Meeting minutes or people also call it minutes of the meeting (mom), is a written record of everything that has occurred during a business meeting. Meeting minutes are utilized to inform those workers who were absent at the meeting about the content of this meeting to tell about what decisions were accepted or are going to be accepted. Business practices change, but meeting minutes are left as an element of everyday business activities.
Meetings can be complicated, so if you are in charge of writing meeting minutes, you will have to prepare in advance. Below we have prepared important points that should be taken into consideration and steps to make writing meeting minutes easier.
Main Aim of Meeting Minutes
Those people who were responsible for writing meeting minutes for the first time panicked because of the word “minutes.” In reality, this term simply misleads workers. Do not think that your leadership expects you to record every minute of the meeting. You need to capture the essence of the business meeting. It is important to include the next details:
Meeting minutes are created for all members who were present at the meeting in order to be able to review the content of the meeting once again. Meeting minutes represent a source of information for those participants who could not be present at the meeting for one reason or another. Meeting minutes can serve as a reference point for such cases as:
when results of the particular meeting influence other collaborative activities and projects in the company;
meeting minutes can help to remind people about their assigned tasks and/or deadlines.
Things Should be Involved in Meeting Minutes
If you are responsible for writing meeting minutes, take into account the next actions in the writing meeting minutes process.
In order to provide effective meeting minutes, the business meeting has to be well-planned. Even if you have already attended many meetings, the next business meeting can be the most complicated. Every business meeting is unique, with its own new agendas and fresh discussions. Note the information about participants and the aim of the meeting. Sort out all details of the meeting. This step will make your job much easier.
This step is connected with the “pre-planning” action. Before you start to record the meeting, you will have to know what type of information you are going to record at the business meeting. Therefore, we advise taking notes of the next necessary information.
Information about the date and accurate time of the business meeting;
Names of participants (who will be present at the meeting and those who can not attend the meeting);
Corrections/amendments to past meeting minutes;
Results of the meeting (decisions). Here you should include information about what actions were taken during the meeting or are going to be taken after the meeting. If there was a voting process during the meeting, you should include detailed information about this process (who made motions, who voted, who abstained from voting).
Writing Process of Meeting Minutes
When the meeting has finished, it is time to pick up your notes and write the meeting minutes. It is recommended not to delay the writing process but to start it immediately after the meeting. While information is fresh in your head, you should begin the writing process of the meeting minutes as soon as possible while other job duties do not distract you.
Write an outline. Check if you have included all the necessary information about things that were discussed or decisions were accepted during the meeting. Edit the meeting minutes so that they can be easy to read for your leadership. Stay objective and write in the same tense. Make the meeting minutes based on real facts but not on your personal observations. Attach other documents if needed.
Ways of Creating Meeting Minutes
Nowadays, due to the pandemic, many businesses have to go on remote operations. If your company is not an exception, it means that all business meetings are conducted online via web conferencing software. If you are in charge of writing meeting minutes, you will have to possess a powerful laptop with working speakers and a microphone in order to hear all participants of the meeting.
After the meeting is finished, there are several ways of writing meeting minutes. You can use a pen and paper, but this way is long and labor-intensive. As an alternative, you can use a digital notepad, but we do not think that your leadership provides you with a digital notepad at its own expense. In the majority of cases, you will have to pay out of your own pocket to buy a modern digital notepad with various functionalities.
Use Transcription Method to Write Meeting Minutes
Previous ways are helpful but still not efficient enough in comparison with the transcription method of writing meeting minutes. We have already said that all meetings are conducted via special web conferencing software. Such software enables recording both audio and video meetings. After, you can get the written content of the needed meetings. You will ask how it is possible. We speak about transcription. This process enables getting written information from the recorded meetings. If you have been distracted and missed important information during the meeting, transcription can assist you.
You can use automated transcription services in order to get written content fast. Still, such a method can not guarantee 100% quality. Of course, you can edit the automated transcript, but you will simply waste time. We recommend applying to professional transcriptionists. They can provide transcripts of the needed meetings so that you will be able to write high-quality meeting minutes.