How to Take Meeting Notes Effectively

5 tips to simplify the process of taking good meeting notes:

Tip 1: Start before the meeting

Taking even 5 minutes before a meeting to collect your thoughts and come up with an outline for a meeting will not only make your meeting notes better, but improve the overall quality of your meeting as well. It's very difficult to run a meeting and plan it on the fly. Your outline can be very simple, including:

  • The meetings primary participants
  • The date
  • Topics of conversation that should be covered
  • Questions you'd like to leave the meeting having answered
  • Action items that come out of the meeting

Tip 2: Don't take verbatim notes

Taking verbatim notes can really distract you from a meeting. Your focus goes entirely to trying to keep up with your keyboard, rather than focusing on the meeting itself. Sometimes verbatim notes are necessary, which leads us to our next tip:

Tip 3: Record & Transcribe your meeting

If you need take verbatim notes or have valuable information that needs to be recorded from you meeting, you should record & transcribe your meeting. This way you get all the information that you need, while still being present in the meeting.

To make this easier, we've built a chrome extension that can record & transcribe your meetings:

Tip 4: Use a note taking template

If you have a lot of meetings, creating an outline for the meeting may just be out of the cards for you. A better option for the meeting heavy folks, is to use a pre-created meeting agenda. There are lots of good templates out there for free! Here's our favorite note taking template for meetings:

Tip 5: Clean up your notes directly after the meeting

If you're actively participating in a meeting, notes can end up pretty slim (and with a lot of chicken scratch). Taking 5 minutes to write down your thoughts after a meeting can really make a big impact. Not only will you end up with far superior notes, you'll actually remember more from the meeting too.

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