What happens in a meeting might disappear from mind before the committee walks out the door. For record-keeping purposes and future references, a Meeting Minutes Template should be a part of every committee meeting and boardroom sit-down. Normally a secretary or other assistant will be transcribing the proceedings of the meeting within this document, recording the key issues addressed, decisions made, next steps planned, etc.
The way to keep effective minutes is to have a proper layout or an outline to follow from meeting to meeting. This takes all meta-level decisions out of the picture and allow you to focus on the meeting agenda.
To help you out in this regard, here is a series of meeting notes you can download as free samples. The blank templates might even be used if you feel they fit your purposes.
Safety Committee Minutes Template
Investment Committee Minutes Template
School Committee Minutes Template
Audit Committee Minutes Template
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes Template
Why Keep Minutes of Meetings?
Minutes are the official notes of the proceedings of a meeting. In light of that, it is not expected for every sit-down or round-table discussion to have minutes taken. Also, despite the term, it is definitely not necessary to keep track of everything on a minute-by-minute basis.
The reasons to keep minutes in the first place should help you focus on the right details when you are drafting one in real-time.
Minutes are used primarily as references and serve these purposes:
- As reminders of where the last meeting left off, in the case of a series of meetings dealing with an ongoing topic of discussion.
- As an outline of the important points for members who were not in attendance. (Especially for meetings on important company-wide information, such as that recorded on a Safety Meeting Minutes Template.)
- As part of planning material in case the final decisions and suggested plans affect a project somewhere in the organization. In this case, the minutes remind people of their tasks, responsibilities, and the timeline. (Especially in top-level managerial meetings, where you will need a good Board Minutes Template.)
Taking careful, accurate, and complete notes during these meetings will thus facilitate whatever action the meeting was intended to accomplish.
Finance Committee Minutes Template
Hospital Committee Meeting Minutes Template
Management Committee Meeting Minutes Template
Loan Committee Meeting Minutes Template
Board Committee Minutes Template
How Do I Begin Taking Effective Minutes?
Your first step is to study these templates and understand the outline of an effective minutes record. The format you use may be up to you or as stipulated by the company. But all good minutes should keep these details:
- Date and time of the meeting
- Names of participants in attendance
- Names of absent participants, if necessary
- An outline of the agenda
- Final decisions or next actions for each item on the agenda
- Voting outcomes and consensus
- Date and time of next meeting
Whether you take notes on a computer or on paper, the quality of your notes will often depend largely on the quality of your Committee Meeting Minutes Template.