How to Write the Minutes of a Meeting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Best practices for documenting decisions and actions during business meetings

If you’ve ever been part of a formal meeting, you may have heard the term “minutes of the meeting”. These minutes are a detailed summary of what took place during the meeting, and they serve as an important record of what was discussed, decisions made, and action items assigned. They can also be helpful for those who were not able to attend the meeting but need to know what was covered.

Writing minutes of a meeting may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With a few simple steps, you can ensure that your minutes are accurate, detailed, and provide a clear record of the meeting. Here’s how to write the minutes of a meeting:

Step 1: Prepare for the Meeting

Before the meeting, make sure that you have everything you need to take accurate notes. This includes a notebook, pen, laptop, or tablet, and any relevant documents, such as the meeting agenda. You may also want to prepare a template for the minutes that includes the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as space to record the attendees, the agenda items, and any action items.

Step 2: Record the Attendees

Start the minutes by recording the attendees of the meeting. Include their names and titles, as well as any guests who were present. If the meeting was held virtually, make a note of that as well.

Step 3: Record the Agenda Items

Next, record the agenda items in the order they were discussed. It’s important to be detailed in your notes, but you don't need to capture every word that was said. Focus on the main points of the discussion and any decisions that were made.

Step 4: Record Action Items

Action items are tasks that were assigned during the meeting. Be sure to note who was assigned to the task, what the task is, and when it is due. This will help to ensure that everyone is clear on what they need to do and by when.

Step 5: Review and Distribute the Minutes

After the meeting, take some time to review and edit the minutes. Make sure that they are clear, accurate, and complete. If necessary, follow up with attendees to clarify any points or action items. Once the minutes are finalized, distribute them to all attendees and any other relevant parties.

Writing the minutes of a meeting can seem like a tedious task, but it is an important one. By taking the time to record the discussion and decisions made during the meeting, you are creating a valuable record that can be referred back to in the future. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your minutes are accurate, detailed, and provide a clear record of the meeting.

Step 6: Organize the Minutes Logically

After the meeting, organize the minutes in a logical manner so that they are easy to follow. You can organize them chronologically or by topic, depending on what makes the most sense for your organization.

If you choose to organize them by topic, use headings and subheadings to make it clear what each section covers. This can make it easier for members to quickly find the information they are looking for in the minutes.

Step 7: Finalize and Distribute the Minutes

Once you have drafted and organized the minutes, distribute them to all attendees and absentees. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that no one is left out of the loop.

Once the minutes are complete, they should be reviewed for accuracy by the person responsible for taking them. If there are any errors or omissions, they should be corrected before the final version is distributed. The minutes should then be distributed to all attendees and stakeholders as soon as possible after the meeting. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and that action items are addressed in a timely manner.

Final Thoughts

Writing the minutes of a meeting can seem daunting, but it is an important task that ensures everyone is informed and on the same page. By following these tips, you can ensure that your minutes are accurate, organized, and easy to follow. Remember, good minutes should be a comprehensive record of the meeting, but should not be overly long or detailed. With a little practice, you'll be able to write effective minutes that will serve as a valuable reference for your organization.

Tips for Writing Minutes of a Meeting

Writing minutes of a meeting can be a challenging task, especially if you are new to the role. Here are some tips that can help you write accurate and effective minutes:

  • Listen carefully to the discussion and take notes throughout the meeting.
  • This will help you capture important points and details accurately.
  • Use a clear and concise writing style. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that might be difficult to understand.
  • Be objective and neutral. Avoid expressing your personal opinions or biases.
  • Write in the third person. Use he, she, or they instead of I or we.
  • Organize the minutes in a logical and easy-to-read format. Use headings, bullet points, and numbered lists to make the information clear and accessible.
  • Proofread the minutes carefully before distributing them. Check for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as typos and other mistakes.


Taking minutes of a meeting is an important responsibility that requires accuracy, attention to detail, and effective communication skills. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this article, you can write accurate and effective minutes that capture the key points and action items discussed during the meeting. Remember, the minutes are an important record of the meeting and should be treated with care and attention to detail.

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