4 Meeting Minutes Templates To Save Time

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Meetings are an integral part of every organisation. Whether you're conducting an online or offline meeting, several tools can help save time and increase efficiency. One helpful tool is a meeting minutes template that captures all the critical decisions and action items discussed during the meeting. In this article, we discuss the components in a meeting minutes template and share some templates to help you draft effective meeting minutes.

What are meeting minutes?

Meeting minutes also referred to as MOM (minutes of meeting), is the written record of all actions and points discussed during a meeting. They're often prepared to keep track of all that you discussed and finalised during a meeting so that you can save a record and use it to aid future decision-making. After a meeting, you can share this document with people who could not attend to keep them updated and informed about everything that was discussed during the meeting.

What should you include in a meeting minutes template?

When writing meeting minutes, you should include several details that can benefit anyone who needs to refer to them in the future. The format, content and style of meeting minutes varies depending on your organisation and meeting committee. Here's some effective content for you to consider when drafting your meeting minutes template:

  • Date and time of the meeting

  • Complete list of meeting attendees

  • Purpose of the meeting

  • Agenda items covered during the meeting

  • Decisions taken during the meeting

  • Any action items that were agreed, including the action details, the person assigned to the action and the date of completion

  • Motions proposed or voted on

  • Next meeting date and time, if applicable

  • Any documents that have to be included in the meeting report

Meeting minute templates

When writing meeting minutes, it's important to make sure that you are thorough and accurate. You should also highlight your discussion's major points and clearly record all the decisions taken. For drafting meeting minutes, you can either create a template of your own or use any of the readily available templates. Here are some meeting minutes templates you can make easily using the tools on your computer:

Informal meeting minutes templates in Microsoft Word

One of the most accessible tools you can use to create a meeting minutes template is Microsoft Word. Here is an example of an informal meeting minutes template that captures the relevant information:

  • Date including the month, day and year

  • Time of the meeting

  • List of all attendees

  • List of agenda items, including key discussion points, decisions made and next steps

  • List of action items, including targeted end date and responsible person

Formal meeting minutes templates in Microsoft Word

Non-profits, schools, government and public companies commonly use formal meeting minutes. These meeting minutes use clear and standard language with a proper structure. Here's an example of the contents in a formal meeting minute template:

  • Company/department name

  • Date, time and location of the meeting

  • List of attendees, including present participants and absentees

  • Approval of minutes from the last meeting

  • Open issues and summary of the discussion

  • New business and summary of the discussion

  • Time the meeting adjourned

  • Signature of meeting minutes taker and approver

Meeting minutes template in Excel

You can also use Excel and create tables to make it easier for recording meeting minutes. Using Excel can help you keep track of details, especially if it involves a lot of information in different categories. Another benefit is that you can use colour-coding to categorise and sort the item lists. Here's an example of the content when creating a meeting minutes template in Excel:

  • Include basic details, such as meeting title, meeting location, meeting date and time

  • Meeting objective

  • Main categories, such as the list of participants, agenda and action items arranged in a row with its contents listed in its respective columns

Meeting minutes template in Google Docs

Google Docs is also a tool you can use to create comprehensive meeting minutes. It has several inbuilt functional templates such as Tropic, Modern writer and Coral that you can use as a starting point.

An advantage of using Google Docs in creating meeting minutes is that multiple people can access the document at once. This is helpful for drafting, approving and distributing the meeting minutes.

Here's an example of the contents in a board meeting minutes created in Google Docs:

  • Organisation name

  • Date and time of the meeting

  • Name of the presiding officer

  • Board members in attendance and those absent

  • Guests and staff present

  • Approval of minutes from prior board meetings

  • Motions made and by whom

  • Follow up on any unresolved business from the previous meeting

  • Reports and documents introduced by CEO/Directors, finance department, and program staff leads

  • Additional business or supplements to the agenda

  • Date and time of the next board meeting

  • Future action steps

  • Time the meeting adjourns

  • Signature of designated minute note-taker or secretary

Related: How to Stay Focused When You Work from Home

How to share the meeting minutes

Keep the content as concise as possible and proofread with care before sharing it with the meetings' participants. For formal meetings, such as board meetings or committee meetings, you may have to send a draft to the meeting leader before sharing it with the other attendees.

Once you get your notes approved, you can distribute the meeting minutes to the attendees and absentees on your list. Here are some detailed instructions on how to distribute meeting minutes:

  1. Email the meeting minutes to all participants

  2. Send a physical copy of the meeting minutes via the mail

  3. Use a cloud-based sharing tool such as Google Docs

  4. Use your project management software to distribute the meeting minutes so it keeps together all the project related contents

  5. Host it on a collaborative tool that everyone has easy access to

  6. Post the meeting minutes to your company website

Tips for writing effective meeting minutes

Well-written, comprehensive meeting minutes capture all the necessary details of a meeting and you can store them for future references. They should also be in an easy-to-skim and reader-friendly format. Here are some tips to help you capture all the essential information as efficiently as possible:

Record only essential information

When drafting meeting minutes, you do not have to record every action in the meeting. Stick to writing only the necessary information, such as major decisions, action items and motions passed or failed during the meeting. You can always add further details or missed points after the meeting has concluded.

Use a recording device if required

You can use a recording device to capture all the important points discussed during the meeting. Not only will this help you to be present and concentrate on the meeting at hand, but you'll be able to review the meeting as many times as required. A recording device is especially important when complex topics are being discussed that you aren't familiar with.

However, prior to recording a meeting, it's important to get approval from your meeting leader and inform all the attendees that you'll be recording the meeting.

Ask for clarification

During the meeting, if you are unsure or did not hear a point properly, speak out and ask for clarification. IF the attendees have deviated from an agenda item without concluding it, you can bring back their attention to the missing action item.

Use a pre-made meeting minutes template

You can find several pre-made meeting minutes templates online and offline for reference. Once you have picked a template that best suits your meeting needs, you can save and edit it to your desired format. Once you have fixed a meeting minutes template, you can use it consistently for each meeting. It will also help your attendees to retrieve information about each meeting easily.

Maintain a neutral tone

Meeting notes should maintain a neutral and professional tone. It's important to record the summary of the discussions objectively. This also means recording key points without any inflammatory language or assigning blame.

Proofread with care

Ensure that you spell all names correctly and record the correct date and time of the meeting. Make sure your notes appear neat and are easy to read. Spell out any acronyms and use consistent headings and formatting throughout.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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