Basic Meeting Minutes

The simplest, most-basic meeting minutes template we could imagine

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Next Steps

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How to use this template

Accurate and timely meeting minutes are essential tools for ensuring effective communication and collaboration within any organization. They provide a clear record of what transpired during the meeting, help hold attendees accountable to their commitments, and serve as a reference point for future conversations and decisions. Meeting minutes aim to inform recipients about decisions made, tasks assigned, and issues discussed. 


Meeting minutes contribute to effective meetings by serving as a comprehensive record, streamlining communication, promoting accountability, and facilitating continuous improvement. Well documented meeting minutes will provide a concise summary of each meeting, allowing participants to review key points without rehashing the conversation. Because meeting minutes serve as an accurate representation of each meeting, they promote accessibility, allowing everyone to access the information discussed during the meeting whether they were in attendance or not. This helps fosters alignment and transparency.  

Key sections of a Basic Meeting Minutes Template 

Call to order

An official call to order is essentially a signal that the meeting proper has begun. This means that discussions before the call to order are often not recorded, which helps separate official talking points from non-official ones. Usually, the meeting facilitator or chairperson has the responsibility for the call to order.


  1. Attendees

As part of any good meeting minutes document, it’s key to note down who is currently part of the meeting being held as this will indicate those who were present for the discussion as well as if the meeting had a proper quorum for any key decisions to be made. A roll call by the meeting facilitator, chair, or even the minutes-taker themselves can suffice here. 

  • Voting members in attendance included:
  • Guests in attendance included:
  • Members not in attendance included:

  1. Approval of minutes

Before the official meeting discussions are wrapped up, a review of the previous meeting’s minutes must be called for approval with the present members. The previous minutes should be sent prior to the current meeting to allow participants to review them before the approval process. 

  • A motion to approve the minutes of the previous [date] meeting was made by [name] and seconded by [name].

  1. Reports

This section of your meeting minutes document is often referred to as the “body” meaning this is where the majority of the discussion will be documented. It's important to be as accurate as possible when noting these details. Consider structuring this section of your meeting minutes as follows: 

  • [Report name] was presented by [name of presenter].
  • [Report name] was presented by [name of presenter].

  1. Main motions

Motions are essentially off-agenda items or items that are separate from reporting that a team member would like to bring forth to the other members in the meeting. This can be a motion to extend the meeting hours, propose new projects, develop new teams, and more. Essentially, these are items that require a vote and should be structured as follows: 

  • Motion: Moved by [name] and seconded that [state the motion here]. 
  • The motion [carried or failed] with [number] in favor and [number] against.


  1. Adjournment

The adjournment is the section of your meeting minutes that will signal the end of the meeting. And should be structured as follows: 

  • [Name of mover] moved that the meeting be adjourned, and this was agreed upon at [time of adjournment].
  • Secretary:
  • Date of approval:


Best Practices for Planning for Meeting Minutes

  1. Plan a meeting outline in advance

Learning how to write meeting minutes can be challenging, especially if your meeting doesn’t follow an outline. Planning a meeting outlined advance will ensure you have the framework necessary to take comprehensive meeting minutes. It will also ensure you can focus on taking meeting minutes, instead of worrying about formatting an outline. 


  1. Record the date, time, and names

Effective meeting minutes will encompass the date, time, and names. It's important to note the date of the meeting, the time the meeting occurred, and the names of all meeting participants. These details will be crucial when searching for information in the future. 


  1. Write down the meeting purpose

It can be difficult to source meeting information after the meeting has ended, especially if the meeting minutes do not encompass crucial details. Writing down the meeting purpose will make meeting details easy to source in the future. Writing down the purpose of the meeting will also provide those that were not able to attend with the context necessary to understand the meeting notes. 


  1. Use the agenda to track key points discussed

It can be difficult to follow along during a meeting when you're responsible for meeting minutes. To ensure you don’t miss any crucial details, consider following along the meeting agenda to track key points discussed. The meeting agenda should provide you with a framework that you can use to keep track of action items, key decisions, and discussions. 


  1. Keep track of action items

When capturing meeting minutes, it's important to keep track of action items. With Fellow, you can assign, visualize, and prioritize all your meeting to-dos in one place and sync them with tools like Jira, Asana, and Zapier. During your meetings, you can use Fellow to make clear decisions on who is responsible for each task, and when it must be completed by. After your meeting finishes, you can re-organize your to-do list on Fellow’s Action Items page and check items off your list as you complete them! Any incomplete action items will automatically get carried into your next meeting so you can follow up on action items and keep your team accountable from one meeting to the next. 


Why this Basic Meeting Minutes Template is better in Fellow

Are you searching for a meeting minute template to level up your minute taking game? Try this basic meeting minutes template in Fellow.

With Fellow, getting started with a meeting minute template is as simple as choosing from one of hundreds of pre-built templates complete with recommended talking points, tweaking it with custom headers and talking points unique to your meeting, and bringing it to life during your next meeting! 


When you choose to leverage a business review template in Fellow, it automatically connects with your calendar and shows up side-by-side in your meeting calls for the ultimate distraction free meeting experience! And if you don’t have the capacity to build out your own talking points, you can leverage Fellow’s AI agenda builder to add talking points to your sections in a matter of minutes.



Meetings Minutes FAQs

  1. What is the difference between meeting minutes and meeting notes? 

Meeting minutes are a formal record of the meeting, while meeting notes are informal notes taken by an individual attendee. Meeting notes may include key points and ideas discussed but are not as detailed or structured as meeting minutes. Unlike meeting notes, meeting minutes can be considered legal documents.


  1. Who is responsible for taking meeting minutes? 

No one person is responsible for taking meeting minutes however, we recommend designating a note taker for each meeting, or rotating the responsibility amongst your team. Alternatively, you can leverage an AI-powered meeting transcription and management software solution like Fellow to facilitate fewer, more impactful meetings with Fellow’s AI meeting summaries, time-saving templates, and meeting policy prompts.


  1. When should meeting minutes be distributed? 

Meeting minutes are typically distributed shortly after each meeting ends however, when you distribute them is completely up to you. We recommend distributing them as soon as your meeting finishes, ensuring the information is top of mind and participants have access to the information as soon as possible. Meeting minutes can be distributed through email, collaborative meeting management software like Fellow, or shared documents. The method of distribution depends on your teams’ preferences and the tools you have access to.  


  1. Are meeting minutes necessary for every meeting? 

The decision to take meeting minutes often depends on the type and purpose of the meeting, as well as organizational policies and preferences. While not every type of meeting requires a formal set of meeting minutes, important decision-making meetings, project planning sessions, or strategy meetings often benefit from well-documented meeting minutes. 


  1. Should meeting minutes include personal opinions? 

The primary purpose of meeting minutes is to provide an accurate, objective record of what transpired during a meeting, documenting only factual information, key decisions, and action items. Documenting personal opinions can introduce biases and may dilute the accuracy of your records. It's important that the person responsible for capturing meeting minutes focuses only on key elements. Should they require additional information, it's advisable to consult with meeting participants or review meeting documents before inserting personal opinions.

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