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✍ How to Write the Minutes of Any Meeting [Samples and Templates]
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✍ How to Write the Minutes of Any Meeting [Samples and Templates]

Samples, examples, and what to include in your meeting minutes.

November 27, 2019
Rob Lennon
Customer Education Lead at Hugo
Marketer and author with experience spanning a diverse 16 years in retail and SaaS startups across healthcare, mar-tech, and ad-tech, and productivity software sectors.

Also called by a longer name — the minutes of a meeting — minutes are the summarized record of what happened at a meeting. You can think of meeting minutes as a more formal combination of your meeting agenda and meeting notes.

Similar to meeting notes, minutes are meant to serve as a record that everyone can refer to, understand, and act on (if necessary). They should document what happened, and what decisions were made.

Plus, when they’re written well, meeting minutes are a critical communication tool for your entire organization. Unfortunately, that also means chicken scratch and doodles won’t do here. 

To that end, we’ve created this reference so you can learn and access everything you need to write effective formal—or informal—meeting minutes, including:

  • How to Write Meeting Minutes
  • Formal and Informal Meeting Minutes Samples
  • Formal Meeting Minutes Template
  • Informal Meeting Minutes Template

Informal and Formal Minutes of Meeting Formats 

Before diving into how to write meeting minutes, it’s important to first figure out what type of format you’ll need: formal or informal.

Certain organizations such as nonprofits, public companies, local governments, and schools are required by law to create formal meeting minutes.

For example, in California, many state and local government bodies must make meeting minutes available to the public. Similarly, public companies are required to create meeting minutes for Board of Directors and Shareholder meetings. 

Since these types of meeting minutes are required for compliance, they generally must follow a specific format.

For the rest of us, meeting minutes are simpler and more customizable. You can think of informal meeting minutes as a meeting summary, so the templates and forms you use are ultimately up to you.

Still, just because they’re less formal doesn’t mean informal minutes are any less useful.

How to Write Meeting Minutes

Whether you’re writing formal or informal meeting minutes, the keys to writing well are the same: be concise and clear. Your creative writing skills must take a back seat (for now).

Your job is to write the minutes in such a way that someone who didn’t attend the meeting could read them 6 months after the meeting and understand:

  1. Who attended the meeting
  2. What decisions were made and by whom
  3. Why and how those decisions were made
  4. What was done as a result of that meeting

As you might imagine, there’s a balancing act when writing minutes. You must keep minutes concise, but also provide enough context that what you write makes sense. Just remember, it's often customary to review these meeting notes at the beginning of the next meeting. (For example, a board meeting typically starts with a review and approval of the previous board meeting's minutes.)

The amount of context you include is a judgment call. Of course, definitely avoid jotting down personal observations and irrelevant conversations into the minutes. To strike the balance, imagine that 6 months from now someone will need to know what happened in your meeting, and write to that person. 

TIPS: Making Meeting Minutes More Usable

If you’re writing formal meeting minutes, you’ll be more or less forced into a certain format. For trade unions, schools, city and county governments, and others, you’ll need to model your meeting minutes based on Robert’s Rules of Order.

But with informal meeting minutes, you have more flexibility, which you can use to make your minutes more usable and shareable.

By thoughtfully structuring your meeting agendas and minutes, you make both documents far more effective. 

For example, you could link action items from your meeting minutes to your project management software to automatically create tasks. And if your agenda is aligned with your meeting minutes, you can link relevant contextual information from the agenda to the automatically generated task.

In this way, your meeting minutes, agenda, and the meeting itself become far more effective. 

Meeting Minutes Samples & Examples

For the visual learner, we’ve created samples of both types of meeting minutes. If you’d like to get straight to our meeting minutes templates, click here.

Use these to guide your writing but remember that your meetings may require slightly different or additional information. Don’t get so enamored with copying the samples that you forget to write your meeting minutes in a way that’s useful for your organization. 👇

Formal Meeting Minutes Sample

Formal Meeting Minutes Template

ACME Corp.


MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS


September 5, 2020

A meeting of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of ACME Corp., a California C-Corporation (the “Company”), was held on September 5, 2020, at the offices of the Company.


Attendence
- Voting Members: Larry Emerson, Marc Branson
- Guests: Amy Holmes, Tom Avery
- Voting Members Absent: None


Approval of minutes
‍A motion to approve the minutes of the previous August 5th meeting was made by Larry Emerson and seconded by Marc Branson.


Call to Order
‍Larry Emerson called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. and Tom Avery recorded the minutes. A quorum of directors was present, and the meeting, having been duly convened, was ready to proceed with the business.


CEO Report
‍Larry Emerson reviewed the agenda and welcomed everyone to the meeting. Next, Larry Emerson discussed the current status of the company and its progress. A number of questions were asked and extensive discussion ensued.


