When I take meeting notes, my main goal is to capture the meeting's content as much of it as possible. I am not concerned with the layout of the meeting notes nor making it try to fit into some complicated looking template. My aim is to keep it simple as much as possible, because it's the information that has the value. In addition, I want to be able to distribute the meeting notes out to others as easy as possible; copy from a tool like Microsoft's OneNote or Google Docs and quickly paste it an email. I also want to be able to go back and refer to past notes with relative ease. This can be helpful when you need to verify what was discussed in the past about a particular topic. Now what's my approach in writing meeting notes?
I have three parts to it: attendees, summary, and follow up. It's good to have documentation on all those who were present at the meeting. Again, this can prove valuable for a historical purpose. The summary section is where I try to capture as much as possible all the valid points that were brought up for a particular topic. This would include any current state information, questions, concerns, future state goals, etc. Each topic that was discussed in the meeting would be its own bullet point and any additional details would fall under it. The follow up section is where all the tasks that were brought up during the meeting where some kind of an action is needed for them as well as who is responsible for the task.
That's all I do when I write up meeting notes, because it shouldn't become a huge task after the meeting is over. I'll take a quick look to fix any minor spelling or grammar errors, but nothing more than that. The important thing for me is to get it out to my team mates; the more information that is shared within a team, helps empower the team.
Example meeting note
Kwahi, Breanna, Tony, Becky, Manu
- The change that we are making will affect process SC04.
- Limited knowledge on this process.
- Need to investigate to get a better understanding of it.
- Remaining modules
- Breanna met with Team X and determined it was best to make the enhancement.
- Breanna - Build and test modules 1, 2, and 3.
- Manu - Find out from team XYZ how they do process SC04.
- Breanna - Speak to senior management on plan F01.