Taking Meeting Minutes: 3 Steps to Write Effective Minutes

Meeting Minutes

If you have had a meeting at work or an event, you know how important it is to take notes to remember what was said later. Meeting minutes are usually the most important part of the meeting and should be documented accordingly. They usually include motions proposed, votes that were taken, and activities to be undertaken. 

What are the steps for meeting minutes?

To effectively record the minutes of a meeting follow these steps:

1. Preplan 

Ask the chairperson or assistant in the meeting what the agenda is and the topic of the meeting. The person recording minutes will be able to plan better and draft a format before the meeting starts.

2. Make a record of the meeting 


Gather all the documents that need to be passed out and make sure everyone can have a copy. Also make a list of the names of the members that are present, including guests and speakers. This agenda for the meeting can serve as a guide to help you take notes and then later prepare the minutes. 

3. Writing the minutes

Of course, an important step is actually writing the minutes. Always ask the leader if they want to follow a certain format or if they want specific things included.  Always follow a board meeting minutes template

The following things are always included in meeting minutes:

  • Date and time of the meeting 
  • Names of all attendees including absent people 
  • Acceptance of amendments from the previous meeting’s minutes 
  • Activities are undertaken or agreed on
  • Outcomes of any elections
  • Motions accepted 
  • Motions rejected 
  • New business plans 
  • Date and time of the next meeting 
  • Next steps that are being taken regarding the business 

Helpful tips for writing meeting minutes 

If you are the person writing the meeting minutes or need to advise someone to write them, there are a few tips you can follow to make the job of writing much easier. 

Write the minutes as soon as possible 

Memories and everything about the meeting can become muddled in your busy life, so make sure you write the minutes as soon as the meeting is done. You don’t want to forget anything important or risk not sharing something with someone. 

Review your outline 

The template agenda you made earlier should be reviewed and clarified. Make any adjustments to make the minutes concise and clear. Make sure that all votes, verdicts, and motions are clearly recorded. 


All meeting minutes should be condensed with only the most important information available. Make sure they are brief but still clear. Minutes should not confuse anyone or make reviewing the meeting difficult. 

Distribute the minutes 

After finishing the minutes, distribute them to everyone who was at the meeting and additional people when requested. More companies are now sharing them online rather than making paper copies. 

Google docs, OneDrive, or Microsoft Word are all great choices for sharing the minutes. It will also help people get them quickly without having to wait for items to be printed and given to them. 

Having it on an online platform will also ensure that it is saved somewhere for later if you need to refer to it for any reason. 

Final Thoughts 

Having the task of minute meetings can be stressful the first few times if you don’t follow a template or know the best protocol. However, having the right resources and documentation can make the process much easier. Using an online approach will also ensure that your notes are distributed quickly and that everyone can access the files later if they need to refer to them. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.