how to write a meeting summary

How to Write the Perfect Meeting Summary (with Templates and Examples)

What’s a meeting summary.

how to write a meeting summary

A meeting summary is a concise, well-structured document that captures the key points, decisions, and action items discussed during a meeting. In other words, it’s a summary of everything that was said.

It serves as a valuable reference tool, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that important details aren't lost in the ether.

What Tool To Use To Write Meeting Summaries?

how to write a meeting summary

Manually creating a meeting summary can be time-consuming, but a little bit of help goes a long way. Claap, an AI-powered meeting assistant , can help you generate meeting summaries effortlessly. Here's how to use it:

  • Record your meetings using Claap's Meeting Recorder for Google Meet or Zoom. You can highlight key moments during the meeting.
  • Summarize your meetings using the right AI Summary Templates for your needs.
  • Edit and share it with your teammates or customers.

Using Claap can save you significant time and ensure that your meeting summaries are consistently well-structured and accurate.

Sign up today to try it in your next meeting.

Meeting Summary vs. Meeting Minutes

how to write a meeting summary

Before diving into the art of crafting a meeting summary, it's crucial to understand the distinction between a meeting summary and meeting minutes.

Meeting Summary:

  • Created AFTER a meeting.
  • Concise and focused on essential points.
  • Easy to read and digest.
  • Typically used for quick updates, stand-up meetings, or daily huddles.
  • Emphasizes action items and decisions.

Meeting Minutes:

  • Created DURING a meeting.
  • Comprehensive and detailed.
  • Follows a formal structure.
  • Usually required for official meetings, board meetings, or legal purposes.
  • Includes verbatim transcripts and formal resolutions.

Now that we've clarified the difference, let's explore when to use each.

When Should I Use a Meeting Summary?

Meeting summaries are your go-to choice when:

  • You want to keep your team informed without overwhelming them with excessive details.
  • The meeting is relatively informal, such as team catch-ups or brainstorming sessions.
  • You need a quick reference guide for action items and decisions.
  • Your goal is to foster collaboration and transparency within your team.

This is really useful for things like catch up meetings or when a meeting is short and to the point.

In these situations, a concise meeting summary strikes the perfect balance between brevity and clarity.

When Should I Use Meeting Minutes?

On the other hand, opt for meeting minutes when:

  • The meeting involves significant decisions, contracts, or formal resolutions.
  • You need an official record of the discussion, including verbatim transcripts.
  • The meeting is with external stakeholders, such as clients or regulatory bodies.
  • You're dealing with legal or compliance requirements.

Meeting minutes provide a more formal and detailed account of the meeting, ensuring that all legal and procedural requirements are met.

If this applies to you, check out our meeting minutes template to get started.

Why Should I Have a Meeting Summary?

how to write a meeting summary

Creating and distributing meeting summaries offers several benefits:

Efficient Communication: Meeting summaries enable you to communicate the most critical information quickly and effectively, reducing the time spent on lengthy meetings.

Accountability: By documenting action items and responsibilities, meeting summaries help hold team members accountable for their tasks.

Improved Decision-Making: Clear summaries allow for better-informed decisions by ensuring everyone has access to the same information.

Time Savings: With a well-structured summary, team members can review essential points without having to rewatch or reread the entire meeting.

Transparency: Meeting summaries foster transparency within your team, keeping everyone in the loop and preventing misunderstandings.

Now that you know just how important a meeting summary is, let's explore how to create one effectively.

How to Write a Meeting Summary

how to write a meeting summary

Writing a meeting summary might seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and tools, it can become a seamless part of your meeting routine . Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Thank Everyone for Attending

Begin your meeting summary by expressing gratitude to all attendees for their participation. A simple "Thank you for joining the meeting" sets a positive tone and acknowledges the value of their time. No need to go overboard on the compliments.

Summarize the Key Points

The core of your meeting summary lies in summarizing the essential points discussed during the meeting. No need to include things like who won your meeting icebreaker . Focus on the following:

Agenda Review: Briefly mention the meeting's purpose and agenda.

Main Discussion Points: Highlight the most significant topics covered.

Decisions Made: Clearly state any decisions reached during the meeting.

Action Items: List action items and the responsible parties.

Remember, brevity is key. Aim to provide a concise overview without delving into unnecessary details.

List Follow-up Tasks For the Next Meeting

Identify and outline any follow-up tasks that need to be completed before the next meeting. Assign responsibilities to team members and include deadlines to ensure accountability.

Outline Important Decisions Made

Highlight any key decisions made during the meeting. Clearly state the decision, who made it, and the rationale behind it. This section ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the outcomes of the meeting.

Don't Forget the Details

While your meeting summary should be concise, you can’t forget the small details like the date, who attended, and how long the meeting lasted.. Ensure that you include any essential context or information necessary for understanding the discussed topics and decisions. 

Attach Any Relevant Files

If there were any documents, presentations, or files shared during the meeting, attach them to the summary. This makes it easy for team members to access the resources they need. If you have a recording of the meeting too, that is a great way to give your team different options for how they catch up.

Share It with Your Team

Once you've crafted your meeting summary, share it promptly with all relevant stakeholders. Ensure that it reaches everyone who attended the meeting and anyone else who needs to be informed.

This might sound like a lot to remember. So why not take the stress out of it and generate meeting notes in 30 seconds with Claap . 

FREE Meeting Summary Templates

Still feel like creating your meeting summary manually? We've created FREE meeting summary templates that you can copy and use for your meetings. These follow the best practices outlined earlier and can serve as a starting point for your meeting summaries.

Meeting Minutes Template

Meeting Date: [Date]

Meeting Duration: [Duration]

Meeting Purpose: [Purpose]

Agenda Review: We started the meeting by reviewing the agenda, which included discussing [Topic 1], [Topic 2], and [Topic 3].

Main Discussion Points:

[Topic 1]: We discussed…

[Topic 2]: We discussed….

[Topic 3]: We discussed…

Decisions Made:

We decided to…

Action Items:

  • [NAME] needs to complete [TASK] by [DATE]

Attachments:

[Attach relevant files or documents here]

Next Meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled for [DATE] at [TIME]. Please review the action items and come prepared to discuss progress.

Sales Discovery Call Template

Meeting Date : [Date] Meeting Time : [Start Time] Sales Rep : [Your Name] Prospect : [Prospect's Name/Company]

1. Acknowledgement

  • Thank you [Prospect's Name] for taking the time to discuss your needs and how our services/products can potentially help.

2. Key Points Summary

  • [Bullet Point Summary of Prospect’s Needs, Challenges, and Goals]

3. Follow-up Actions

  • [Action 1: e.g., Send additional product information, set a date for a demo]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Follow up call scheduled for [Date]]

4. Important Decisions or Insights

  • [Any agreements or key insights gained during the call]

5. Attachments and Additional Resources

  • [Attach or link to any product sheets, case studies, or additional resources provided or referenced during the call]

Sales Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Date : [Date] Meeting Time : [Start Time] Sales Team Members : [List of Sales Team Members Present] Meeting Led By : [Name of Meeting Leader]

1. Acknowledgement and Thanks

  • A big thank you to all team members for their valuable contributions and active participation in today's sales meeting.
  • [Summarize the key topics discussed, such as sales performance, market trends, client feedback, etc.]
  • Example: Reviewed Q1 sales performance against targets.
  • Example: Discussed new market opportunities in [Region/Segment].

