The starting point for meeting minutes is to list all the essential details of the meeting, including the organization, meeting format, time and date, name of the facilitator, key topics and ending time. The topic of discussion and date are necessary to recollect who spoke about what issue and the time it was said. This makes it easier to go through notes to find specific details.
It is best to have an outline ready prior to the meeting, with clear spaces for notes and discussions. It is best to leave plenty of room for notes instead of not having enough space. It’s also beneficial to make a list of those attending and to mark them as “attended” as they come into the meeting. Using abbreviations for names can help clearly mark who said what and when.
Refrain from recording each little detail but focus more on summarizing discussion points. If you write too much then it can be hard to go back and pinpoint the important points later. There’s no need to bother with the unnecessary. Use the method of taking notes that is best for you, whether it is pen and paper, a recorder or a computer. Always ask for clarification if something is not clear in order to take better notes.
The best time to go over or to collect meeting minutes is right after the meeting is adjourned. The closer time frames to the actual meeting means the more honest and reflective the notes will be. Go over your outline again and add any notes or points that you failed to note earlier. Make sure that all details of important topics are clearly mentioned, such as a summarized statement or a quick explanation.
Then you should edit the notes you have further by making sure it is easy for anyone to understand and only have significant points. By the end of the editing, the document should clearly point out what was accomplished, what decisions were made and what actions were agreed upon.