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The Art of Effective Minute Taking: Tips and Techniques

Ulysse Wolff
November 2, 2023
Remote Works

What are meeting minutes?

Meeting minutes are concise and official records of a meeting. They differ from traditional meeting summaries by providing a detailed record of a meeting's discussions, decisions, and assigned actions. 

These documents are typically employed for legal, compliance, or historical reasons, underlining their critical significance.

In this article, you will learn the art of effective minute taking, and you will be able to create meeting minutes that truly make a difference.

How to write effective meeting minutes?

Creating effective meeting minutes can be a challenging task, but we've got you covered. If you need more basic information about how to make meeting minutes you can look at our dedicated article.

The preliminary steps

Find your template

The initial step in mastering effective minute taking is finding an appropriate template. At the very least, your template should include the following elements:

  • Meeting date, time and location 
  • List of attendees, and absent members
  • Meeting summary
  • Action items
  • Decisions made for each agenda item

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all template. Your choice should align with your company or team's specific requirements.. But rest assured, we offer a wide selection of meeting minute templates for you to choose from. You are certain to find one that suits your needs. And you can even use it directly with Claap, a tool that will fill your template with automatic notes.

Prepare the minute taking

To ensure 100% efficiency during the meeting, there are several elements you can prepare beforehand:

  • Decide on your note-taking method: Will you use a computer or take notes by hand? Make this decision before the meeting begins. If you opt for a computer, it's wise to have a pen and paper as a backup solution. Or simply utilize Claap and do not take any notes.
  • Collect general meeting information: Obtain crucial details such as the meeting date, time, location, purpose, agenda, and the participants' names in advance. This information is readily available before the meeting, saving you valuable time.

How to take notes during meetings

If you're tired of taking notes during meetings, you can just check out Claap, an automatic note-taking solution, and skip the following section. But, if you happen to be one of those rare souls who derive genuine pleasure from taking notes, then this comprehensive tutorial is designed just for you.

Record the attendees and absences

Your first task is to document the list of meeting attendees, both present and absent. If you're in a remote meeting, this is a straightforward task. Otherwise, you can either politely request that participants you aren't acquainted with introduce themselves or provide an attendance sheet for everyone to fill out.

Maintain full attention during the meeting

Maintain your attentiveness and focus throughout the entire meeting. Remember, your responsibility is to provide a comprehensive report on the meeting, accurately capturing all proceedings. We understand that this can be quite challenging, which is why Claap is here for you with its automatic note-taking capabilities.

Seek clarification 

During the meeting, if you encounter any points of confusion, do not hesitate to seek clarification from the participants. Remember, it's essential to maintain a respectful and non-disruptive approach—avoid interrupting the ongoing discussion.

Record the meeting

With the consent of the participants and to ensure comprehensive notes, consider recording the meeting. It will allow you to revisit the recording if you need to verify any details. Claap, as a meeting recording tool offers this dedicated feature for your convenience.

After the meeting

Write the meeting minutes as soon as possible

It's essential to draft the meeting minutes as soon as possible. Delaying this task could lead to forgetting crucial aspects of the meeting, struggling to decipher your notes, and ultimately wasting a significant amount of time.

Give account of the meeting efficiently

Your notes should not be a mere transcription of the meeting. You should not directly quote people either. The goal is to deliver an efficient account of the meeting by summarizing agenda items and discussions, both on and off the agenda. 

Claap can help you to do so with its AI summary feature. It will automatically summarize your notes and even adapt them to your personal template.

Maintain objectivity

Ensure your meeting minutes remain objective by refraining from including personal opinions or observations. Consistently use the same tone throughout, and opt for a passive voice where appropriate. 

For instance, instead of saying, "I believe the decision should be," you could use a passive voice as follows: "The decision is recommended to be..."

Review your meeting minutes

Before sending, it's crucial for both you and others to thoroughly review your meeting minutes. This step ensures accuracy and clarity in the final document.

Email template to distribute the minutes

Meeting minutes are typically distributed via email. It's important to exercise caution in both the recipients you select and the manner in which you compose the email. 

Here's an example of how you could proceed:

Subject: Meeting Minutes - [Meeting Date]

Dear [Recipient's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am pleased to provide you with the meeting minutes from our recent meeting held on [Meeting Date]. Please find the attached document for your reference.

In the attached minutes, you will find a detailed summary of the discussions, decisions, and action items that were addressed during the meeting. We have made every effort to ensure that these minutes accurately reflect the proceedings.

Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or require further clarification on any points. Your input and feedback are always valued.

Thank you for your continued dedication to our meetings, and I look forward to our continued collaboration.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Title]

[Attachment: Meeting Minutes - [Meeting Date]]

Archive meeting minutes

Store your meeting minutes in a well-organized library accessible to the right users whenever needed. Claap offers a dedicated video wiki to record and manage your meeting videos efficiently.

How to automate your meeting minutes with Claap

By following this comprehensive guide, you're well on your way to becoming an expert in effective minute-taking. 

But what if I told you that you could take your efficiency to the next level? With Claap, that's entirely possible.

Claap is not just a tool; it's your partner in effortless and accurate minute-taking. With its innovative features, Claap can autonomously handle the entire process. It frees you from the tedious task of minute-taking, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – actively participating in your meetings and making a real impact.

Here is how Claap can automate your meeting minutes

  • Automatic Note Taker: Claap effortlessly transcribes your meetings, saving you from the need to hurriedly type during discussions, ensuring you capture every detail efficiently.
  • Meeting Recorder: You may still want to have a record of your meeting to check elements by yourself. Claap does it for you. It automatically records your meetings and stores them in a video library.
  • AI Summary Features: Claap goes beyond mere transcriptions. It offers AI-powered summary features that not only transcribe but also condense your notes, seamlessly integrating them into your customized templates.

As actions speak louder than words, try Claap today (free plan available with no credit card required) and witness the remarkable surge in your productivity.

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