Properly recording meeting minutes is a critical step that can be overlooked. In some instances, maintaining a log of meeting minutes may be a legal requirement. Whether a legal requirement or not, it is a good way to keep everyone focused and on-point following the meeting, and provides a historical record of the organization's activities.

Meeting Agenda

Setting an agenda helps keep the meeting from becoming disorganized and allows you to write an advance outline for the minutes. This saves time and makes it easier to fill in the blanks on each topic as it is discussed.

Preliminary Information

Label the top of the document "Meeting Minutes for [Date]." In the upper right corner, list the basic information about the meeting. Note the company name, meeting date and location and the times the meeting started and concluded.

Who Attended

The minutes should show who attended the meeting. List the name and title of each person. If attendees are from a different organization or are being patched in by phone, this should be noted. Also note who took the meeting minutes, which is usually the corporate secretary.

Discussion Topics

Keep discussion topics simple when compiling the minutes. Do not quote what each person said. Stick to a basic description of the topic and clearly state what decision or outcome was reached. There is no need to elaborate further in the minutes.

Type Minutes Immediately

Type the meeting minutes immediately. The more time that passes before minutes are typed, the more likely you will forget something important that occurred. Some find it useful to have a tape recorder on during the meeting to have a record to check as needed when compiling the minutes. Distribute a copy of the meeting minutes to all who attended.