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How to Write the Perfect Meeting Summary (with Templates and Examples)

Max Gayler
September 26, 2023
Remote Works

What’s a Meeting Summary?

A meeting summary is a concise, well-structured document that captures the key points, decisions, and action items discussed during a meeting. In other words, it’s a summary of everything that was said.

It serves as a valuable reference tool, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that important details aren't lost in the ether.

What Tool To Use To Write Meeting Summaries?

Manually creating a meeting summary can be time-consuming, but a little bit of help goes a long way. Claap, an AI-powered meeting assistant, can help you generate meeting summaries effortlessly. Here's how to use it:

  • Record your meetings using Claap's Meeting Recorder for Google Meet or Zoom. You can highlight key moments during the meeting.
  • Summarize your meetings using the right AI Summary Templates for your needs.
  • Edit and share it with your teammates or customers.

Using Claap can save you significant time and ensure that your meeting summaries are consistently well-structured and accurate.

Sign up today to try it in your next meeting.

Meeting Summary vs. Meeting Minutes

Before diving into the art of crafting a meeting summary, it's crucial to understand the distinction between a meeting summary and meeting minutes.

Meeting Summary:

  • Created AFTER a meeting.
  • Concise and focused on essential points.
  • Easy to read and digest.
  • Typically used for quick updates, stand-up meetings, or daily huddles.
  • Emphasizes action items and decisions.

Meeting Minutes:

  • Created DURING a meeting.
  • Comprehensive and detailed.
  • Follows a formal structure.
  • Usually required for official meetings, board meetings, or legal purposes.
  • Includes verbatim transcripts and formal resolutions.

Now that we've clarified the difference, let's explore when to use each.

When Should I Use a Meeting Summary?

Meeting summaries are your go-to choice when:

  • You want to keep your team informed without overwhelming them with excessive details.
  • The meeting is relatively informal, such as team catch-ups or brainstorming sessions.
  • You need a quick reference guide for action items and decisions.
  • Your goal is to foster collaboration and transparency within your team.

This is really useful for things like catch up meetings or when a meeting is short and to the point.

In these situations, a concise meeting summary strikes the perfect balance between brevity and clarity.

When Should I Use Meeting Minutes?

On the other hand, opt for meeting minutes when:

  • The meeting involves significant decisions, contracts, or formal resolutions.
  • You need an official record of the discussion, including verbatim transcripts.
  • The meeting is with external stakeholders, such as clients or regulatory bodies.
  • You're dealing with legal or compliance requirements.

Meeting minutes provide a more formal and detailed account of the meeting, ensuring that all legal and procedural requirements are met.

If this applies to you, check out our meeting minutes template to get started.

Why Should I Have a Meeting Summary?

Creating and distributing meeting summaries offers several benefits:

Efficient Communication: Meeting summaries enable you to communicate the most critical information quickly and effectively, reducing the time spent on lengthy meetings.

Accountability: By documenting action items and responsibilities, meeting summaries help hold team members accountable for their tasks.

Improved Decision-Making: Clear summaries allow for better-informed decisions by ensuring everyone has access to the same information.

Time Savings: With a well-structured summary, team members can review essential points without having to rewatch or reread the entire meeting.

Transparency: Meeting summaries foster transparency within your team, keeping everyone in the loop and preventing misunderstandings.

Now that you know just how important a meeting summary is, let's explore how to create one effectively.

How to Write a Meeting Summary

Writing a meeting summary might seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and tools, it can become a seamless part of your meeting routine. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Thank Everyone for Attending

Begin your meeting summary by expressing gratitude to all attendees for their participation. A simple "Thank you for joining the meeting" sets a positive tone and acknowledges the value of their time. No need to go overboard on the compliments.

Summarize the Key Points

The core of your meeting summary lies in summarizing the essential points discussed during the meeting. No need to include things like who won your meeting icebreaker. Focus on the following:

Agenda Review: Briefly mention the meeting's purpose and agenda.