3. Follow-up Actions for Sales Team

  • [Action 1: e.g., Reach out to potential clients in X industry]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Prepare a detailed report on Y product performance]

4. Important Decisions Made

  • [Decision 1: e.g., Implementing a new CRM tool]
  • [Decision 2: e.g., Adjusting sales targets for the next quarter]
  • [Attach or link to sales data reports, market analysis, meeting slides, etc., discussed during the meeting]

Customer Success Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Date : [Date] Meeting Time : [Start Time] Customer Success Team Members : [List of Attendees] Meeting Led By : [Name of Meeting Leader]

  • Thank you to everyone for your dedication and efforts in ensuring the success and satisfaction of our customers.
  • [Summarize the main topics discussed, such as customer feedback, support strategies, success metrics, etc.]
  • Example: Reviewed feedback from the recent customer satisfaction survey.
  • Example: Discussed new strategies for onboarding clients.

3. Follow-up Actions for Customer Success Team

  • [Action 1: e.g., Update the FAQ section based on recent customer inquiries]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Organize a training session on new product features for the team]
  • [Decision 1: e.g., Introducing a new customer loyalty program]
  • [Decision 2: e.g., Implementing a weekly check-in call with high-priority clients]
  • [Attach or link to customer feedback reports, training materials, policy updates, etc., discussed during the meeting]

User Research Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Date : [Date] Meeting Time : [Start Time] Facilitator : [Facilitator's Name] Attendees : [List of Attendees]

  • Thank you to all participants for your valuable insights and contributions to our user research efforts.

2. Key Research Findings

  • [Summarize key findings from user research, such as user behaviors, preferences, pain points, etc.]
  • Example: Identified common usability issues in our app interface.
  • Example: Gathered user preferences for new feature implementations.

3. Next Steps and Action Items

  • [Action 1: e.g., Refine user personas based on collected data]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Plan a follow-up study to test proposed design changes]

4. Decisions and Conclusions

  • [Any conclusions drawn or decisions made regarding product development, design changes, etc.]
  • [Attach or link to research data, interview transcripts, survey results, etc.]

Brief Team Update Template

Meeting Date : [Date]

1. Team Achievements and Highlights

  • [Briefly summarize recent team achievements, project progress, notable milestones, etc.]

2. Upcoming Goals and Objectives

  • [Outline key goals and objectives for the upcoming period]

3. Challenges and Areas of Focus

  • [Identify any challenges faced by the team and areas needing attention]

4. Announcements and Reminders

  • [Include any important announcements, reminders about deadlines, upcoming events, etc.]

Training Session Summary Template

Meeting Date : [Date] Meeting Time : [Start Time] Trainer : [Trainer's Name] Participants : [List of Participants]

1. Training Overview

  • Thank you to all participants for attending the [Name of Training] session. Your engagement and willingness to learn are greatly appreciated.

2. Key Topics Covered

  • [List the main topics or skills that were covered during the training]
  • Example: Overview of new project management software.
  • Example: Advanced customer service techniques.

3. Follow-up Actions for Participants

  • [Action 1: e.g., Practice new skills learned with provided exercises]
  • [Action 2: e.g., Complete post-training assessment by [Date]]

4. Additional Resources and Materials

  • [Attach or link to training materials, handouts, presentations, etc.]

5. Feedback and Improvement

  • [Encourage participants to provide feedback on the training session for future improvements]

How to Start your Next Meeting Summary

In conclusion, mastering the art of writing the perfect meeting summary is a valuable skill. It enhances communication, accountability, and decision-making within your team. 

Whether you choose to create summaries manually or leverage AI-powered meeting notes , the key is to ensure that the essential information is captured concisely and shared promptly with your team. With these tools and techniques at your disposal, you'll be well-equipped to run efficient and productive meetings while keeping everyone on the same page.

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How to Write a Meeting Summary Like a Pro (with Example)

  • Serra Ardem

How to Write a Meeting Summary Like a Pro (with Example)

The meeting is over and now it’s time to write that summary you’ve been dreading. No worries; this task doesn’t have to be tedious. If you’re wondering how to write a meeting summary in the most efficient way, we’ve got some actionable tips and strategies that can help you during this process.

In this blog, we will provide you with a guideline and template for writing effective meeting summaries. We will also share additional 10 best practices so you can master the task with confidence, ensuring your summaries are clear and right on point.

What is a meeting summary?

A meeting summary is a concise document that captures the key points of a meeting. It is not a verbatim transcript but rather an overview of the meeting’s outcomes. A well-crafted meeting summary involves the following:

  • Meeting title and purpose
  • Date, time and location of the meeting
  • List of attendees and absentees
  • Agenda items
  • Main discussion points
  • Action items
  • Date, time and location of the next meeting if decided

Smiling women in pink shirt waiving at her laptop screen.

Meeting summaries offer several benefits. They can help team members stay aligned on goals and ensure everyone is aware of their responsibilities. Serving as reference points, they are particularly useful for those who were unable to attend the meeting. Finally, meeting summaries can promote transparency and accountability within an organization.

Meeting Summary vs. Meeting Minutes

If you want to master how to write a meeting summary, then you must first understand its difference from meeting minutes. Here’s a table to summarize:

How to Write a Meeting Summary Step-by-Step

Now we’ve covered the main differences between meeting summaries and meeting minutes, let’s move on to our practical tips. You can follow these steps on how to write a meeting summary and craft the perfect document that will benefit all your team members.

Record and Transcribe the Meeting

As the initial step, make sure you first record and then transcribe the meeting. This will allow you to refer back when you write the summary so you don’t miss any crucial information. Having a recording and transcription will be especially useful if you had complex discussions in the meeting.

Tip: You can use Maestra’s AI meeting transcription software to instantly convert your meeting recordings to text. Just upload your file, choose the language of the meeting, and start the automatic transcription process. Maestra has a very high accuracy rate, yet you can always edit the meeting transcript with the tool’s easy-to-use text editor. Finally, you can export the meeting transcript in the format you prefer.

The web page of Maestra's AI meeting transcription software.

Listen Actively and Take Notes

Do not rely entirely on the recording and transcription. Pay close attention during the meeting itself. Jot down key discussion points, decisions, action items and their owners as they are mentioned. This will provide you a framework when writing the summary later.

Start with the Basics

How should you start a summary? Begin with the core information: a clear meeting title, date, time, location, and a list of attendees and absentees. Finally, add a brief statement about the purpose of the meeting to establish context.

Extract Critical Information

This is the most important part of your meeting summary. Review the transcript and your notes to identify agenda items, action items and key takeaways. Organize the information by connecting decisions to corresponding agenda items, and tasks to deadlines and responsible people.

A bullet list titled "Open Projects" on a white marble table and near a laptop.

Mention Next Steps

Help everyone stay on track by including the details for the next meeting. Note the date, time and location if a follow-up meeting has been scheduled. If not, state that they are to be determined.

Review the Summary

Accuracy is paramount. Proofread your summary and fix errors to ensure you’ve captured information correctly, especially action items and decisions. Plus, be mindful of grammar and style to create a truly polished document.

Share it with Stakeholders

A timely summary will reinforce what was discussed, helping everyone stay accountable. Distribute it promptly to attendees and relevant stakeholders who weren’t able to make the meeting. Use email or your company’s preferred communication channel (like a team collaboration tool) to share the summary.

A pink email icon with a green check on it.

Best Practices on How to Write a Meeting Summary

The following 10 best practices on how to write a meeting summary can make your documents even better. Embrace them to transform this often overlooked task into a powerful communication tool.

