What are Meeting Minutes?

Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes are detailed written notes created during official company meetings. These notes describe everything that takes place during meetings. This includes key issues discussed, decisions and actions taken place and motions put forth or voted on. These notes should be properly structured and written formally so they can be shared with the meeting members afterwards.

In informal settings, meeting minutes can provide the members with a record that can be used for future reference. In formal meetings, these minutes are considered legal documents and are kept on file. A member must be chosen to take the meeting minutes before holding the meeting. It’s important to choose the right person who can determine which information is vital to include and which to leave out. The selected person, usually the company secretary, is responsible for providing an accurate account of what happened in the meeting.

Content of meeting minutes

The content of meeting minutes differs depending on the meeting type. Each meeting requires a set of pre-specified elements to be included in the record. That is why, before writing meeting minutes, the secretary must discern the type of information they should record to avoid any complications.

The content of meeting minutes typically includes:

  • The date and starting time of the meeting
  • The location (if necessary)
  • The purpose of the meeting
  • The names of all the attendees and the absentee members
  • Any changes made to the previous meeting minutes document (or acceptance)
  • The agenda items of the meeting
  • The decisions made concerning each item of the meeting agenda and the names of those who made them
  • The action items, including the reason, person they’re assigned to, completion date and description 
  • The decided date and time of the next meeting

Formats of meeting minutes

Meeting minutes have three formats to be used depending on the nature of the meeting:

  • Discussion minutes: These minutes are a record of the decisions reached and the actions taken during the meeting. Discussion minutes also document the gist of the discussions leading up to those decisions.
  • Action minutes: This type of meeting record includes similar content as discussion minutes but does not contain the discussions behind the decisions.
  • Verbatim minutes: This meeting minutes document includes the details of every decision that took place. It’s a record of every word said at a meeting and by whom.

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