Main Discussion Points: Highlight the most significant topics covered.

Decisions Made: Clearly state any decisions reached during the meeting.

Action Items: List action items and the responsible parties.

Remember, brevity is key. Aim to provide a concise overview without delving into unnecessary details.

List Follow-up Tasks For the Next Meeting

Identify and outline any follow-up tasks that need to be completed before the next meeting. Assign responsibilities to team members and include deadlines to ensure accountability.

Outline Important Decisions Made

Highlight any key decisions made during the meeting. Clearly state the decision, who made it, and the rationale behind it. This section ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the outcomes of the meeting.

Don't Forget the Details

While your meeting summary should be concise, you can’t forget the small details like the date, who attended, and how long the meeting lasted.. Ensure that you include any essential context or information necessary for understanding the discussed topics and decisions. 

Attach Any Relevant Files

If there were any documents, presentations, or files shared during the meeting, attach them to the summary. This makes it easy for team members to access the resources they need. If you have a recording of the meeting too, that is a great way to give your team different options for how they catch up.

Share It with Your Team

Once you've crafted your meeting summary, share it promptly with all relevant stakeholders. Ensure that it reaches everyone who attended the meeting and anyone else who needs to be informed.

This might sound like a lot to remember. So why not take the stress out of it and generate meeting notes in 30 seconds with Claap

FREE Meeting Summary Templates

Still feel like creating your meeting summary manually? We've created FREE meeting summary templates that you can copy and use for your meetings. These follow the best practices outlined earlier and can serve as a starting point for your meeting summaries.

Meeting Minutes Template

Meeting Date: [Date]

Meeting Duration: [Duration]

Meeting Purpose: [Purpose]


[Name 1]

[Name 2]

[Name 3]



Agenda Review: We started the meeting by reviewing the agenda, which included discussing [Topic 1], [Topic 2], and [Topic 3].

Main Discussion Points:

[Topic 1]: We discussed…

[Topic 2]: We discussed….

[Topic 3]: We discussed…

Decisions Made:

We decided to…

Action Items:

  • [NAME] needs to complete [TASK] by [DATE]
  • [NAME] needs to complete [TASK] by [DATE]
  • [NAME] needs to complete [TASK] by [DATE]


[Attach relevant files or documents here]

Next Meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled for [DATE] at [TIME]. Please review the action items and come prepared to discuss progress.

Sales Discovery Call Template

Meeting Date: [Date]
Meeting Time: [Start Time]
Sales Rep: [Your Name]
Prospect: [Prospect's Name/Company]

1. Acknowledgement

  • Thank you [Prospect's Name] for taking the time to discuss your needs and how our services/products can potentially help.

2. Key Points Summary

  • [Bullet Point Summary of Prospect’s Needs, Challenges, and Goals]

3. Follow-up Actions

  • [Action 1: e.g., Send additional product information, set a date for a demo]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Follow up call scheduled for [Date]]
  • [...]

4. Important Decisions or Insights

  • [Any agreements or key insights gained during the call]

5. Attachments and Additional Resources

  • [Attach or link to any product sheets, case studies, or additional resources provided or referenced during the call]

Sales Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Date: [Date]
Meeting Time: [Start Time]
Sales Team Members: [List of Sales Team Members Present]
Meeting Led By: [Name of Meeting Leader]

1. Acknowledgement and Thanks

  • A big thank you to all team members for their valuable contributions and active participation in today's sales meeting.

2. Key Points Summary

  • [Summarize the key topics discussed, such as sales performance, market trends, client feedback, etc.]
  • Example: Reviewed Q1 sales performance against targets.
  • Example: Discussed new market opportunities in [Region/Segment].

3. Follow-up Actions for Sales Team

  • [Action 1: e.g., Reach out to potential clients in X industry]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Prepare a detailed report on Y product performance]
  • [...]

