Meeting Minutes: Templates, Examples (and Automations) to Move Faster and Smarter

Save time, capture key meeting takeaways, and improve the quality of your documentation with these meeting minutes templates and automation hacks.

By Manuela Bárcenas  •   June 19, 2024  •   9 min read

At any organization, meetings are the setting where most decisions take place. Whether you’re attending a board meeting or an executive goal review session, great leaders know that it is crucial to have a meeting agenda to guide the conversation. However, if you’re constantly attending meetings throughout the day, it can be difficult to plan ahead of all of them.

Holding employees accountable without accurate and organized meeting documentation is difficult, and losing essential details — like action items and decisions —can cause delays, strained client and team relationships, and project setbacks. Meeting minutes can prevent this.

In this article, you will find meeting minutes templates that can be easily applied to your meeting agendas or used as samples – so you can focus on having efficient meetings that move work forward.

The benefit of using templates for meeting minutes is that these can be easily shared across your organization. If you’re a business leader, using meeting minutes templates will set an example of organization and discipline for the rest of your staff.

How to write and automate meeting minutes: 7 best practices

Whether you use an AI meeting assistant like Fellow to automatically generate meeting minutes or prefer to type meeting minutes yourself, these 7 best practices will help meeting hosts at your organization establish a culture of better documentation.

1 Communicate the meeting purpose and objectives

Even with the best intentions, meetings can go off-rail due to unclear objectives. This wastes time and means you’re further from making important decisions.

To make good use of everyone’s time, include the meeting purpose in the calendar invite and at the top of the meeting agenda. When all attendees have a firm idea of why you’re meeting, it sets the stage for more efficient discussions, better decisions, and a clearer record of what happened.

agenda showing meeting purpose

If you’re an executive leader, you can leverage technology like Fellow’s Meeting Guidelines feature to prompt employees to always include a purpose and goals ahead of time so everyone arrives prepared to listen and contribute.

2 Plan a meeting outline using an agenda template

Now that you’ve clarified the meeting objective, use an agenda template to ensure that you start each meeting with your goals in mind. This agenda is meant to keep everyone on track, particularly during long discussions with many talking points.

Using one of Fellow’s meeting agenda templates lets you structure a meeting instantly. You can also create highly customized agendas by editing the headings and discussion topics, embedding images, and adding color and highlights.

agenda with headings like talking points, priorities, and action items

Steven G. Rogelberg, the author of The Surprising Science of Meetings, highlights the importance of meeting agendas:

“What matters is not the agenda itself but the relevance and importance of what’s on it, and how the leader facilitates discussion of the agenda items.” 

For more insights like this, listen to this interview with Steven Rogelberg, where he discusses how leaders can use well-structured agendas and positive energy to boost attendee engagement.

3 Record the date, time, and names of participants

Recording the meeting’s date, time, and attendees should be part of your meeting note-taking process. These seemingly minor details help meeting minutes accomplish their primary goal: encouraging accountability since absentees are well-informed. Jotting these details down also makes organizing your meeting notes easier, as you can quickly search your documentation by name or date to find items. 

If you use a meeting management software like Fellow, these details will be automatically recorded and added to the AI meeting summary. This relieves your notetaker so they can concentrate on the session.

4 Track key points and action items

No meeting should end without clear action items. When taking meeting minutes, write down the outcomes and decisions that come out of each agenda item, using your meeting agenda as a general outline. At Fellow, we recommend taking notes in bullet point format under each Talking Point in the product.

Reviewing open action items at the beginning of every meeting is another great way to increase accountability and remove roadblocks, but keeping tabs on them all can be frustrating. Include a section reminding attendees to review action items from past meetings as part of your meeting minutes.

Fellow’s carry-forward feature instantly moves incomplete action items to your next meeting so you can check in on your team’s tasks.

5 Integrate company goals and OKRs

As a business leader, you can play an important role in reminding people of the business objectives and quarterly goals. Meetings can be a great setting to do so.

We recommend adding a section about Metrics, or OKRs to your meeting agenda, whenever possible.

Fellow’s OKR feature helps your team quickly review progress (and solve roadblocks stymieing it). It ensures OKRs are trackable and top of mind and lets you add comments to encourage transparency throughout your team.

This also gives depth and clarity to your meeting minutes. For instance, instead of a somewhat vague goal of “achieve 98% customer satisfaction rating,” you have the objective, the measurable progress, and whether or not you’re on track to complete it on time.

6 Leverage AI tools to create a summary and transcript

Meeting transcription tools are the best way to take meeting minutes that are reliable, unbiased, and easily shareable. They’re cost-efficient, speedy, and save hours of admin time. This technology quickly assesses your transcripts and generates minutes with details like:

  • Date, time, and attendees
  • Discussion topics
  • Decisions
  • Action items
  • Agenda items covered

Some companies do this for free using ChatGPT, but this platform wasn’t designed for meetings, increasing the risk of error and security issues. 

Fellow’s Meeting Minutes app automatically summarizes and centralizes information, syncing meeting notes to your calendar for easy access. Managers can edit these notes to ensure they’re accurate and focus on the right items.

7 Share the meeting minutes promptly

If you’re manually taking meeting summaries, share them soon after the call via email to offer guidance on the next steps, loop in those who couldn’t attend, and make sure information is fresh in your mind as you craft your summary.

