Meetings can be one of the most important parts of any team or organization. They're a way to bring people together, share ideas, and come up with solutions to problems. But if you're in charge of taking meeting minutes, it can be hard to know where to start. And if you've never taken meeting minutes before, they might seem like a daunting task. However, once you learn how they work and what information is included in them—as well as why they matter—you'll see that writing them is easier than you think!
Meeting minutes are a written record of the decisions made, actions taken and outcomes of a meeting. They are also documentation of what was discussed and what was decided. They can be prepared by anyone who attended the meeting, but in most cases it's best to have someone else take notes so that you're not distracted by note-taking while participating in the meeting itself.
There's a reason that the term "meeting minutes" is used to refer to the record of an official meeting. The name actually has nothing to do with time. The word minutes comes from the Latin word for details "minutia". The term meeting minutes first appeared in the 1700s meaning small notes or jottings, which became associated with official written records of what occurred during an event like a public assembly or town council meeting.
Meeting minutes serve a variety of purposes. The most common is documenting the decisions made in a meeting, but they can also be used for:
Meeting minutes are a record of decisions, actions and discussions taken during a meeting. They provide you with a clear understanding of what’s been agreed on and who is responsible to follow up on the action items.
To write action items that are more than just a list of things to do, use action verbs to describe the person who will take the action. To be very clear in your communication - action items should always follow the pattern "Person" + "Action" + "Condition". For example, "Colin to send an email after the call."
Meeting minutes are critical for hybrid and distributed teams. Getting clear communication documented however takes a lot of time and effort! It also steals focus from one person in the meeting. Luckily, we've built an AI at Supernormal that automatically takes the notes for you and even captures action items, key decisions and summary. Get started for free at Supernormal.
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