  • Use a meeting summary template. This will not only save you time and guarantee you include all necessary information (date, attendees, decisions, etc.) but also standardize the look of summaries across your organization. Google Docs and Microsoft Word offer their own templates. You can also use Notion’s AI-powered Meeting Summaries template for a more creative option.
  • Keep it brief. Never drown in details; focus only on what is essential. Summarize key discussion points and clearly outline action items. Avoid verbatim transcripts.
  • Maintain an objective tone. Write in an unbiased way and present the facts. Avoid inserting personal opinions, interpretations or complicated jargon, ensuring the summary is comprehensible by all.
  • Harness the power of subheadings and bullet points. Break down the summary into sections like “Decisions Made”, “Action Items” and “Next Steps”. Meanwhile, bullet points will highlight critical information for quick skimming.
  • Have whitespace. Incorporate it through short paragraphs, line spacing and margins. This will make the summary more visually appealing and easier on the eyes when reading.
  • Attach supporting documents. Be sure to attach or link to any files, graphics or supplementary material if they were presented or discussed in the meeting. Consider including a brief description of each document to provide context for those reviewing the summary.
  • Send the meeting summary email timely. Send it out within 24 hours ideally while the discussions are still top of mind for attendees. If possible, block off a short amount of time immediately after the meeting to draft the summary.
  • Ensure accessibility. A meeting summary should be helpful to everyone, including those with disabilities. Add alternative text (alt text) to any images or visuals, and offer a plain text version of the summary for individuals using screen readers.
  • Get feedback from colleagues. Select those who were directly involved in the meeting as their insights will be most relevant. Instead of asking “Was this helpful?”, try more specific questions like “Was anything important missing from the summary?” or “Did I maintain a neutral tone?”.
  • Establish a consistent format across your meeting summaries. Set a clear standard for meeting summaries within your team or company to foster professionalism. You can together design a unique template that meets the shared needs of your organization.

A Meeting Summary Example

Learning how to write a meeting summary practice and refinement. Just like any other skill, writing summaries gets easier with experience.

Cropped shot of a young man in blue shirt typing on his laptop.

Here’s an example of a well-structured meeting summary template. Feel free to adjust it to your company’s needs. For example, you can add a “Decisions Made” section to highlight critical decisions made during the meeting, or an “Open Issues” section for topics needing further discussion.

Meeting title: Weekly Team Progress Meeting

Meeting purpose: Review project updates, address challenges, and plan for the upcoming week.

Meeting date: [Insert date]

Meeting time: [Insert start time] – [Insert end time]

Meeting location: Zoom, conference room, etc.

Attendees: List of attendees and their roles

Absentees: List of absentees and their roles (if applicable)

Agenda items:

  • Item 3 

Discussion points:

  • Item 1: Briefly summarize the discussion on this item.
  • Item 2: Briefly summarize the discussion on this item.
  • Item 3: Briefly summarize discussion on this item.
  • Item 4: Briefly summarize discussion on this item.

Action items:

  • [Responsible person]: [Action item] (Deadline)

Next meeting: [Insert date, time and location]

How to Write a Meeting Summary Email

What if you’re pondering how to write a meeting summary email? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered too. You can use the following short-and-to-the-point format:

Subject: Meeting Summary: Weekly Team Progress Meeting – [Insert date]

Thank you for attending today’s Weekly Team Progress Meeting. Here’s a recap of our discussions and action items:

[Insert the meeting summary]

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,

[Your name]

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a meeting summary be.

There is no single rule for the length of a meeting summary as it depends on the context and purpose of the meeting. A 30-minute meeting might only need a half-page summary, while a more complex team meeting might need a full page. The goal is to capture the essence of the meeting without overwhelming the readers, as most people won’t read summaries exceeding a page.

How do you write a summary template?

Here’s how to write a meeting summary template . Start with the meeting title, date, time, location and attendees. Then, add the meeting’s purpose, agenda and a summary of key discussion points. Finally, list action items with owners and deadlines, and any next steps. Besides these essentials, you can always customize your template according to your team’s needs.

How do you summarize meeting notes in AI?

AI tools can analyze your meeting transcript to identify the most important words, phrases and topics discussed. By doing so, they can create a concise summary outlining the meeting’s key decisions, action items, and main theme. They can even extract next steps from the conversation, making it easier to follow up.

How do you summarize a meeting in ChatGPT?

You must first obtain a clear transcript of your meeting to use ChatGPT for summarization. Then provide the transcript to ChatGPT and enter specific instructions on what you’d like the tool to summarize. ChatGPT will generate a summary but don’t forget to review it for accuracy due to potential misinterpretations.

How do you write a report after a meeting?

While a meeting summary provides a brief overview of key decisions and action items, a meeting report is a more thorough and structured document. That’s why you should tailor the level of detail accordingly when writing the latter. For example, you may include the strategic implications of decisions when preparing a meeting report.

Summary 

Besides sharing a guideline and an example on how to write a meeting summary, this blog covered 10 best practices to master this art of crafting effective recaps. These tips and strategies will not only enhance your professional skills but also empower your team to stay organized and focused.

Writing meeting summaries will be even easier in the future thanks to the developments in AI. With software that instantly transcribes your meetings, intelligently identifies action items and generates a summary in seconds, you will have more time to spend on strategic tasks. In short, don’t hesitate to embrace the power of AI if you’re curious about how to write a meeting summary in the most efficient way possible.

Serra Ardem

About Serra Ardem

Serra Ardem is a freelance writer and editor based in Istanbul. For the last 8 years, she has been collaborating with brands and businesses to tell their unique story and develop their verbal identity.

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How to Write a Meeting Summary (With Template And Example)

Last Updated: April 6, 2024

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In today's fast-paced business world , effective communication is key to success. One important aspect of communication is summarizing the critical points of a meeting discussion for all participants.

A well-written meeting summary ensures that everyone is on the same page, allowing for better collaboration and informed decision-making.

In this article, I will I guide you through the process of how to write a meeting summary. We will explore the essential components to include , provide you with a helpful template , and even showcase a real example to illustrate the concept.

Let's dive in!

  • Meeting summary : A concise document capturing key points, discussions, decisions, and action items from a meeting to ensure understanding and collaboration.
  • Meeting minutes vs meeting summaries : Minutes provide detailed accounts, while summaries offer brief overviews focusing on key information.
  • Key components of a meeting summary : Meeting details, agenda items, decisions made, action items, next steps and deadlines.
  • Preparation : Familiarize yourself with the agenda, take effective notes, and gather relevant documents.
  • Writing process : Organize content, start with basic details, capture discussions and decisions, summarize action items and deadlines, highlight key points and takeaways, conclude with next meeting date.
  • Finalizing and sharing : Review, edit, include supporting resources, choose the right format, distribute to participants and stakeholders.
  • Tips : Maintain clarity and brevity, use bullet points and headings
  • AI meeting assistants: Tools like Fireflies.ai ( My review here) can automate meeting transcription, analysis, and summary writing for efficient note-taking.

What is a Meeting Summary?

What is a Meeting Summary

A meeting summary is a concise document that captures the key points, discussions, decisions, and action items from a meeting. It provides a brief overview of what transpired during the meeting, allowing participants and stakeholders to quickly review and understand the outcomes.

The purpose of a meeting summary is to ensure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of the meeting's outcomes, avoiding confusion and potential conflicts later on.

Meeting Minutes vs Meeting Summaries

While "meeting minutes" and "meeting summaries" are often used interchangeably, they have some differences in content and focus.

Meeting minutes provide a detailed, chronological account of everything discussed and done during a meeting, including motions, votes, and discussions. They follow a formal structure and usually require approval from attendees in a subsequent meeting.

