Meeting "minutes" in three simple steps

Nobody likes it. They are boring duty you ought to do after a meeting. What? "Minutes", of course.

By "minutes" I mean: a note from the meeting (or a telco) that should be sent after a call to all participants involved in order to remind what has been agreed on the meeting and what action items are specified and who is responsible for implementation.

boring-meetingIs there a way to make this very useful tool more effective? The answer is: YES!

First of all: lets enumerate expected properties of those "minutes":

  • easy to write
  • do not skip/forget anything important
  • allow to control if every action item has an assignee

Having above properties in mind I've implemented the following process using an online documents solution (Google Docs, to be specific):

  • I send proposed agenda as online document link to every participants and I allow them to extend it if needed
  • During the call I (or any participant) add action items and responsible persons to the document. Remember: concurrent editing is fun!
  • A copy the document is sent after the call in the same e-mail thread as invitation
  • And now: the previous step delivers your team "minutes"! Voila!

Everyone has R/W access to the document and this is the gag – you can delegate your job to add notes and complete document (including completeness checks) to meeting participants. They enjoy that as they're involved in the meeting flow and the output directly. Nobody is bored.

To speed things up you can add timestamp to each agenda item. Such meeting could never miss allocated time!

Implementation tracking is also easy – you can add ticket tracking ID (Jira, Redmine) to the minutes and assign appropriately.

Happy (not boring) meetings! 🙂

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