You can also automate this process with technology and ask a tool like Fellow to automatically share meeting recaps with all attendees after the videocall.

Sharing the meeting minutes immediately after the meeting will not only help you look very professional and organized. It will also create a culture of accountability where meetings are settings where employees come together to make decisions and leave inspired to get work done.

Get the most out of every meeting, even the ones you skip.

Fellow is the only AI meeting management platform built for remote and hybrid teams that want to move faster and smarter. The AI Meeting Copilot provides all the key takeaways and outcomes from your meetings so you can revisit discussions, catch up on missed meetings, and get answers to related questions. Try it for free.

4 Top Meeting Minutes Templates for Effective Discussions

Here are our top four meeting minutes templates that, when used with Fellow, are automatically populated with information like the date, attendees, and talking points.

1 Formal Board Meeting Minutes Template

The Formal Board Meeting Minutes Template documents official decisions, which often require approval. This template uses formal language and formatting, making it appropriate to share with every stakeholder and participant as is.

Board meetings typically involve critical decisions and policy updates, so notetakers must pay keen attention to detail so their minutes are correct. This template offers a clear structure so your minute-taker can track essential information in bullet lists under each header.

2 Staff Meeting Minutes Template

This Staff Meeting Template includes sections for a brief check-in, the meeting purpose, discussion points, and key decisions made during the meeting. It can be used as a base for taking meeting minutes for any meeting.

This template isn’t for a highly formal type of meeting, so it’s perfect for any organization looking to organize key points and next steps. It’s also an excellent foundation for companies that want to get creative and build a custom meeting minutes template.

3 Board Meeting Minutes Template

The Board Meeting Minutes Template helps you quickly create an official record of your board of directors’ discussions. It’s similar to the formal meeting template above, helping you track and approve decisions, but it doesn’t use formal language.

This meeting notes example lets your notetaker track old business, new business, and action items, including an estimated timeframe and who’s accountable for what.

4 David Sacks’ SaaS Board Meeting Template

Entrepreneur and investor David Sacks designed the SaaS Board Meeting Template for rapid efficiency. This agenda template encourages board members to stay focused on key topics—and the result is meeting minutes that cover the progress of your whole business, including sales, hiring, and admin.

Improve the quality of your company’s meeting minutes and takeaways with Fellow

Crafting and sharing concise meeting minutes post-session ensures your team is in the know about their responsibilities. But the last thing everyone needs is another to-do on their list. Automate this administrative task with Fellow. 

Fellow offers an AI meeting recap interface that works like a table of contents. It includes time stamps, edit functions, and topic suggestions for upcoming sessions. Plus, your team can use the Ask Copilot feature to find out what they missed in calls and whether they have any outstanding action items.

Onboard Fellow as your dedicated notetaker and enjoy more focused, productive discussions.

automated meeting recaps and recordings

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should be appointed to take meeting minutes?

Many roles can craft meeting minutes, like administrative assistants, project managers, and team leads. For small teams, you might make notetaking a rotating responsibility so everyone gets a chance to practice this skill (and, alternatively, to focus on the conversation). 

But you can also offload this role to the Fellow AI Meeting Copilot and let everyone attending contribute to the session. The Copilot automatically shares a complete transcription plus quick meeting minutes, encouraging employee accountability and productivity. This also means the whole team is well-informed—even if they miss a meeting.

Why are meeting minutes important?

Meeting minutes are a written record of meeting details, such as discussion topics, decisions, and next steps. They include key details, like the time and attendees, so employees can quickly gain context on each session.

Some sectors, like government organizations, require meeting minutes to keep official historical records. These notes also provide legal protection because they often capture due diligence, confirming an organization’s ethical, fair practices.

However, every good meeting offers a concise summary to create documentation, keep employees informed, and clarify responsibilities. This summary also helps you better prepare for the next meeting.

Meeting minutes can also make your meetings more productive. According to a McKinsey study, 61% of executives say that at least half of their decision-making time is ineffective, mainly due to inefficient, poorly planned meetings. Thoughtfully creating meeting minutes is one way to better plan these meetings so they’re more effective.

One final (and fun) note: Yes, meeting minutes save you time, but this isn’t why they use the word “minutes.” The term comes from the Latin word “minutia,” meaning details, directly referring to the little notes you make after a meeting.

Minutes of meeting sample

Call to order

Facilitated by the ‘Chair of the Board’

  • [Meeting facilitator] called to order the regular meeting of [Organization] at [time] on [date] in [location].

Roll call

The secretary conducted a roll call. The following persons were present:

Approval of minutes

Before any official business can be conducted, the board must approve the minutes from the last meeting.

  • [Secretary] read the minutes from the last meeting. The minutes were approved.

Open issues

Items that the board has previously discussed that are ready for formal approval.

New business

These items may be voted on, amended, tabled, moved to committee for consideration or postponed.


After all the open issues and new business have been discussed and documented, the meeting facilitator will adjourn the board meeting.

  • [Meeting facilitator] adjourned at the meeting at [time meeting ended].

Submission and approval of minutes

Minute taker must submit the minutes for approval by the Board Chair or meeting facilitator.

  • Minutes submitted by: [Name]
  • Minutes approved by: [Name]
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