On the other hand, meeting summaries are brief and easy-to-read overviews of the meeting's main takeaways, decisions, and action items. They don't include every conversation detail but focus on highlighting necessary information for stakeholders.

In summary , meeting minutes aim for comprehensive documentation, while meeting summaries offer concise summaries of the meeting's key points.

Key Components

To create an effective meeting summary, include these essential components:

  • Meeting details : Provide the date, time, location, participants, and the meeting's objective at the beginning of the summary.
  • Agenda items: List each agenda item discussed and briefly mention the key points covered.
  • Decisions made : Highlight any resolutions or agreements reached during the meeting.
  • Action items : Include a list of assigned tasks, including the person responsible and any project deadlines.
  • Next steps and deadlines : Specify any upcoming milestones and the timeline for achieving them.

Preparation for Writing a Meeting Summary

Meeting agenda and goals.

To write a great meeting summary, it's crucial to be well-prepared. Start by getting familiar with the meeting agenda and goals. Understanding the overall plan, objectives, and topics to be discussed will give you a solid foundation for your summary. Also, remember to stay focused on the agenda to capture the most important details.

Note-taking Techniques

Developing effective note-taking techniques is essential.

You can use bullet points, symbols, and abbreviations to capture information accurately and comprehensively.

During the meeting, be sure to jot down the main points and decisions for each agenda item . These meeting notes will be valuable references when writing your summary.

Important Documents to Gather

In addition to note-taking, gather relevant documents to support your writing process . By having these documents on hand, you can cross-reference them when writing to ensure that you include pertinent information.

These could include:

  • Previous meeting recaps or minutes
  • Presentation materials or slides
  • Reference materials
  • Any relevant data or reports

How to Write a Meeting Summary

1. organizing the content.

Before diving into the actual writing process, take a moment to gather all the relevant information. This includes reviewing your detailed notes, any provided documents, and other resources to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the meeting.

By organizing your content effectively, you'll create a summary that is concise, informative, and easy for others to grasp.

2. Starting with the Basics

To give your summary a clear structure, it's also helpful to create an outline. Consider including important details such as the organization or company name, the date and time of the meeting, the agenda items, and the list of attendees.

These elements are crucial for providing context and allowing readers to understand the meeting's purpose. When listing the attendees, it's helpful to include their roles or positions within the organization. To present this information in a visually appealing and easy-to-read format, consider using a clear table layout like the following example:

3. Capturing Discussions and Decisions

In your meeting summary, it's important to provide a detailed account of what transpired. Dedicate a specific section to this crucial aspect. Start by summarizing the main topics that were discussed during the meeting.

Use bullet points to create a clear and concise list of the topics. This helps break down the information into easily digestible points, making it reader-friendly and accessible.

For example:

  • Topic 1 : [Brief summary of the first topic discussed]
  • Topic 2 : [Brief summary of the second topic discussed]
  • Topic 3 : [Brief summary of the third topic discussed]

Additionally, remember to highlight any decisions that were made during the meeting . You can emphasize them by using bold text or another formatting method to ensure they stand out.

By doing so, you draw attention to the outcomes and actions that were agreed upon, allowing readers to quickly grasp the key decisions that were reached.

4. Summarizing Action Items and Deadlines

To ensure clear communication of tasks and responsibilities, summarize the action items and deadlines that have been agreed upon. This is essential for ensuring clear communication of tasks and responsibilities.

In this section of your summary, you'll want to provide a concise overview of the action items discussed during the meeting, along with the deadlines associated with each task. Assigning the responsible party for each task is also important to clarify accountability.

One effective way to present this information is by using a well-organized table or a bullet point list. Here's an example:

5. Highlighting Key Points and Takeaways

As you wrap up your meeting summary, it's important to highlight the key points and takeaways that emerged during the meeting in a clear and organized manner.

These are the  valuable insights, agreements, disputes, new ideas that were discussed  that contributed to the overall significance of the meeting.

When selecting the key points to highlight, consider the most relevant and impactful aspects of the meeting . By focusing on the key takeaways, you ensure that readers have a concise and useful summary of the events. In addition it's a good practice to conclude the summary by mentioning the next meeting date , which not only serves as a helpful reminder but also keeps everyone well-informed about the upcoming session.

6. Finalizing and Sharing the Meeting Summary

Review and edit.

Before sharing your meeting summary, make sure to review and edit it for clarity and accuracy. An effective summary should be concise and well-organized, offering a clear recap of the key decisions and discussions.

Here are some important points to consider during the editing process:

  • Check for grammatical errors or typos.
  • Verify that all decisions and action items are accurately documented.
  • Ensure that the summary follows a formal tone and style.

Including Supporting Resources and References

To enrich your meeting summary, it's important to include supporting documents and references that are relevant to the discussed topics.

This adds depth and credibility to your summary, allowing readers to delve further into the details and context if needed.

Here are some ways to incorporate supporting materials effectively:

First, attach any relevant documents that were discussed during the meeting. This could include reports, presentations , or other files that provide additional information or data supporting the decisions made. 

By including these attachments, you offer readers the opportunity to review the source material directly.

Next, if applicable, reference specific points from past meetings or data sources. This helps establish a connection between the current meeting and previous discussions or findings.

By referencing these sources, you provide a comprehensive view of the topic and highlight any important insights or trends that have emerged over time.

Choosing the Right Format

a man and a woman sharing files

a man and a woman sharing files

It's important to choose the right format for your meeting summary. Depending on the preferences of the meeting attendees or stakeholders, you might consider using:

  • Plain text: A simple email or text document with a clear structure.
  • Rich text: An email or document with added formatting, such as bold text or bullet points.
  • PDF : A well-formatted document that retains its appearance across devices and platforms.

Sharing with Participants and Stakeholders

Finally, it's time to share your meeting summary with the meeting participants and stakeholders in the most suitable manner.

Here are some suggestions on how to distribute it effectively:

First, consider sending the summary via email to all the meeting attendees . Email is a common and convenient way to share documents, ensuring that everyone receives a copy directly in their inbox.

If your team or organization has a shared document platform or intranet , another option is to post the summary there.

Additionally, it's a good practice to follow up with the meeting attendees to ensure they have received and reviewed the summary. This can be done through a brief email or a quick conversation.

Tips for Writing a Meeting Summary

Maintain clarity and brevity.

When writing a meeting summary, always maintain clarity in your language to avoid misunderstandings. Be concise and focus on crucial points discussed during the meeting. Your summary should be easy for your colleagues to read and understand.

Using Bullet Points and Headings

Using Bullet Points and Headings while writing meeting recaps

Use bullet points and headings while writing meeting recaps

Organize the summary with the help of bullet points and clear headings.

This will help your readers quickly scan for important information. Here's an example of summary organization:

  • Key Point One: Details or decisions made
  • Key Point Two: Details or decisions made

Analyzing and Evolving as Needed

A valuable meeting summary not only documents the discussion but also provides an opportunity to analyze and adapt team strategies moving forward.

As you summarize, identify areas of improvement and think about potential solutions to implement. Communicate these findings in your summary.

This helps to keep everyone informed about decision-making and adjusts expectations as needed.

  • Proposed Change: Explore new digital marketing strategies
  • Impact: Increase in conversions and brand awareness

By following these tips and focusing on clarity, organization, and adaptability, you will create an effective meeting summary that keeps your team well-informed and confident in their next steps.