Sales & Business Development Update Report
‍Marc Branson next provided an update on the overall sales progress and sales pipeline of the Company. He also presented the status of business development discussions.


Financial Review Report
‍Marc Branson provided a comprehensive update on the Company's financial plan and forecast. Marc Branson also reviewed the Company's principal financial operating metrics. 


Motion #1: Approval of Option Grants
‍Amy Holmes presented to the Board a list of proposed options to be granted to Company employees for approval, whereupon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously adopted, the option grants were approved as presented in Exhibit A.


Announcements
‍None


Adjournment
‍There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

Informal, Simple Meeting Minutes Sample

Minutes: Project Check-In Meeting

Our Objective

To build a measurement strategy that allows the customer success team to track progress on KPIs and measure that progress against their stated departmental goals.

Deadlines/Milestones

Strategy must be ready to deploy by Q4 2020.

Project Update Roundtable

  • Rob
    • Spoke with and established agreement among CS team stakeholders on relevant KPIs.
    • Gathered feedback from CS team on current measurement strategies.
  • Christina
    • Mocked up three dashboard options that are circulating internally for feedback.
    • Working through an audit of the current CS data sources.
  • Michelle
    • Just getting back after a four-day illness; catching up.

Roadblocks & Risks

  • Roadblock: Christina needs feedback on the dashboards before she can continue. All team members must provide feedback ASAP.
  • Risk: Christina’s audit may reveal siloed data which may delay our ability to establish a performance baseline.

Next Steps

  • @Michelle review and provide feedback on Christina’s dashboard mockups by June 5th.
  • @Rob summarize and distribute CS team feedback on current measurement strategies by June 7th.
  • @Christina check in on the status of current CS data sources by June 8th.

Formal Meeting Minutes Template

As mentioned, formal meeting minutes are generally written based on Robert’s Rules of Order. The template below is structured based on these rules. 

If you’re starting from scratch, this is a perfect starting point, but you should adjust it based on your organization’s needs. If your organization has used meeting minutes before, ask someone to see a copy of what’s been done in the past and make improvements as you see fit.

Formal Meeting Minutes Template

[Company Name]
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Month XX, 20XX

Call to Order
A [meeting type] meeting of [organization name] was held on [date] at [location]. It began at [time] and was presided over by [chairperson’s name], with [secretary’s name] as secretary.

Attendence

  • Voting Members: [Insert names of voting members]
  • Guests: [Insert names of guests]
  • Voting Members Absent: [Insert names of voting members not in attendance]


Approval of minutes
A motion to approve the minutes of the previous [date] meeting was made by [name] and seconded by [name].


‍Officer’s Reports


Other Reports


Motions

  • Motion by [name] and seconded by [name] that [state the motion here]. The motion [carried or failed] with [#] in favor and [#] against.


Announcements


Financial Review Report
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting was adjourned at [time].

Informal, Simple Meeting Minutes Template 

The following template is super basic. It sets the goal, meeting agenda, and records next steps for any type of meeting. And it doubles as a meeting summary template. Feel free to make it your own by adding elements of the formal template or your own ideas. 

Informal Meeting Minutes Template

Meeting type
Check all that apply.

  • Update
  • Discussion
  • Decision

Goal
‍Write the meeting goal here. (E.g. Discuss agency performance and decide whether to renew for another year.)


Agenda

  • Item one
  • Item two
  • Item three


Next Steps

  • @name task by Due-Date

And here's the template based on the informal meeting minutes sample above:

Project Check-In Meeting

Our Objective

Reiterate the objective of the project

Deadlines/Milestones

Include in the agenda high-level milestones

Project Update Roundtable

  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda
  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda

Roadblocks & Risks

  • Where are you blocked? How can the team help?

Next Steps

  • @name Task by DUE-DATE

Get More Out of Your Meetings 🙌

Remember, the minutes of your meetings are there to help your organization be more collaborative, transparent, and efficient. Keep that in mind and whatever form or template you choose to use for your meeting minutes will work just fine.

The only additional meeting-related document you’ll need to worry about now is the agenda. Good thing we’ve got more than 80 meeting minutes templates for you to choose from. Get them in Word Doc or Google Doc (or add them to your free Hugo account)👇

Meeting minutes templates (free)

So grab the templates you need and get ready to make your meetings matter even more.☝️ If you’ve ever wanted a tool to extract the most useful, relevant bits of information from a meeting, minutes could be your new best friend.

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Rob Lennon
Customer Education Lead at Hugo
Marketer and author with experience spanning a diverse 16 years in retail and SaaS startups across healthcare, mar-tech, and ad-tech, and productivity software sectors.

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