Meeting Minutes Formats
When taking minutes or notes for a meeting there are several minutes formats available for you to choose from. Minutes are supposed to be the official written records from your meetings. Minutes or protocols should not be a record of the discussion that took place but more a consensus or decision for each topic discussed (unless you are using verbatim minutes). The minutes layout you choose can depend on the formality of your meetings and culture within your organization. Here is a short description of some common minutes formats and minutes templates.
Substantive Minutes Formats
Action minutes or decision-only minutes exclude any discussions that went into making the decision and capture the conclusion and/or action for a topic to be taken. The action minutes provide an executive overview of decisions within a meeting. Action minutes are often required in meetings such as board, councils or hearing meetings. If you are running committee meetings, management meetings, staff meetings or similar you should look at discussion minutes below. Here are some FREE action minutes templates:
Discussion minutes or anecdotal minutes are records of the consensus of the discussions that lead to the decisions and decisions/actions required. Discussion minutes are recommended in most cases. The note taker should include significant points made by the group and refrain from recording personal comments. The chair of the meeting can help the note taker by summarizing discussions before moving to the next topic. Alternatively, the note taker can display notes on a projector to ensure people consent with the records. Here are some FREE discussion minutes templates:
Verbatim minutes are a word for word written transcript of who stated what during meetings. Verbatim minutes are often very lengthy and difficult to overview. They are rarely used unless required by law, in public hearings or congress. Capturing verbatim minutes is difficult for the note taker and recording the conversation with a microphone could be very helpful for proof-reading minutes. As opposed to action and discussion minutes, verbatim minutes focus on individual’s comments and not the general consensus.