Dima Eremin
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May 17, 2024

What Are Meeting Minutes And How To Take Them Effectively

Every wondered what meetings minutes are and how to take the correctly? ✅ Learn to document key discussions, decisions, and actions. ▶️

What Are Meeting Minutes And How To Take Them Effectively
What Are Meeting Minutes And How To Take Them Effectively

Meeting minutes are essential records of discussions, decisions, and items from meetings, ensuring accountability and clarity. This guide provides insights on how to take meeting minutes effectively, helping you capture key points concisely and accurately.

By reading further, you'll learn best practices and tips to enhance your minute-taking skills, solve common documentation problems, and add significant value to your meetings. Discover how well-prepared minutes can streamline follow-up actions and improve overall communication within your team.

What Are Meeting Minutes?

Meeting minutes are written or recorded documentation that capture the essential details of what happened during a meeting. They typically include key points discussed, decisions made, action items assigned, and any other significant information discussed during the meeting.

Meeting minutes serve as a record of the board chair proceedings and can be referred back to for clarification, accountability, and follow-up purposes. They are essential for ensuring that everyone involved in the meeting is on the same page regarding what was discussed and what needs to be done next.

Why Are Meeting Minutes Important?

  1. Record keeping: They provide a written or recorded record of what was discussed, decided, and action items assigned during the meeting. This record helps ensure that there is a clear understanding of the outcomes of the meeting and can be referred back to if there are any misunderstandings or disputes.
  2. Documentation of decisions: Meeting minutes document the decisions made during the meeting, including who made the decision and any rationale behind it. This helps maintain accountability and ensures that decisions are properly recorded and followed up on.
  3. Communication: Meeting minutes serve as a communication tool for stakeholders who were unable to attend the meeting. They provide a summary of the discussions and decisions made, allowing absent members to stay informed and contribute to follow-up actions if necessary.
  4. Compliance purposes: In some cases, meeting minutes may be required for legal or compliance reasons, especially in organizations governed by regulations or standards that mandate documentation of meetings and decisions.
  5. Reference for future meetings: Meeting minutes can be used as a reference for future meetings, helping to track progress on action items, revisit previous decisions or discussions, and ensure continuity between meetings.

How To Take Meeting Minutes

In this section, we'll explore essential tips and best practices to help you capture the key points, decisions, and actions during meetings, ensuring that everyone stays on the same page and follow-up tasks are completed efficiently.

Take notes

Taking meeting minutes involves more than just jotting down what's being said. It requires active listening and the ability to distill key points from discussions. Start by noting the date, time, and attendees at the top of your document.

During the meeting, focus on capturing decisions made, action items assigned, and any important discussions or questions raised. Use clear and concise language, avoiding unnecessary details. Be sure to attribute decisions and action items to specific individuals and include deadlines for completion.

Focus on important details

When taking meeting minutes, it's crucial to focus on the important details to ensure that the essence of the discussion is captured accurately. Prioritize recording decisions made, action items assigned, and any significant points raised during the last meeting, from previous meeting minutes, and for the next meeting.

Avoid getting bogged down by minor details or tangential discussions, and instead concentrate on key outcomes and next steps. Use clear and concise language to convey the information effectively, making it easy for readers to understand the main points of the meeting.

Include factual information

Meeting notes need to include factual records that document the proceedings and outcomes of a meeting that serve as the official record. They typically include essential details such as the meeting date and time, and the location of the meeting, as well as a list of attendees and any apologies for absence.

The minutes outline the agenda items discussed, decisions made, and action items assigned during the meeting, providing members a comprehensive overview of the discussions. Additionally, they may include any relevant reports, presentations, or documents referenced during the meeting.

Keep it simple

When taking meeting notes, simplicity is key. Start by noting the date, time, attendees, and agenda items. During the meeting, focus on capturing key decisions, action items, and important discussions. Use clear and concise language, avoiding unnecessary details. Attribute decisions and action items to specific individuals and include deadlines. After the meeting, review and finalize your notes promptly for accuracy.

Note the purpose

When preparing meeting notes, it's vital to note the purpose of the gathering. Begin by clearly stating the objective or goals outlined in the meeting agenda. Throughout the session, focus on meeting purpose, documenting discussions and decisions that align with this purpose. Highlight any action items or resolutions that contribute to achieving the meeting's objectives.

Write down the decisions made

Document each decision along with the individuals involved in making them and any pertinent details or rationale provided for the meeting notes. Use concise language to capture the essence of each decision, avoiding unnecessary elaboration.

Additionally, note any voting outcomes or consensus reached among the board directors or participants. By diligently recording the decisions made, you provide a clear record of the meeting's outcomes and ensure accountability and clarity for all stakeholders involved.