Meeting Summary Template

[Meeting Title/Subject]

Date: [Insert Date]

Time: [Insert Time]

Location: [Insert Location]

[List of Attendees]

[Agenda Item 1]

Key Points: [Briefly summarize the main discussion points or decisions made]

[Agenda Item 2]

[Agenda Item 3]

Action Items:

[Task 1]: [Assigned to: [Insert Assignee], Deadline: [Insert Deadline]]

[Task 2]: [Assigned to: [Insert Assignee], Deadline: [Insert Deadline]]

[Task 3]: [Assigned to: [Insert Assignee], Deadline: [Insert Deadline]]

Key Takeaways:

[Key Takeaway 1]

[Key Takeaway 2]

[Key Takeaway 3]

Next Steps:

[Next Step 1]

[Next Step 2]

[Next Step 3]

Attachments:

[List any relevant documents or files attached to the summary]

Next Meeting:

Date: Time: Location:

Meeting Summary Examples

Here is a meeting summary example based on the template above: 

Meeting Title/Subject : Marketing Strategy Review

Date: May 15, 2023

Time: 2:00 PM

Location: Zoom

[Agenda Item 1: Campaign Performance Analysis]

Key Points:

  • Reviewed the performance of the latest marketing campaign
  • Discussed the key metrics, including click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement levels
  • Identified the successful aspects of the campaign and areas for improvement

[Agenda Item 2: Website Redesign Discussion]

  • Explored the need for a website redesign to improve user experience and align with brand guidelines
  • Discussed the desired functionalities and design elements for the new website
  • Assigned Lisa Thompson to lead the website redesign project and set a deadline of June 30, 2023

[Agenda Item 3: Social Media Content Planning]

  • Brainstormed ideas for upcoming social media content
  • Discussed the target audience, messaging, and visual elements for each platform
  • Agreed to share a collaborative content calendar using Google Sheets for better coordination
  • The marketing campaign showed promising results, but conversion rates need improvement.
  • The website redesign will focus on enhancing user experience and brand consistency.
  • Social media content will prioritize engaging visuals and targeted messaging.
  • Sarah will analyze the campaign data and present actionable insights in the next team meeting.
  • Mark will conduct research on website design trends and present recommendations at the next meeting.
  • Lisa will create a social media content schedule and share it with the team for feedback.
  • Campaign Performance Report
  • Website Design Inspiration Images

Date: June 1, 2023

Time: 2:30 PM

Write a Meeting Summary With an AI Meeting Assistant

Write a Meeting Summary With an AI Meeting Assistant

Have you ever found yourself struggling to keep up with note-taking during a fast-paced meeting?

Trying to capture every important detail while actively engaging in the discussion can be a real challenge.

Fortunately, advancements in artificial intelligence have paved the way for innovative solutions to streamline this process.

An AI meeting assistant can effectively write meeting summaries in minutes. These intelligent tools leverage cutting-edge technology to automatically transcribe and analyze your meetings, making it easier than ever to document key points and outcomes.

One such powerful AI meeting assistant is Fireflies.ai . This incredible tool is designed to simplify the process of writing meeting summaries by providing accurate meeting transcriptions and intelligent insights.

So, how does Fireflies.ai work its magic?

When you connect Fireflies.ai to your preferred communication platform like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, it automatically joins your meetings as a virtual assistant.

It listens attentively to the conversations, transcribing everything in real-time. This means you no longer need to worry about missing crucial details or jotting down notes feverishly.

Fireflies.ai goes beyond simple transcriptions. Its advanced AI algorithms also help you:

  • Find anything in a meeting using an AI-powered search, so you can quickly review key information.
  • Collaborate with your team by adding comments and reactions and easily sharing detailed meeting notes.
  • Gain valuable insights by tracking speaker talk time, sentiment, and other metrics.
  • Automate workflows by integrating with CRM systems and project management tools.
  • Create a self-updating knowledge base from all your voice conversations.

In conclusion, mastering the art of writing a meeting recap is essential for effective communication and collaboration.

By following the techniques and guidelines discussed in this article on how to write a meeting summary, you'll capture key points, provide clarity, and keep everyone aligned.

So, whether you're a team leader or a project manager, honing your meeting summary skills (with AI) will boost productivity and ensure successful outcomes. Start implementing these strategies today and elevate your meeting summaries to new heights. Happy summarizing!

About the Author  Millie Pham

Meet Millie Pham - an SEO content marketer and video editor who loves exploring the latest tech and AI tools. She provides honest reviews and demystifies the world of AI, SEO, and blogging, making these complex topics accessible and easy to understand for everyone. Her work has been featured on Marin Software, jobillico, Nicereply, and other sites.

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ENJOY EFFORTLESS NOTE-TAKING ANYTIME

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Fireflies  makes all your team's discussions searchable across meeting transcripts . Easily find key conversations from last month or last year.

" Fireflies keeps me 100% present in meetings without losing any of the details. " - Sarup Banskota, Head of Growth @Vercel

How To Write the Perfect Meeting Summary + Free Templates

Here's how to write a perfect meeting summary in a few simple steps! Write a meeting summary including decisions, action items, and important topics discussed.

how to write a meeting summary

Meetings can be time-consuming, and overwhelming, especially when the meeting ends because it's really hard to remember all the essential information, points, and details that were discussed.

This is why we need meeting summaries because it helps the team by providing a clear record of the important information and decisions made during the meeting.

In this article, we'll show you how to write the perfect meeting summary with formatting and structuring tips based on real-life examples. You'll learn how to increase productivity and improve communication within your team.

Plus, we have a surprise for you - a way to never take meeting notes again! Let's get started!

What is a Meeting Summary?

A meeting summary is a brief document that provides a recap of the important discussions, decisions, and action items from a meeting. It helps participants track their project progress and reminds them of their responsibilities.

A meeting summary is informal and often includes due dates, project deadlines, and updates. It is concise and easy to understand, providing meeting participants with an accurate representation of what was discussed.

meeting summary with jamie

What are Meeting Minutes?

Meeting minutes are a detailed record of what was discussed and decided during a meeting. They include;

  • Location of the meeting
  • A list of attendees
  • The meeting's objectives
  • Discussion points
  • Action items ,

Meeting minutes are a formal legal record of the meeting's proceedings and outcomes, and may also include the approval of previous meeting minutes.

Meeting Minutes vs Meeting Summary

Meeting minutes are a detailed and formal record of a meeting, while a meeting summary is a brief document that reminds us of what was discussed during the meeting.

Meeting minutes are more formal than a meeting summary and serve as an official record of the meeting.

While a meeting summary is primarily for personal benefit and should include important information such as decisions and action items. And if you don't have time to write meeting summaries or meeting minutes, jamie can write a meeting summary or meeting minutes for you.

meeting summary

How To Write The Perfect Meeting Summary?

Now that we know the difference between a meeting summary and meeting minutes, let's take a look at how a meeting summary is created. 

1. Preparation

To have a successful meeting, you must gather all the relevant materials beforehand such as past meeting summaries, referenced documents, and of course, grab your pen and paper!

Next carefully review them to refresh your memory. You can also use a preparation checklist to increase your meeting content and efficiency.

Pro Tip: You can use jamie to review all the past meeting summaries in a matter of minutes saving you the time to gather all the notes manually. You have the option to go to the meeting summary or simply ask jamie to give a summary of the previous meetings in its chat feature.

meeting summary

2. Take Detailed Notes

Always take detailed notes in meetings to capture all the essential points. If you don't have a designated note-taker, rotate the task among team members.

