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How to Write Meeting Minutes: 5 Easy Steps & Bonus Template

Trying to keep track of meeting? We'll teach you how to write meeting minutes effortlessly. Follow these steps, and get a bonus meeting minutes template!
Ortal Hadad
Content Specialist & Blog Editor
Last Updated:
March 3, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Many people find the prospect of writing meeting minutes overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  

With the right tools writing minutes can become an effortless process worth implementing. Well-structured meeting minutes help you keep track of key discussion points and what they mean for your plan going forward. They can also be a valuable tool for sharing knowledge and distributing information among your team members. You can even repurpose them into marketing content. 

But if you’re not sure where to start, follow our 5 simple steps  on how to write minutes effectively. Plus, scroll down to access an easy-to-use template!

What are meeting minutes?

Meeting minutes provide a way of recording the conversations you have and the decisions you make throughout a meeting. Minutes document the important points of your discussion and allow you to easily save valuable data.  

Often, meeting minutes offer a synthesized overview of a meeting at large. Text may be formatted in paragraphs or bullet points to illustrate key takeaways and even tasks you may need to act on.

Why should you write meeting minutes?

Research reveals that a whopping 11 billion meetings take place each day in the US alone. When communicating at this level, it’s no wonder that details can sometimes get lost or forgotten. 

Writing meeting minutes providing many benefits, including: 

  • Creating clarity and keeping organized: By having set minutes, you’ll easily be able to keep track of what was said in meetings and by who.
  • Better decision-making: Minutes can help you notice recurring problems or solutions which can help you make better informed decisions.
  • Easy information sharing:  With notes already sorted, you can easily catch up any team members who weren’t present.
  • Repurposing meetings: If you’ve got an interesting meeting topic, you can always repurpose your minutes into blogs or other materials.

Meeting minutes act as a record of your conversations. This can be valuable in a variety of contexts, from enhancing clarity and recording progress to providing security in legal situations. 

What should you include in meeting minutes?

When writing meeting minutes, you should always try to include the following:

  • Date, time, and location of your meeting
  • Names of your meeting’s attendees
  • A brief overview of meeting topics 
  • A record of any major votes or decisions made
  • Key points to summarize your meeting
  • Planning details for team action or future meetings
  • Assigned tasks, deadlines, and key performance indicators if relevant 

How to take meeting minutes: 5 simple steps

Feeling daunted by minutes-taking responsibilities? Don’t panic! Follow these 5 simple steps to take meeting minutes with ease.

Step 1: Plan for your meeting 

The key to hosting an effective and impactful meeting is planning ahead. Ideally, take some time before your meeting begins to set up a clear agenda and develop a plan for the points you will address. 

Create a draft minutes document based on the predetermined structure of your meeting. This allows you to pre-emptively add in information you already know and leave space for pending details.

Step 2: Host your meeting, and record information

Once your meeting begins, it’s time to start recording information in real time! Take note of key events and conversations as they occur. Clearly and succinctly write these items down in such a way that it will be easy for you to understand the information when you revisit it later.

Struggling to keep up with taking notes in a fast-paced environment? 

Try using AI transcription technology to capture important details for you as your meeting unfolds. For example, Riverside offers easy-to-use AI-powered show notes. This allows you access comprehensive content summaries, takeaways, and chapters at the click of a button. If you need a word-for-word full transcript, Riverside offers this too!

Step 3: Produce full meeting minutes documents

When your meeting ends, you’re ready to compile your notes and curate your meeting minutes. Take a closer look at the key points you’ve recorded, and consider how best to accurately articulate these in writing. If using a software tool like Riverside, you can start by accessing the full transcript of your call. You can also review AI call summaries and key takeaways. 

Aim to craft a succinct yet comprehensive meeting minutes document. You’ll need this information to be clear and easy to understand if you share it with non-attendees or need to refer back to it in the weeks and months ahead. 

Step 4: Share your meeting minutes with others

After you have finished writing (and editing) your meeting minutes, you can prepare to share information with other members of your team. This may include the participants who attended your meeting, as well as those who couldn’t make it. 

When sharing minutes, make sure to provide document access as securely as possible. Don’t be afraid to communicate with recipients and seek feedback on the minutes you’ve produced. This can help you identify areas for improvement that you can use for future meetings.

Step 5: Safely store your meeting minutes materials

Finally, you’ll need to decide on the best way to store your meeting minutes for future reference. Ideally, try to implement a clear file naming and storage system. This will make it easier to search and find the notes from specific meetings in the future. 

