How to Take Good Meeting Minutes

How to Take Good Meeting Minutes | HTR

Meeting notes are the official written record of organizational gatherings, and the meeting organizer should delegate one person for this job. However, since accuracy and unbiased note taking is key, most organizations recommend that every attendee participate in this process.

Here’s a guide on how to take notes in a meeting and be the best note taker – before, during and after the meeting.

Before Taking Meeting Minutes

  • Choose your recording tool.
    Here are the ones used most often and the pros and cons of each method.
     

Tool

Pros

Cons

Pen and Paper

Easy to Access, Anyone Can Take Them

Double note taking, Subject to Bias, Miss things

Laptop or Tablet

Can look things up, Record Once

Barrier because of screen, Attendees may think you’re doing other work

Smartphone

Everyone has one

No keyboard, time burner

Audio Recorder

Easy to use, records every word

Double note taking, Hard to identify who said what

Cloud

Real-time access for collaboration, immediate saving

Dependent on Wi-Fi connection, May not be secure for sensitive data

 

  • Make sure your device is in good working order. Have a backup just in case.
    If you use a laptop rental for taking meeting notes on a cloud platform, have a native backup app in case the bandwidth dies. Or if you are taking notes with pen and paper, have extra pens and another pad of paper in the room.
     
  • Read the meeting agenda and set up your note taking to follow it.
    This will be your check and balance to see you put things in the proper order.

How to Take Good Meeting Notes on Meeting Day

  • Arrive early.
    Sit where you can see everyone. If you don’t know someone, introduce yourself.
     
  • Pass around an attendance sheet.
    If you are new to the organization, be sure to collect each person’s extension number and email address in case you have any questions later.
     
  • As part of the meeting notes format, make sure you:
    1. Note the time the meeting starts.
    2. Include all major discussion points and decisions.
      Don’t bring in your own ideas and biases. Record exactly what happened.
    3. If you’re following Robert’s Rules of Order, write down each motion, who made it and the voting results.
    4. Record the ending time.

Immediately Following the Meeting

  • If you used paper and pen, type up notes while they are fresh in your mind.
     
  • Proofread the document before sending it off to the leader and attendees.
     
  • Include at the top of the document the following:
    1. The name of the organization
    2. Committee title
    3. Type of meeting (i.e. weekly status update, annual meeting)
    4. Beginning time
    5. List of Attendees
       
  • At the bottom of the document record the end time and sign off “Respectfully Submitted,” with your name and signature.
     
  • Send them via email or a cloud link.
    If you invite them to view the document on the cloud, let them have comment access. That way if you have forgotten anything, they can make a comment for all to see and you can amend the notes appropriately.

Benefits of Following an Organized Meeting Notes Format

As I stated earlier, note taking is the official record of the meeting. In addition, taking notes:

  • Helps everyone remember what went on
  • Sharpens your focus – it’s hard to let your mind wander if you’re responsible for the recording
  • Document of proof – if there’s a dispute about a decision or vote, attendees can pull up the record and see it in black and white
  • Record of decisions even when there’s a change in management

Hartford Technology Rental Offers Meeting Technology

We know service and can adapt to your needs at a moment’s notice. Call us 24/7 at 888-520-5667 to help equip your next board, sales or annual meeting with the right equipment.