This is why it is important to take notes during meetings. And while taking notes may seem simple, it is in fact a valuable skill that is often underestimated in the workplace.
In the post-COVID 19 era, where virtual meetings and remote working are the norm, keeping records of meetings is even more important than ever: It is important that meeting minutes are kept in an editable and shareable format that can be easily communicated to those who do not attend virtual meetings.
What are meeting notes?
First of all, one should not confuse minutes with the minutes of a meeting.
The minutes of a meeting are a formal, structured record of the meeting that is made available to all participants at a later date. Usually a designated person (e.g. the secretary) takes notes of the meeting. Minutes of meetings, on the other hand, are informal notes taken by all participants in the meeting. The purpose is to enable the named person to refer to the important topics discussed during the meeting.
When we make a meeting note, we usually don’t need to record it verbatim, but suffice with noting the main points of the meeting. While it is not mandatory to follow a formal structure in the meeting minutes, it is best for us to maintain some structure so that the minutes can be easily read later.
The goal of appointment notes is to keep them as simple as possible while still noting the important details. We encourage creativity by making a note in a structure/arrangement that we like.
The best way to take notes in meetings Tips and Tricks
Preparation of agenda and participants in meeting
First, set up an agenda for the meeting, at the top of the meeting notes: Note the date of the meeting and the participants. If the meeting invitation was sent earlier, use it to note the names of the people who were invited to your meeting before the meeting. This way, you can easily cross out the names of participants when they enter a meeting room or virtual meeting, rather than having to write down their names when they appear in the room.
Use the meeting agenda (if available) and create a schedule for your notes. You can then use each agenda item to take notes.
In your minutes, also make a list of important decisions, problems and suggestions. This is important so that you can reread the note in the future to understand the desired outcomes of the meeting.
Session Instructions: What you should write.
The easiest way to take notes from a meeting is to use pen and paper (or software such as a notepad) to write down the meeting notes.
Perhaps the simplest method (but one that requires the most effort) is to write everything down verbatim, exactly as it says it. Write the name of the speaker on each statement, e.g. B. with his initials, and write the full names of all participants at the top of the meeting minutes.
However, you can also just write down the main points of the agenda instead of taking notes word for word. Only a brief summary of each agenda item and the outcome of the discussion (i.e., resolutions) are recorded. Write down the actions to be taken (tasks, due date, etc.) and you can also write down ideas or questions for follow-up activities you want to do after the meeting.
Always consult the meeting agenda to keep track of what was discussed and to clearly indicate what needs to be done after the meeting.
Use of appropriate software
It’s no secret that virtual meetings are all the rage these days, especially after the quarantine period of COVID-19. However, not all virtual meeting and video conferencing software is the same, and some offer better features than others, such as easier and more intuitive ways to take notes during meetings.
Solutions like Callbridge not only offer white-label screen sharing and video conferencing, but also a personal assistant that can automatically transcribe your meeting into a meeting memo that also includes speaker labels, time and date stamps, and an automatic label to filter and select repeating words. We can easily share these meeting notes (transcripts) with others or store them in the cloud for later use.
This feature allows you to get an automatic appointment note at any time, and you can edit the note later if you want to add additional reminders and other goals.
Register your appointment
Another approach, if you do not have an automatic transcription program, is to record the meeting in audio/video format. This is not a real meeting note, but some people would rather listen to a voice recording. This can be more attractive and can be listened to out of hours, for example. B. when you drive to work.
You can even set up a private podcast for your company to easily store audio recordings of past meetings and share them with the whole team on a central hub.
It is important to ensure that the minutes of meetings, regardless of the method used, are as clear and easy to understand as possible. With the above tips, you can now create intuitive and comprehensive meeting notes without them becoming an unreadable mess. The best way to prepare is to review the meeting agenda and create an outline before the meeting to understand the context of the meeting and the desired outcomes.
frequently asked questions
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