- Learn how to write meeting notes in a very quick way;
- Find out how to create a meeting agenda and how to capture tasks;
- Learn about using a “parking lot” to park topics that are not related to the meeting.
- Meeting Minutes Template PDF
- Meeting Minutes Template PDF [Portuguese]
- Meeting Minutes Template PDF [Spanish]
- Meeting Minutest Template Video on YouTube
You may also be interested in this version of my template developed by Gerrit Vanoppen using the software GoodNotes. Have a look:
How to Use the Meeting Minutes Template
Print a batch of about 20 copies of this template on letter size paper, enough for a week of work. Staple them together and have them within arm’s reach on your desk or laptop bag.
- First, at the top of the template, set the date, marking the day of the week, date and hour of the meeting.
- Next, write down the meeting attendee names as they arrive in the room or to the call.
- If the meeting has time constraints, ask someone to be my timer and remind you when there are only 10 minutes left until the end of the meeting. Put a “(T)” sign beside his or her name on the attendee list.
- When the meeting starts remind everyone of the meeting objective. This will bring some purpose and context to the meeting.
- Start building the meeting agenda. Simply list the items you’d like to discuss during the meeting. Then, ask each person if they have anything else they would like to discuss in the meeting. At the end, you have a list of meeting topics.
- Work together to set the agenda priority. For each item, define what’s important and what can be discussed later. Many times, you won’t have time to discuss all items on the agenda. However, when you have a prioritized list, you’ll know that you’ll be tackling the most important things first.
- Once the agenda is set and the meeting priorities are agreed upon, go through the items one by one, in sequence.
- Take meeting notes using the left side of the sheet, jotting down reminders regarding relevant information.
- Use the parking lot, if a topic that is not part of the scope of the meeting comes up during the discussions. Ask the group if you can park the item in the parking lot so you don’t lose your discussion focus. You can always come back to it at the end of the meeting. This is done so the meeting is not sidetracked by topics that are unrelated to the agenda.
- Add action items as they are assigned to someone in the meeting. Also include an owner and, if necessary, a deadline for that action.
- If for any reason you need more space, get another blank meeting template, cross out its header and write “cont.” at the top.
At the end of the meeting, wrap up the discussions and review the action items with the group:
- If there is still time, bring up the items in the Parking Lot section to evaluate if they are still relevant. If so, consider having an extra meeting to solve them specifically. Sometimes, if the situation warrants, you may ask a couple participants to stay after the meeting to tackle the remaining (extra-agenda) parked items.
At your next meeting you can always refer back to my meeting minutes binder and check if there are still any pending actions from previous meetings.