Meeting Notes Format

This write-up will help you with a generally accepted format for taking notes or minutes during the meeting.
Sujata Iyer Jan 26, 2019
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The notes taken by the secretary during a meeting are an important form of corporate documentation. They are a record of the business that transpired during a meeting. They act as a piece of legal evidence that can be presented in a court of law. They are also used in order to bring non attenders or late comers up-to-date with the happenings in a meeting.
Though every business organization has its own way of formulating its own minutes, there are some standard components that do not change in any organization. Here, get equipped with one of the most widely used and accepted format that you can refer to while making one for your organization.
There is no standard or hard and fast rule that the format given here is the only one for the minutes of a meeting. However, it does contain all the required components that make up a complete and well written one. So read it and you'll understand better what exactly is expected when you take down the notes during a meeting for any organization.

Format for Meeting Notes

Name of the Organization

Address/Location
Date and Time
Meeting of
Present
Absent
Matters Discussed
End of Meeting
Future Proceedings
Signature

Explanation

Name of the Organization

The first thing that you need to include in the notes or minutes of the meeting is, obviously the name of the organization that is conducting the meeting. Generally, companies use their letterhead, but if you cannot, then you can always simply type out the name in the top center of the sheet.

Address/Location

The next thing that needs to be included after the name of the organization is the address or location of where the meeting is taking place. This may or may not be the same as the registered address of the company. Hence, making a note is important.

Date and Time

After the address, it is also important to mention the date on which the meeting was held. This helps in archiving the notes chronologically, for posterity. Also mention the exact time when the meeting commences, so that it becomes easy to know whether the meeting began at its scheduled time or not.

Meeting of

In this section, you have to mention the 'who' of the meeting. For instance, it's a meeting of the Board of Directors, etc.

Present

Be sure to get everyone's names. If you do not know a particular person's name, ask for an introduction. You can have a sheet passed around for everyone to mention their names and signatures so that you have the complete list. People present by proxy, should explicitly mention so in this list.

Absent

In this section, you need to mention the names of all those members who were supposed to be present at the meeting, but aren't. Mentioning the reason is left to the discretion of the person taking the notes.

Matters Discussed

Now comes the most important part of the meeting and its notes. In this section, you must systematically note down:
  • That the minutes of the previous meeting were read out and agreed upon, before proceeding with the current one, as is the general practice.
  • All the matters that are discussed during the course of the meeting.
  • The names of the people who put forth the various motions.
  • The names of the people who accepted the motions put forth.
  • The names of the people who rejected the motion.
  • All the resolutions that were passed during the meeting.
  • In what manner was the vote taken for the resolution to be passed (by show of hand, ballot, voice, etc.)

End of Meeting

After all the matters have been discussed and/or some tabled for the next meeting, you need to state the time when the meeting came to an end.

Future Proceedings

In this section, you must make a note of all the issues and matters that were meant to be discussed, but were not. Clearly state that the matters need to be discussed in the next meeting, along with the date of the next meeting, which is generally decided at the end of the current meeting.

Signature

At the end of the notes of the meeting, you need to write down your name and sign below to attest that you have taken down the notes or minutes as the meeting proceeded.
The best way to take down notes for a meeting is to type them out. Also, using the meeting agenda (which is fixed much in advance) can help to a great extent in planning the notes that you'll be taking down.
You can section the notes in advance and then just fill in the required spots so that you save time and are able to concentrate on the actual proceedings better. So follow these simple tips, pay rapt attention and you won't have any trouble at all!