How to Document Minutes

by Tricia Goss

Recalling the details of a meeting later on can be difficult. Recording clear, thorough and pertinent minutes can help you and others determine what final decisions were made, which duties were assigned and to whom they were delegated. You can even use documented minutes as tools for future meetings by following up on outcomes and establishing benchmarks for action items.

Create a header section at the top of the document. Provide the meeting title or topic as well as the date, time and location where the meeting was held. List other particulars, such as the facilitator and note taker in a simple, two-column format, such as "Facilitator: Joe Smith" on a single line and "Notes by: Ann Jones" on the next.

Record the meeting attendees as well as those who were not present in two separate lists, such as "Members Present:" followed by a list of names and "Members Not Present:" followed by an additional list.

Write the name of the person who read the minutes from the previous meeting and whether the minutes were approved, such as "Susan Doe read the minutes from the last meeting. The minutes were approved as read."

Type each agenda item followed by a brief explanation of the issue. Write the final decision made during the meeting and include action items, projects and teams or individuals responsible for these duties. For example, "Agenda Item 1: Review Budget. Data from Q4 sales required. Bob Smith will generate report and provide to Accounting Department for update." Inserting a bulleted list of action items or "takeaways" at the beginning of the document is helpful for future use.

Close the document by announcing the title or topic of the next meeting along with the date, time and location of the upcoming meeting. Enter the name of the member who motioned to adjourn the meeting and the time, such as "Motion to Adjourn: Mary Jones, 15:27." Type "Respectfully Submitted by:" followed by your name as the person submitting the document, save and file the document.


  • Depending on your company or organization's policies, you may be required to submit the minutes to your superior for approval prior to finalizing the document.

About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images