepared before the meeting, names can be checked off as people arrive.

Record any motions made and the names of people who originated them. Make a note of whether motions were adopted or rejected and which voting method was used. Minutes should be written in an objective tone, without the private opinions or editorializations of the minute-taker.

It is crucial that meeting minutes are accurate, because they can be a legal record of proceedings and actions of an organization. Knowing how to take meeting minutes accurately is a valuable business skill.