Give Me 60 Seconds and I’ll Give You Actionable Meeting Minutes

09 Nov 2015

When conducted efficiently and with a clear purpose, meetings can be super productive, and really help a business to improve many facets of its operations. They’re excellent to share ideas, solve problems, and decide on next steps.

There are many simple ways that you can run really productive meetings. The problem is, even with great ideas and suggestions during the meeting, often the issues and solutions that are discussed slip people’s minds after the meeting.

This is where the significance of meeting minutes enter the picture. Minutes need to be actionable, which means they need to be focused, detailed, and shared with meeting attendees. Here are some great tips for taking actionable meeting minutes:

Review minutes from the last meeting

Reviewing the previous meeting’s minutes creates a sense of accountability, and makes sure that individuals are held responsible for tasks they had to accomplish and deadlines they were supposed to meet.

Compare minutes to the meeting agenda

Making sure that you compare minutes to the meeting agenda ensures that all items on the agenda have been discussed. It also ensures that you don’t forget any of the points that were discussed. Often, looking over the agenda will jog your memory and you’ll remember the discussion more fully and accurately.

Divide minutes into sections

Segmented minutes with headings like Projects, Tasks, and Activities will make it easier to keep track of the things that need to be accomplished. Each heading should have a designated employee, a deadline, and steps to be taken. Possible obstacles could also be included. This technique is used by entrepreneurs like LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner to prevent any waste of time in meetings.

Every task has a responsible individual

This one is crucial. For minutes to be actionable, someone must be responsible for taking that action. A directly responsible individual will sustain accountability and things will get done.

Decide on concrete steps

Steps for action should be decided and followed up. Deadlines and milestones are a great way of keeping track of the things that need to be done, and whether or not they have been.

Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to write effective and actionable minutes particularly when you’re pressed for time. Fortunately, there are conference call apps that make this task extremely easy by letting you manage your meetings’ agendas right in the app itself, and as you end a meeting or call, it will automatically give you the option to record any notes you want against it.

As you add a note, you can simultaneously view the agenda for that meeting, to make sure nothing gets left off the list. You can also expand each note/action item to include deadlines, responsible individuals, and any other additional comments you want.

Plus, this entire note-taking activity can be collaborative, so each attendee in the meeting can add to the minutes. They say two memories are better than one; and more are even better! In addition to taking text based notes, you can even take voice notes against your meetings, if you’re driving or commuting and don’t have the time to type things one by one on your phone.

All of this can be done in just about one minute, right after the end of your meeting, so that the discussion is still fresh in your mind. Best of all, you can share these minutes with all meeting participants with just one tap from conference call app. And that’s it! Actionable meeting minutes, simplified.


David Lee

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