Concentrate on giving the team clear agenda items and highlight key decisions, assignments, and important discussions as 67% of the people believe that having a clear agenda helps with meeting success.

By following this practice, you can maintain a concise and accurate meeting record that will help you through follow-up and accountability.

3. Record the Meeting

Record your meetings to create high-quality transcripts , comprehensive meeting summaries, and notes. These will help you to write your meeting summaries more efficiently. This way you will not miss any important decisions taken during the meeting.

Pro Tip: Record conversations with jamie to generate high-quality meeting recordings, transcripts, summaries, and notes for online and in-person meetings, which can be used to write your meeting summaries. Simply click "Start jamie" to start recording.

meeting summary

4. Highlight Key Decisions and Tasks Assigned

To make sure that important decisions being made during a meeting are executed properly, take note of all the key decisions and action items. Remember to also take notes of the assigned tasks and deadlines that were given to specific individuals during the meetings (especially during weekly check).

5. Include a Reminder of the Next Meeting Date

In my summaries, I normally include the date and time of the next meeting to help everyone stay organized and prepared. I share these summaries within 24 hours post-meeting and follow up when we're 66% towards our next deadline. This keeps us on track. Plus It's a good idea to send out meeting invites as a reminder if you haven't done so already.

Pro Tip: jamie integrates with users' calendars to show upcoming meetings and can remind users to start recording the next meeting. If there's no calendar event, jamie can detect when the user's microphone is in use and prompt them to start recording.

meeting summary

6. Attach Supporting Documents

Remember to attach any relevant supporting documents to the meeting. These documents can be;

  • Client communications,
  • Project instructions,
  • Related articles or blogs.

Including them allows attendees to recall details and catch up on important information much more easily.

7. Organise and Proofread Your Summary

To write a meeting summary clearly and error-free, it's essential to proofread it carefully before sharing it with the team.

Use subheadings and highlight key action items to make it more visually attractive, and stick to any established templates .

Check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, and eliminate any confusion.

8. Share Your Meeting Summary with All Participants

I like to have someone else review a document before sending it to everyone. Once it's been approved by a second pair of eyes, you can send it to all the attendees, including those who were absent and need the information.

Pro Tip: with jamie you can share meeting summaries with others by simply copying a link or sending an email. The shared meeting summaries are view-only, and users cannot edit them.

meeting summary

Free Meeting Planner + Meeting Summary Email Template Ebook (2 in 1)

We thought of gifting you with our well-planned meeting planner that we think you'd love! Plus did we mention it's free? Download both ebooks today!

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Get Your Free Meeting Planner and Email Templates!

Examples and templates of a meeting summary.

This section provides well-written meeting summary templates and examples that you can use to create your own. These templates can be copied and pasted, saving you time and effort. By using them, you can deliver clear and concise information to your team or clients.

free meeting email templates download

Get Your Pre Written Email Templates!

Meeting summary template email - action items.

Subject : Action Items: Meeting Summary - [Meeting Title] Held on [Date]

Following our productive meeting on [Date] to discuss [Meeting Topic], I'd like to share a concise summary to ensure clear communication and alignment.

Meeting Objective:

[State the primary goal of the meeting in a clear and concise sentence.]

Key Discussions & Decisions:

[Bullet points outlining the most important points covered and any decisions made]:

Topic 1 : Briefly summarize the various key discussion points and takeaways from this discussion.

Topic 2 : Briefly summarize all the key takeaways from this discussion.

Topic 3 : Briefly summarize the key takeaways from this discussion.

Action Items:

To ensure continued progress, please note the following action items:

[@Team Member Name]: Complete [Action Item 1] by [Due Date]. This will [Explain the impact of completing this task].

[@Team Member Name]: Complete [Action Item 2] by [Due Date]. This will [Explain the impact of completing this task].

[@Team Member Name]: Complete [Action Item 3] by [Due Date]. This will [Explain the impact of completing this task].

Resources: (Optional)

For further reference, you can access the meeting transcript [link] and any shared documents [link].

Thank you for your valuable participation and contributions during the meeting.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or require further clarification on your assigned tasks.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Meeting Summary Email Example - Action Items

Subject : Action Items: Meeting Summary - Website Relaunch Project Kickoff Held on April 22nd

Following our productive meeting on April 22nd to discuss the website relaunch project kickoff, I'd like to share a concise summary to ensure clear communication and alignment.

To define the project scope, timeline, and key responsibilities for the website relaunch project.

Content & Design : We reviewed the finalized sitemap and agreed on the content requirements for each page. The design team will present initial wireframes for our feedback by next week.

Development Timeline : We established a development timeline with key milestones, including the launch date targeted for July 1st.

Content Migration : We discussed the process for migrating existing website content to the new platform and assigned Sarah the task of creating a content inventory spreadsheet.

[@John Doe] : Finalize the website copy for the homepage and core service pages by May 10th. This will allow the development team to begin integrating the content into the design layouts.

[@Jane Smith] : Develop a Style Guide outlining brand fonts, colors, and image specifications by May 1st. This will ensure design consistency across the entire website.

[@Sarah Lee] : Create a comprehensive content inventory spreadsheet listing all existing website content by April 30th. This will facilitate the migration process to the new platform.

You can access the meeting notes [link] and the finalized project timeline document [link] for your reference.

Thank you for your valuable participation and contributions during the meeting. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or require further clarification on your assigned tasks.

Meeting Summary Template Example - Brainstorming

Subject : Action Required: Brainstorming Session Summary - [Project Name]

Following our productive brainstorming session on [Date] to explore creative solutions for [Project Name], I'm pleased to share a summary to move us forward.

Brainstorming Objective:

[Briefly mention the primary goal of the brainstorming session (e.g., Identify innovative marketing strategies for the upcoming launch of [Product Name])].

Key Outcomes & Opportunities:

[Highlight the most promising concepts that emerged from the discussion:]

Concept 1: [One-sentence description of the concept and its potential impact.]

Concept 2: [One-sentence description of the concept and its potential impact.]

Concept 3: [One-sentence description of the concept and its potential impact.]

Next Steps:

To capitalize on these opportunities, let's:

Schedule a follow-up meeting on [Date] to explore deeper into these concepts and understand their feasibility.

[Encourage ongoing brainstorming by inviting team members to share further thoughts or variations on these ideas via [Preferred communication platform - e.g., designated Slack channel]].

Thank you for your valuable contributions during the session. Your creative input is essential to driving success on [Project Name].

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, if you want to provide feedback, or require further clarification.

Meeting Summary Email Example- Brainstorming

Subject: Action Required: Brainstorming Session Summary - Saving the Planet Earth

Following our productive brainstorming session on April 23rd to explore creative solutions for saving the planet Earth, I'm pleased to share a summary to move us forward.

Identify innovative solutions to address pressing environmental challenges.

Gamified Recycling Programs: We explored the idea of creating engaging mobile apps that gamify the recycling process, rewarding users for responsible waste disposal. This could incentivize broader participation and increase recycling rates.

Community-Led Sustainable Initiatives: We discussed the potential of empowering local communities to develop and implement their own sustainable solutions, tailored to their specific needs. This could foster accountability, and a sense of ownership and encourage long-term environmental stewardship.

Concept 3: Educational Campaigns for Schools & Businesses: We brainstormed impactful educational campaigns targeting schools and businesses to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable practices. This could create a ripple effect and inspire positive change across generations.

Schedule a follow-up meeting date on May 2nd to explore each concept in more depth, including feasibility assessments and potential partners.

Feel free to share any further thoughts or variations on these ideas via our dedicated #SaveEarth Slack channel. Keep the creative juices flowing!