By keeping clear track of your meeting minutes, you can ensure you always have access to important information when you need it. This can save you time and stress as you avoid rehashing old conversations. It can also provide you with enough data so that you can more effectively understand your business’s progress over time. 

5 best practices and examples for professional meeting minutes

Want to create highly professional meeting minutes and feeling unsure of where to begin? Here are 5 best practices and some great examples you can learn from!

Always prepare in advance 

Whether you rely on a template or create your own, it’s always best to prepare before your meeting begins. Planning your outline can help you host a productive meeting and produce minutes that offer greater clarity and cohesion. This will allow anyone who reads your notes to gain understanding about meeting content. 

Keep clear track of metadata

There’s more to minutes than just taking notes on what you discuss. You also need to record metadata, such as the date, time, location, and attendee list relevant to your meeting. These details will make your notes easier to understand when you look back on them.

Recording meeting goals and purposes

What goals does your meeting aim for? What purpose does it serve? 

Recording this information in your meeting minutes can help guide the notes you take and the information you communicate. This helps to ensure the most valuable minutes documentation.

Capture bite-sized key points for quick review 

Sometimes, the simplest way to record information is by using a short bulleted list. By capturing details in this bite-sized format, you can communicate at a glance and provide an easily digestible meeting overview. This will help you review content quickly if you need to refer to it later. 

Have a dedicated section for action 

In addition to recording the conversations you’ve already had, meeting minutes should help you take the next steps. At the end of your minutes documents, add a dedicated section for action tasks. Here, you can assign duties and stipulate what your team needs to achieve before your next meeting. This will help you walk the talk!

Bonus: Meeting minutes templates for taking notes effortlessly

Try this basic template to get started with meeting minutes!

Call to Order

Name of meeting of Name of organization was held beginning at Meeting time on Meeting date at Meeting location.

  • Chairperson: Name
  • Secretary: Name


Voting members:

  • Names


  • Names

Members not in attendance:

  • Names

Meeting Goals

  • Goal 1 
  • Goal 2
  • Goal 3

Meeting Agenda

  • Introduction
  • Item to cover over course of meeting
  • Item to cover over course of meeting
  • Item to cover over course of meeting
  • Question and answer
  • Conclusion

Key Points

  • Information on key points covered during meeting

Main Motions

  • List of motions voted on during meeting


  • List of important announcements from meeting

Action Items

  • List of action items relevant to meeting, accompanied by task allocation and timelines as required


Any closing remarks

FAQs on meeting minutes

Still unsure about how to produce the most effective, impactful meeting minutes? Here are our answers to a few frequently asked questions!

What are the types of meeting minutes?

There are three main types of meeting minutes. 

Discussion minutes are long documents that aim to cover the conversations that occur throughout a meeting. These minutes may reference specific details, even including quotes in some cases. Discussion notes should always be relevant to the meeting’s main topic or focus. 

Action minutes record decisions and actions relevant to your meeting. These minutes may include the results of vote without outlining in depth the discussion that preceded a decision being reached. Action minutes also take note of future tasks and plans, along with assigning responsibility for these actions.

Verbatim minutes document every word said over the course of a meeting, offering a comprehensive look at the event at large. These minutes often apply in high-stakes situations, like courtrooms or political environments. Essentially, verbatim minutes are transcript records of a meeting in full.

How detailed should meeting minutes be?

Meeting minutes can vary in terms of detail depending on the topic at hand and the team involved. The type of minutes will also play a role. Your meeting minutes should be detailed enough to provide clarity for the purpose for which they will be used. They should be easy to understand and learn from. What this looks like specifically will be unique to your meeting and your organization. 

What is the difference between meeting minutes and agenda?

Meeting minutes are not the same thing as a meeting agenda. In fact, these two elements often need to work together! An agenda provides an outline of the topics or ideas that will be discussed during your meeting. It’s a roadmap crafted ahead of time to guide the meeting’s progress. Meeting minutes, on the other hand, are produced after a meeting is over. These are often more complex, detailing the real events that took place during your meeting and any relevant decisions or requirements stemming from your conversations. 

Final thoughts

Capturing effective meeting minutes can make a big difference to your overall record-keeping strategy. Good minutes documentation provides you with access to information that will drive your business forward. 

The good news is that you don’t have to race against the clock taking manual minutes anymore. The right technology can enhance productivity and help you produce better records more easily. 

Ready to find a simple yet intuitive minutes-taking solution? Try Riverside’s transcription and AI notes tools today!

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