You’ve came up with a perfect agenda, picked a time slot, booked the most suitable room, and sent meeting invitations to a carefully selected list of attendees. All set for a productive meeting? Well, only if you’ve also thought through the meeting minutes.
Why writing meeting minutes?
Usually, meeting minutes serve a combination of purposes. Informing those who could not attend, keeping track of decisions or actions, and creating a point of reference in case of misunderstanding are just the few most common of them.
Eventually, it all comes down to productivity. For example, if absentees are in-the-know, the team can keep up with efficient working pace. Alike, smooth project management calls for clearly defined to-do’s, while many communication-related roadblocks can be prevented by having a source of information to look up to.
As productivity manifests through actionable ideas, we can conclude that the reason for keeping meeting minutes is to have the discussions documented in a way making it clear for others to act on.
What to include in the meeting minutes template?
This being said, the right meeting minutes template will help emphasize the meeting outcomes that call to action. It should include:
- Attendee list
- Goal of the meeting or brief agenda
- Decisions taken
- Follow-up tasks
Just because we talk about “minutes”, it doesn’t mean that all discussion must be detaily transcribed. Conversational context is important, and can be included as remarks where needed, but excessive information will simply overshadow key findings and make the document hard to read.
The best meeting minute templates are not only well-structured, but also user-friendly, meaning that it allows the reader to be selective, and pick up necessary information without going through the whole text. This can be achieved by using visual elements, as simple as header fonts and colors, or more complex items like pictures or even videos.
Top 5 meeting minutes templates
- Google Docs
You don’t have to look far - Google Docs offers a few simple meeting minutes templates that could be used to take notes in any kind of meeting. They all include more or less the same content, but vary in designs. Although far from being called eye candies, Google’s templates have an advantage of being offered on a platform familiar to many. Therefore, it’s a great choice if you’re just “testing the waters” in the world of meeting minutes, or want to leverage the tools you’re already using, instead of taking up new ones.
Another tool that you can instantly try out is Microsoft Word. Depending on the version of the app, it presents a slightly different selection of templates, from detailed reports to simple notes for small meetings. To broaden the choice, even more templates are offered online, in the Microsoft Office templates website. Additionally, if you are a Microsoft 365 user, the online notebook OneNote might be worth a try. Besides offering pre-existing templates, the app has an option to create them from scratch, and allows sharing the minutes via Outlook with all attendees in no time.
Slite is a workspace designed for teams to create, share and access all their content. Although the full platform experience is (friendly) priced, many convenient features, including the meeting minute templates, are accessible with the free plan. We like Slite because it helps gathering content to one single place and keep a trace on written decisions. It also provides “personalized” templates depending on your area of work, and allows saving them so that they could later be easily reused by anyone else in the team.
Probably the best choice for a big organization, willing to standardize their meeting processes between different departments. Hugo offers more than 50 free templates that can be used both for planning the meeting and writing the minutes. All of them are collected in a library classified by departments (HR, Customer Success, Marketing, Sales, Executive, etc), and encompass various purposes of team get-togethers: from strategy sessions, to product roadmap planning and one-on-ones. Worth to check out even if you already have a meeting minute procedure in place, for some great ideas on agenda topics.
- Adobe Spark
If you have an inventive approach to routinely office procedures, Adobe Spark is the best solution to create meeting minutes with a twist. Besides adding your meeting information into the Spark template, you can edit it to embellish everything with branded elements, hyperlinks, call to action buttons, photos, and videos. Because of an intuitive user interface, the process is simple and does not require any prior design knowledge. The memorable meeting minutes can be printed, emailed, or shared with teammates via a custom link.