Writing meeting minutes - it's easier this way

April 2023 | Christina Jacob
last updated on 26. June 2023

Writing meeting minutes is part of your job? A challenge that you would like to pass on to colleagues? A task that you might consider superfluous because the minutes disappear unread in some email archive anyway? 

This is not entirely true: writing minutes of meetings makes perfect sense, as all those present and also colleagues who were unable to attend the meeting can read about the essential content, decisions made and the resulting next steps and measures in them. 
What is true: Taking minutes of a meeting can be very tedious if you go into it unprepared. 


This guide to taking minutes of meetings can help make your job easier.

Writing meeting minutes – our tips

1. Clarify beforehand: What kind of protocol do you want?

a) Verbatim records of the meeting are rarely requested. As the name implies, a verbatim record accurately reflects the chronological sequence of a meeting. It is very tedious to prepare, as the minute-taker has to record word for word with the utmost concentration. In the past, shorthand was used, but today audio recordings can be used.

b) Minutes of proceedings record the most important statements made by the various participants during the meeting. It includes the core of the discussions and debates in order to document the course of the meeting including controversial argumentation up to the decision-making.

c)Minutes of results or minutes of decisions contain the essential information of a meeting in the form of an overview of the decisions made and votes taken. While the effort required to produce a record of results during the meeting is less, capturing and compiling the essential content of a long and complex conference with multiple speakers is no easy task.

2. Preparation

a) Find out in advance about the planned agenda items for the meeting. This way you can familiarise yourself with the topics and follow the discussions more easily.

b) Create a template that already provides a rough structure. This includes the date, time and place of the meeting as well as the names of all participants. List the individual agenda items and enter your discussion notes accordingly. This will give you a certain basic order and make it easier for you to keep track of things later.

3. Writing the meeting minutes

Now comes the real challenge. Don't even try to write down word for word, then you will lose the thread. Write down short bullet points with the essential statements. If you don't understand something, ask questions right away. If possible, record the conversation. Check beforehand whether everyone agrees and test the quality and the best location for your recording device or microphone.

4. Follow-up

It is best to start writing the meeting minutes immediately afterwards, because then you will still have what was said fresh in your mind. And remember: You will not receive a literary prize for writing meeting minutes - minutes should convey information in a factual, clear and understandable way. Avoid unnecessary embellishments and long, boxy sentences, preferring to write briefly and concisely.

If you have recorded the conversation, you can save yourself a lengthy manual transcription by using transcription software based on speech recognition. GoSpeech provides you with the transcript of your audio recording within a few minutes. You can easily carry out the first post-processing steps, such as correcting technical terms, in the GoSpeech editor, where you can quickly and easily write your meeting minutes with the help of the second editor window. To do this, you can simply drag and drop the relevant statements into the second editor window. You can also export the text directly to your usual word processing programme and edit it there.

5. Release

Before you distribute your meeting minutes to all staff, have them approved. It may be necessary to make corrections or additions.



Writing meeting minutes  is a great challenge for many. Listening, understanding and taking notes at the same time require good concentration and also some practice. But with proper preparation and follow-up, the task becomes less daunting. GoSpeech is a helpful tool for this - you can simply record the meeting and then have the audio recording converted into text by the transcription software.

Do you often have to deal with the transcription of meeting minutes? Reduce your workload - take advantage of the opportunity to test GoSpeech for free now and let our transcription software transcribe your audio recordings.


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