4. Important Decisions Made

  • [Decision 1: e.g., Implementing a new CRM tool]
  • [Decision 2: e.g., Adjusting sales targets for the next quarter]
  • [...]

5. Attachments and Additional Resources

  • [Attach or link to sales data reports, market analysis, meeting slides, etc., discussed during the meeting]

Customer Success Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Date: [Date]
Meeting Time: [Start Time]
Customer Success Team Members: [List of Attendees]
Meeting Led By: [Name of Meeting Leader]

1. Acknowledgement and Thanks

  • Thank you to everyone for your dedication and efforts in ensuring the success and satisfaction of our customers.

2. Key Points Summary

  • [Summarize the main topics discussed, such as customer feedback, support strategies, success metrics, etc.]
  • Example: Reviewed feedback from the recent customer satisfaction survey.
  • Example: Discussed new strategies for onboarding clients.

3. Follow-up Actions for Customer Success Team

  • [Action 1: e.g., Update the FAQ section based on recent customer inquiries]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Organize a training session on new product features for the team]
  • [...]

4. Important Decisions Made

  • [Decision 1: e.g., Introducing a new customer loyalty program]
  • [Decision 2: e.g., Implementing a weekly check-in call with high-priority clients]
  • [...]

5. Attachments and Additional Resources

  • [Attach or link to customer feedback reports, training materials, policy updates, etc., discussed during the meeting]

User Research Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Date: [Date]
Meeting Time: [Start Time]
Facilitator: [Facilitator's Name]
Attendees: [List of Attendees]

1. Acknowledgement and Thanks

  • Thank you to all participants for your valuable insights and contributions to our user research efforts.

2. Key Research Findings

  • [Summarize key findings from user research, such as user behaviors, preferences, pain points, etc.]
  • Example: Identified common usability issues in our app interface.
  • Example: Gathered user preferences for new feature implementations.

3. Next Steps and Action Items

  • [Action 1: e.g., Refine user personas based on collected data]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Plan a follow-up study to test proposed design changes]
  • [...]

4. Decisions and Conclusions

  • [Any conclusions drawn or decisions made regarding product development, design changes, etc.]

5. Attachments and Additional Resources

  • [Attach or link to research data, interview transcripts, survey results, etc.]

Brief Team Update Template

Meeting Date: [Date]

1. Team Achievements and Highlights

  • [Briefly summarize recent team achievements, project progress, notable milestones, etc.]

2. Upcoming Goals and Objectives

  • [Outline key goals and objectives for the upcoming period]

3. Challenges and Areas of Focus

  • [Identify any challenges faced by the team and areas needing attention]

4. Announcements and Reminders

  • [Include any important announcements, reminders about deadlines, upcoming events, etc.]

Training Session Summary Template

Meeting Date: [Date]
Meeting Time: [Start Time]
Trainer: [Trainer's Name]
Participants: [List of Participants]

1. Training Overview

  • Thank you to all participants for attending the [Name of Training] session. Your engagement and willingness to learn are greatly appreciated.

2. Key Topics Covered

  • [List the main topics or skills that were covered during the training]
  • Example: Overview of new project management software.
  • Example: Advanced customer service techniques.

3. Follow-up Actions for Participants

  • [Action 1: e.g., Practice new skills learned with provided exercises]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Complete post-training assessment by [Date]]
  • [...]

4. Additional Resources and Materials

  • [Attach or link to training materials, handouts, presentations, etc.]

5. Feedback and Improvement

  • [Encourage participants to provide feedback on the training session for future improvements]

How to Start your Next Meeting Summary

In conclusion, mastering the art of writing the perfect meeting summary is a valuable skill. It enhances communication, accountability, and decision-making within your team. 

Whether you choose to create summaries manually or leverage AI-powered meeting notes, the key is to ensure that the essential information is captured concisely and shared promptly with your team. With these tools and techniques at your disposal, you'll be well-equipped to run efficient and productive meetings while keeping everyone on the same page.

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