What is the Best Way to Organize Meeting Minutes - 7 Tips

Meeting Insights

Whether you’re in a corporate setting, a small business, or an educational institution, meetings are essential for making decisions and tracking progress. But how do you ensure that all the key points and decisions made during those meetings don’t get lost? The answer is meeting minutes!

Minutes are an essential part of group collaboration. Without them, important discussion items about group initiatives could become muddled or lost in everyday work. Taking a few minutes to record highlights and important points of team meetings helps group members stay organized, eliminates miscommunication, and allows members to review previous meetings if they need to keep records of decision-making.

Utilizing your meeting notes and minutes properly can be tricky though – which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you out. In it, we will cover seven tips for organizing and utilizing the minutes of your meeting effectively, from setting up the initial meeting to following up on to-dos afterward. Read on to learn more!

1. Setting Up the Meeting - What information needs to be included in the minutes

Gathering minutes is an important step in formalizing collaborative work. If you have a regular format for your minutes, you’ll have a list of what needs to be discussed and put into action before the meeting begins. Minutes of the meeting should include key details such as:

  • the meeting attendees
  • meeting time, place, and date
  • meeting purpose
  • meeting agenda discussed
  • key action points

When all of this relevant information is recorded objectively and accurately, it will ensure that everyone present at the meeting is on the same page moving forward.

2. Taking Notes During the Meeting - How to capture essential points and key decisions during the meeting

Meeting notes or minutes?

Before going further, let's discuss meeting notes and minutes. Although both can be used to summarize key points of meetings, they're not completely the same.

Meeting notes are exactly as they are called–notes. This is an easy reference for ideas, targets, dates, data, and everything you will need during your meeting discussion.

Minutes however are more formal and typically include meeting attendees, meeting time, key topics in the meeting agenda that were discussed, and action items. The information contained in a minute is not very different from a meeting note, however, it's organized in a more structured format.

For your note-taking process, you might want to choose an outline. This way, everyone will feel more prepared when it's their turn to take down meeting notes.

Consider this meeting notes template when creating your team's outline:

  • Meeting Basics: Date, time, meeting attendees
  • Purpose of Meeting: Main objective or Key topic on the meeting agenda
  • Key points on the agenda: Build around meeting agendas when writing your key points. Record agenda items that were addressed, voting results, and decisions made.
  • Ideas, unanswered questions: Questions or follow-ups that you or other attendees still have after the meeting ends
  • Action items: Make sure to write down the action steps, the task owner for each, and its due date.

It might be best to agree on a general structure for your note-taking outline which has sections that will help present the most important details from the meeting.

Fig. 1. Meeting notes or minutes? (Source: Unsplash)

3. Organizing Your Notes - How to organize meeting notes and keep track of action items

As a note-taker, developing a method can make your work more efficient. There are different note-taking methods to take organized and effective notes.

The Outline note-taking style is the most common, whether handwritten or through the help of a note-taking app or software. For this method, put a heading for each topic discussed.

Under each heading, list the sub-points and add the details. Use this simple process and structure to gather a large amount of information.

Fig. 2. It's worth your time to find a note-taking method that works best for you. (Source: Freepik)

4. Writing Up the Minutes - Best practices for writing up formal minutes, including formatting tips

Writing up minutes that are concise, accurate, and easy to refer back to is an art. To start with, stay organized – make sure each point is numbered and has a clear heading; this will help give structure to the document.

Too many details can make minutes hard to read; instead of writing everything down, provide the main points instead. Additionally, use active voice when possible to help make it easier for readers to follow along. Lastly, don’t forget who your minute-taking audience is: remain objective in recounting the events so that anyone who reads them can catch up quickly.

You may also want to run your minutes in a web-based tool like Grammarly, or make use of its browser extensions before sending it out. This is especially important for more formal meetings with your team leaders, Board of Directors, and the like.

5. Distributing & Storing the Minutes - Strategies for sharing out minutes and storing them

With the endless amount of data generated from meetings, it is essential to have an organized system to store and share it. This is where technology comes in.

Project management software, such as Monday.com, can be used to assign action items and track progress. Keeping notes in digital format makes it easy to access information from anywhere. Having a collaborative document ensures that everyone is in sync.

More than just having a paperless way to compile and share minutes, you can also create one central workspace for your team with tools like Eric.AI. It's an intelligent meeting assistant that can be integrated into the Microsoft Teams meeting app, in case you are using this.

6. Following Up on Action Items - Ideas for following up on action items from meetings

Minutes of the meeting serve as a written record of what happened during the meeting, allowing everyone to remain on the same page and stay up-to-date with the team’s progress. Use it best by syncing up with the team!

Link your notes to your calendar and sync them up with everyone's calendar so each one involved has access to the same information, especially the to-do list. Google Drive folders require constant attention, but it's great for collaborating when you are working on files and documents. When it comes to being in sync with the action items, a great way would be to make use of the calendar. This way you can also set up reminders to follow up on each actionable item.

Create a calendar event as well for the next meeting if you are able to pin it down as soon as the current one ends.

Fig. 3. Sync the minutes to your calendar. (Source: Freepik)

7. Making Use of Technology – Benefits of using technology tools

Writing notes down while also paying attention is taxing so we highly recommend the use of project management software and other tools such as note-taking apps when organizing minutes of your meeting.

Eric.AI can help in Organizing and Utilizing Minutes of Your Meeting

If you're a manager, you know that teams who can communicate and collaborate effectively are more likely to outperform their competitors. However, managing a team and ensuring that everyone stays on the same page is no easy task.

That’s where Eric.AI comes in. With Eric.AI, you can build a knowledge base your entire team can depend on, make meetings accessible and easy to follow, and collaborate with your team like never before.

Eric.AI has easy-to-use tools to playback meetings efficiently:

  • View assigned meeting agenda
  • Search or filter transcript
  • Quickly understand meeting content using automatic topic detection
  • Exportable and editable meeting minutes template
  • Automatic minutes showing who was there and who contributed

Make catching up on meetings a reality with this intelligent Meeting AI.

Fig. 4. With Eric.AI, you can build a knowledge base you and your team can depend on (Source: Eric.AI)

Easily record your meeting's audio and video with Eric.AI

To ensure that all main points and decisions made during meetings are captured accurately, Eric.AI offers an intelligent note-taking and minute-capturing solution that streamlines the entire process:

  • Playback meeting audio and video
  • Use the "Action Item" voice command to create action items as you speak
  • Action items are centralized and linked to your meetings
  • Track the outcome of previous action items in recurring meetings

Bonus Tip:

Avoid writing meeting notes individually so everyone can focus on the discussion.

Take Better Meeting Notes

Taking meeting notes, especially effective meeting notes, is an essential component of any successful organization. It can be an intimidating task, but with the right preparation and tools, it can be made simple. By following the steps above and utilizing a tool like Eric.AI, you’ll be well on your way to unleashing a more efficient team in your organization!

With Eric.AI, users can easily capture meeting notes in real-time, store them securely, share important information with team members, set reminders for action points or tasks, and more! Eric.AI is the perfect tool to ensure that your organization stays organized and efficient. Try Eric.AI today!

Fig. 5. Collaboration by unlocking the power of meeting minutes.  (Source: Freepik)

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