Thank you for your valuable contributions during the session. Your commitment to environmental responsibility is critical in building a sustainable future for our planet.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or require further clarification.

Why Should You Download Our Meeting Planner?

free meeting summary planner ebook download

Get Your Free Meeting Planner!

How to summarize your meetings using jamie.

Once you have downloaded jamie, you can get started right away and create the perfect AI meeting summary. Simply head to your next meeting and start jamie to generate your first meeting notes.

Step 1: Start jamie

You can start jamie by clicking on the " Start Meeting " button located at the top left of your dashboard sidebar.

meeting summary - how to use jamie

Step 2: Stop jamie

Once your meeting is over, you can stop jamie by clicking on the " Stop meeting " button located at the top right side of your recording window.

meeting summary - how to use jamie

This will automatically start the summary generation process and your meeting notes will be available in approximately 5-10 minutes, depending on the length of your meeting.

meeting summary - how to use jamie

Step 3: Identify Speakers

Once your meeting note has been generated by jamie, you will first be asked to identify the speakers who were present in the meeting.

meeting summary - how to use jamie

For this, simply listen to each audio snippet and enter the name in the text field.

Step 4: Review your Meeting Notes

That's it 🎉

meeting summary - how to use jamie

If you want to manually highlight important moments of the meeting, you can use the jamie shortcut . Your highlight will then be included at the top of your summary.

Want to see how jamie works in action? Check this full guide on how to summarize using jamie!

Pro Tip: You can even create your own personal templates to customize your summary to your personal use case.

How to Write a Good Meeting Summary (Key Points)

Let's quickly summarize the key points.

  • Write the date, time, location, meeting participants, and their roles.
  • List topics discussed, decisions made, and action items.
  • Summarize discussions, main points, and outcomes.
  • Avoid jargon, aiming for summaries understandable by all.
  • Note tasks, deadlines, and dependencies.
  • Clarify post-meeting actions, responsibilities, and timelines.
  • Stick to facts and present viewpoints without bias.
  • Don't take unnecessary details.
  • Include relevant background information when necessary.
  • Use bullet points, numbered lists, and text formatting.
  • Proofread for errors and ensure logical flow.
  • Get Feedback from another pair of eyes.
  • Summarize and distribute notes within 24 hours.

Pro Tip: Use jamie, an AI that takes notes for you across all platforms, even offline. Get perfect AI meeting summaries every time!

That's All For Now! + Gift For You!

I hope this article gave you a good understanding of how to write a general meeting summary or meeting minutes should look like and what the most important items are to include in a comprehensive meeting summary.

Free Meeting Planners For Those Who Like To Write a Meeting Summary Manually

meeting summary - meeting planner free download

Free Meeting Planner For Those Who Don't Like To Write a Meeting Summary Manually

meeting summary - never take meeting notes again with jamie

If you do not have the time to write meeting summaries or a meeting agenda during meetings, feel free to try out jamie. jamie is a personal AI meeting assistant that takes meeting notes just for you. It works across all meeting platforms, including Google Meet , Zoom , MS Teams, and even offline. With jamie, there is no need to read through long transcripts or take notes by hand during meetings. You'll get perfect AI meeting summaries with jamie!

If you want some more inspiration here are 10 examples for meeting notes .

How Can I Capture Action Items Effectively in a Meeting Summary?

When I'm in a meeting, I use an action item template to make sure everything is clear and specific. I write down the task owner, a specific task description, and a deadline for each decision made. I ensure everyone understands the action item and its purpose, and confirm that the assignees can take on the additional workload. I assign a single person responsible for each action item and push tasks into our project management system for tracking. If needed, I use meeting software features (I use jamie!) to make the process even easier and get a comprehensive meeting summary.

How Can I Make Sure My Meeting Summaries Are Clear and Easy to Understand for Everyone?

When I write a meeting summary or meeting minutes, I like to focus on the most important details that were discussed. That way, I can identify the key points, state the results of the meeting, and assign responsibilities in a way that's clear and concise. I find that using bullet points and avoiding jargon can really help with this. And if there are any relevant materials, I always include links to those as well. By following these tips, your meeting summaries can become strategic tools that will guide your team's actions and decisions. Hope this helps!

Are There Any Tools Available to Help Me Write Meeting Summaries?

I use jamie for all my meeting note-taking processes, it records and transcribes the entire conversation for you. jamie also generates a concise summary of the entire meeting, highlighting the the main topics discussed, points, decisions, and action items, giving you the perfect AI-generated summary (no more boring meeting recaps , yay!).

Plus, jamie goes beyond just summarizing the discussion. It intelligently identifies and highlights essential points, and specific action items within the summary, including who is responsible, the task description, and the deadline for completion. (I mean, who can keep track of all that during a meeting?).

I also need a good project and meeting management tool to organize my tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities given to meeting attendees as discussed during meetings.

And the best part? jamie makes it easy to review and share the meeting summary with everyone involved. No more excuses or confusion about who needs to do what by when. (Thank you, jamie, for keeping us all accountable!).

Give jamie a try for free and see!

Save 10 hours every week, and never write meeting notes again!

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Learn how to write a meeting summary that captures key points and action items effectively.

Meetings

An inside look at the meeting ground rules used internally by Fellow.app, the top-rated meeting productivity software company.

In a modern work landscape that largely favors remote work, meetings have become a sacred space for collaborating, sharing ideas, and making important decisions. Because meetings have become more frequent, administrative duties have begun to fall through the cracks. Meeting notes are less detailed, a lack of follow-through is more prominent, and employees are struggling to remain engaged, and this is precisely why meeting minutes, or less formally, meeting summaries are so important. 

A meeting summary is an informal document that aims to serve as an accurate representation of a meeting. A comprehensive meeting summary will consist of the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as important decisions, key takeaways, action items, next steps, follow-ups, closing remarks, and attachments. As a less formal version of meeting notes or meeting minutes, meeting summaries are usually sent to meeting attendees post-meeting to help foster accountability, align teammates, and ensure meetings are running smoothly. Keep reading to learn how to write a meeting summary that captures key points and action items while educating and informing your teammates. 

Understanding the Purpose of a Meeting Summary

A meeting summary is a detailed recap of a meeting that is less formal than meeting minutes, or meeting notes. Unlike a meeting summary, meeting minutes and meeting notes serve as a more detailed representation of each meeting, diving deeper into the details and depicting the meeting on a much more granular level. Despite its name, meeting minutes do not cover a minute-by-minute recap of each meeting and instead include action items, decisions made, and next steps. Another key differentiator between meeting minutes or meeting notes and meeting summaries is the tone, and time they are written. Meeting notes or meeting minutes are more formal with a well-structured format whereas meeting summaries are informal and are often sent out in an email. Meeting notes or meeting minutes are also captured during the meeting whereas meeting summaries are generally written after the meeting to foster alignment and ensure everyone is on the same page. 

Meeting summaries offer several benefits including facilitating effective communication, fostering clarity, understanding and accountability, and prompting learning and reflection opportunities. Additionally, meeting summaries serve as a reminder to teammates, ensuring everyone is briefed on crucial details, commitments, and deadlines. Sending out a comprehensive meeting summary post-meeting will ensure you have done your part in enhancing communication, collaboration, and overall operational efficiency. Keep reading to learn how to write a meeting summary! 

Best Practices for Sharing Meeting Summaries

1. be timely .