Add supplementary documents

When crafting meeting minutes, consider supplementing the text with relevant documents to provide additional context and clarity. Incorporate reports, presentations, attendees voting members, or other materials referenced during the meeting into the minutes as attachments or appendices.

Clearly label and reference these supplementary documents within the already written meeting minutes to ensure they are easily accessible and comprehensible to readers. By including supplementary documents, you enrich the meeting minutes with valuable supporting information, enhancing their comprehensiveness for all meeting attendees.

Edit and summarize

When composing meeting minutes, it's essential to edit and summarize effectively to capture the essence of the discussion while maintaining brevity and clarity. Review your notes post-meeting and condense lengthy discussions into concise summaries, focusing on key points, decisions, and action items. Eliminate redundant or irrelevant information to streamline the document and enhance readability. Use clear and straightforward language to convey the main ideas effectively. By editing and summarizing the meeting minutes, you create a polished and informative record that serves as a valuable reference for participants and stakeholders.

Share meetings minutes

After compiling meeting minutes, it's important to promptly share them with all relevant stakeholders. Distribute the minutes via email or through a shared document platform to ensure accessibility to all participants.

Include a clear subject line and brief introduction indicating the purpose of the email and attach the preparing minutes. Encourage recipients to view the minutes and provide any necessary feedback or corrections after you write meeting minutes. By sharing meeting minutes promptly, you facilitate transparency, accountability, and alignment among team members, enabling effective communication and follow-up actions for the members present.

Save copies

Storing a copy of meeting minutes is essential for maintaining a comprehensive record of organizational decisions and actions. After finalizing the minutes, save a copy in a designated folder or document management system accessible to relevant team members. Consider organizing the files by date or meeting topic for easy retrieval.

Additionally, ensure that backups are regularly performed to prevent the loss of important data. By securely storing a copy of the meeting minutes, you establish a reliable repository for future reference, compliance, legal protection, and historical documentation within the organization or board members.

Tips For Writing Meeting Minutes

Here are some tips for writing effective meeting minutes:

  • Be consistent: Establish a consistent format and style for your meeting minutes. This helps make them easy to read and understand and ensures that important information is consistently recorded.
  • Record key points: Focus on capturing the key points discussed during the meeting, including decisions made, action items assigned, and any important discussions or questions raised.
  • Clear and concise language: Write in clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or overly technical terms. Make sure your minutes are easily understandable by all meeting participants.
  • Record decisions: Document any decisions made during the meeting, including who made the decision and any rationale behind it. Also, record action items assigned to specific individuals, along with deadlines for completion.
  • Add comments: If there are any comments or additional context that need to be included in the minutes, you can add them in brackets or as footnotes, along with the initials of the person who commented. This helps provide additional context without cluttering the main body of the minutes.
  • Attendance: List the names of all attendees at the beginning of the minutes. This helps provide context for the discussions and decisions recorded in the minutes for meeting attendees.
  • Use software: Consider using templates or meeting minutes software to help streamline the process of writing and formatting meeting minutes. This can save time and ensure consistency across different sets of minutes.

Bluedot's Meeting Minute Templates

Bluedot offers a variety of pre-built meeting templates that cater to different types of meeting agendas, such as board meetings, project meetings, and team check-ins. These templates are customizable, allowing users to modify them according to specific needs.

This functionality helps in tracking progress and ensuring accountability. You can also generate reminders and follow-up notifications directly from the platform, ensuring that tasks are completed on time.

Here are five examples of different types of templates:

  • Board meeting minutes template
Board meeting minutes template
  • Formal meetings note-taking template
Formal meetings note-taking template
  • Project meeting minute template
Project meeting minute template
  • Committee meeting minute template
Committee meeting minute template
  • Team meeting minute template
Team meeting minute template


Formal meeting minutes act as a powerful tool to bridge the gap between discussions and progress with this official record. By capturing key decisions, and next steps, and assigning clear ownership, minutes ensure everyone stays aligned and informed. This framework assists with crafting effective meeting minutes for your next meeting, but also for those seeking to streamline the process and capture every detail, Bluedot offers the ultimate solution.

Bluedot is not just about transcription; it's a comprehensive meeting management platform that empowers you to take clear, collaborative notes for your meeting minutes, record meetings, create follow-up emails, and automatically generate shareable minutes. Bluedot is the best assistant for recording meeting minutes and helps you to focus on what is being said instead of being distracted and keeping a written record.

This is especially valuable when someone is sharing their screen, as Bluedot captures both the audio and visual components of the presentation. With Bluedot, you can ditch physically writing meeting minutes and focus on what matters most: driving your project and new business forward.

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