how to write minutes of meeting

The minutes of a meeting are a summarized written record of what occurs, and is said, at a meeting. While there isn't one universally applied format for how to document the minutes, the minutes generally consist of the following information:

  • Date, time and location of the meeting

  • Subject or purpose of the meeting

  • A list of the attendees (if there is a large organization, then the main members will be listed)

  • Administrative issues discussed and the name of the individual(s)

  • Concerns/Opposition/Questions raised by meeting attendees

  • Closure

  • The minutes are usually written by a designated person and they usually use shorthand notes to maintain pace with the flow of the meeting. Once the meeting is completed this individual will usually consolidate the meeting minutes and put the information from the meeting on a template that will be distributed to all neccessary personnel. In some cases, a meeting may be recorded and this recording will serve as the record, or it may be used to transcribe the information to the meeting minutes template at a later time.

    A key area of consideration for the individual that is responsible for taking the minutes of the meeting is to keep the notes brief and only summarize the discussion and outcomes of the meeting. The purpose of the minutes is to provide a summarized overview of the meeting. Additionally, some organizations have a prescribed outline of who is supposed to receive the minutes and how long the minutes are supposed to be maintained on record; ensure that these are maintained accordingly.

    For a fairly thorough description of how to take minutes of a meeting, visit our page Robert's Rules for Minutes.
    Robert's Rules of Order is THE guide for how to conduct meetings.

    Meeting Minutes PDF

    You can also download this template in Word:
    Meeting Minutes Template - Word

    Minutes Tips

    The following are a few useful meeting minutes tips that will make your job a little easier.

    • If you aren't familiar with all the attendees that may be present at the meeting, have an attendance sheet ready to pass around, ask them to print so you can read their names when you complete your template.

    • In addition to the attendees, if you aren't familiar with who the committee members are, get a list of who they are and be able to identify them so you know who makes a motion.

    • Take notice of the time that the meeting begins, as this will be part of your minutes template.

    • When taking minutes, the most important part is transcribing the main points. You do not need to write down everything that is said. Additionally, be objective and try to remove any personal feelings from your notes... less adjectives is better.

    • When a motion is made, the main points that need to be documented are: what the motion was, who made the motion and the number of votes. If a motion will need to be addressed at a future meeting, document that "motion x to be voted on at next meeting (or whenever it is decided to be addressed).

    • Finally, document when the meeting ends and make sure to print, sign and date your name at the bottom of your notes, or template.

    Meeting Minutes Outline


    The regular meeting of [Name of Team/Organization]  was called to order at [Time]  on [Date]  in [Location]  by [Meeting Chair]

    Attendance Confirmation:

    List of Attendees
    Proxy forms
    A.        Approval of Agenda

    The agenda was unanimously approved as distributed.

    B.        Approval of Minutes

    The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved as distributed.

    C.        Open Issues

    Summarize the discussion for each existing issue, state the outcome, and assign any action item.

    D.        New Business

    Summarize the discussion for new issues, state the next steps, and assign any action item.

    E.        Agenda for Next Meeting

    List the items to be discussed at the next meeting.

    Adjournment: 12/9/11
    For more meeting minutes templates, visit our page: Minutes Template