In order to make minutes at the same time easily readable and make it easy to find out the essence of a meeting very shortly, divide the minutes in two parts:
- During the meeting, take minutes that show the flow of the discussion.
- After the meeting, go through these minutes, check how much of the minutes of the discussions are really needed for understanding the results, and make sure that you quoted the people correctly. This is most easily done by sending the minutes only to the group that met and ask for confirmation, before publishing them to a wider public or before saving them for the future.
- When you have done this, create a table on top of the minutes, with 3 columns and as many rows as you had topics (plus 1).
The Columns have three headers / titles:
– Item: The first columns is just for the title,
– Decision (Content): the middle row is the largest one and gives space for the content. If a decision has been taken, it is the decision that is there. People interested in seeing why the group took the decision and what discussion is behind it can read the longer minutes.If it’s an item that didn’t include a decision, write 1-2 sentences about the content of the discussion.
– To do for : If the item includes an action that should happen. Then it makes sense to write down who took on the responsibility to do it.