When sending out meeting notes, meeting minutes or meeting summaries, it's important to be timely. This means sending an effective summary promptly after the meeting finishes. Sharing your meeting summary right after the meeting finishes will ensure the information is top of mind, making it easier to recall and record important details. Additionally, circulating your meeting summary quickly will ensure all your teammates have the information they need to get started on their respective action items. 

2. Use a consistent format

Establishing a consistent format for meeting summaries is key. Creating a consistent format makes it easier for participants to consume and understand information. It also makes it easier to extract key details and ensure critical facts are easily accessible. The clearer your formatting, the easier it will be for your teammates to consume your content. This results in fewer inaccuracies, enhanced communication, and cross-functional alignment.

3. Be concise and include key points 

Being concise is arguably one of the most important practices to consider when crafting an effective summary. It's important to highlight key decisions, action items, and deadlines without getting lost in the details. Your main goal when crafting an effective summary should be ensuring critical information is accounted for and easy to access. It's important to avoid unnecessary details that may distract from key takeaways. 

4. Include relevant attachments

Some people think that their responsibility ends with the meeting summary when in fact, it's equally as important to include relevant attachments. This means attaching slide decks, presentations, or reading materials that pertain to the meeting summary to ensure your teammates have all crucial information. This is also important when accounting for teammates that weren’t able to attend the meeting. 

5. Clarify action items 

One of the main goals of a meeting summary is to account for action items. When circulating your meeting summary, it's important to include a section that speaks to action items. This includes listing each action item, who is responsible for each action item, net steps, and related deadlines. Clarifying action items in the meeting summary will ensure your teammates understand their roles and responsibilities which leads to improved teamwork and greater accountability. 

6. Be clear

There's nothing worse than receiving a meeting summary only to get lost in unimportant details. To avoid miscommunication, it's important to use clear language. This means communicating clearly in straightforward language. There’s no time for guessing games or miscommunication. Do your best to avoid technical jargon or terms that may not be familiar to your audience. 

7. Provide context 

Are you getting ready to circulate an effective summary post meeting? You will want to make sure to provide the appropriate context. This means starting off your summary in a way that references the meeting and letting recipients know what meeting you are referencing. Taking the time to provide this context upfront will let readers know what you're referencing so they can understand the background and significance of your summary. 

8. Encourage feedback 

Encouraging feedback is the quickest and easiest way to level up. If you aren’t sure if your meeting summaries are resonating, take the time to connect with your teammates and seek feedback. Providing your teammates with the opportunity to share feedback will promote transparency while allowing meeting participants to address any discrepancies or misunderstandings. 

9. Distribute via the right channels 

Your meeting summary will only be effective if you get it in the hands of your teammates. When circulating your meeting summary post meeting, it's important to consider what channels you will be using. Choosing the appropriate communication channels will largely depend on your teams’ unique preferences. It can be via email, project management software, collaboration tools, or messaging software like Slack. What’s most important is choosing a tool that your team leverages regularly.

10. Follow up

It's important to note that the conversation doesn’t have to stop when the timer on your meeting goes off. Meeting summaries offer an excellent opportunity to host follow up conversations. This helps foster accountability, track progress, and ensure teammates are following through on their responsibilities. Remember, you can use this forum to follow up on action items and ensure your teammates are on the right track. You can also encourage your teammates to contribute to the conversation and create a feedback loop for optimal performance. 

Leveraging Technology in Meeting Summaries:

Fellow is a meeting management tool that empowers managers to transform the entire meeting lifecycle with a suite of intuitive tools including meeting scheduling, AI generated meeting agendas, action item tracking, and so much more. As the most integrated AI transcription and recording tool, Fellow provides users with a solution that speaks to several needs. Gone are the days of sifting through document after document. With Fellow, meeting recordings, transcriptions, and summaries are linked to every meeting and calendar. 

Keeping an accurate record of important discussions and key decisions has never been easier. Fellow’s AI meeting summaries provide all the key takeaways from your meetings in minutes so you can revisit discussions and align around next steps without having to worry about sourcing the proper information. You don’t have to worry about learning how to write a meeting summary because unlike other tools, Fellow acts as a central repository for all meeting records so everyone is aligned, engaged, and on track. The best part? Teammates that couldn’t attend can catch up on key discussions and insights when they miss a meeting and AI meeting summaries, meeting recordings, and full transcriptions can be shared in a matter of minutes. 

Fellow

  2. Meetgeek

If you’ve been wondering how to capture an effective summary, meeting notes, or meeting minutes, MeetGeek may be for you!Meetgeek is a meeting productivity software integration that can be integrated into your video conferencing tool of choice to automatically record, transcribe, and distribute meeting highlights to meeting participants. MeetGeek integrates seamlessly with your calendar and will automatically join your Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams meetings to provide a concise summary. Meeting notes, meeting minutes, and summaries will then be generated automatically and sent to your inbox promptly when the meeting finishes, eliminating the need to learn how to write a meeting summary. 

If you're interested in enhancing meeting outcomes with AI, you can get started with the free plan . For additional functionality, you can upgrade to the pro plan for $15/ month per user.

Meetgeek

3. Fireflies.ai

Fireflies.ai is an ai meeting assistant that produces automated meeting summaries. In addition to providing meeting summaries, Fireflies.ai can also be leveraged to derive meeting insights, making it possible to improve meeting efficiency, gather participant feedback, and enhance meeting outcomes. Additional features include extracting action items and key takeaways, providing searchable transcripts, and integrating with meeting productivity software.

Fireflies.ai offers a variety of plans at different price points, making it possible for everyone to take advantage of AI meeting summary tools. Plans range from a free plan for beginners to a business plan that is priced at $19/month per user.

Fireflies.ai

Sembly is an AI meeting assistant and summary tool that leverages AI to transcribe and analyze meetings, making it possible for users to prioritize efficient meeting management while enhancing meeting outcomes with AI. Unlike other effective summary tools, Sembly automatically joins your meetings with no required downloads or installs. Simply sync Sembly with your calendar, and it will automatically join your next meeting.

If you're just getting started, you can opt for the free beginner plan at no cost. For more robust features, you can choose from one of three paid plans ranging from $10/month to $20/month.  

Sembly

Briefly is an AI meeting summary and email follow-up tool that allow users to capture meeting notes, transcribe, and gather meeting insights within their browser. It's as simple as adding Briefly to your browser’s toolbar, pinning it, and accessing your transcript after your meeting ends. You can then toggle between AI summaries, AI follow up emails, and transcripts. Interested in getting Briefly for Google Meet? Click here ! 

BrieflyAI

How to write a meeting summary: a recap 

Learning how to write a meeting summary is a breeze, especially when you leverage technology! Utilizing the proper tech stack will produce meeting notes, meeting minutes, and meeting summaries with key takeaways, and action items without having to worry about documenting meetings manually. Your concise summary is just one meeting management tool away! 

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How to Write a Meeting Summary: Guide with Examples and Templates

how to write a meeting summary

The importance of a well-written meeting summary cannot be overstated. Knowing how to summarize a meeting helps in keeping a clear record of the key takeaways, action items, and important decisions made during a meeting. Furthermore, meeting attendance is not always guaranteed.

Having a solid recap of a meeting for reviewing summary ensures everyone is aligned. In this article, we will explore effective strategies for capturing essential information and presenting it concisely and professionally.

In this guide, we're not focusing on formal meeting minutes. Instead, we'll look at how to write more concise, easy-to-read meeting summaries.

If you'd like to learn more about what minutes are (compared with notes, which can be very personalized and informal), check out this blog below.

Writing and Summarizing Meeting Content

A comprehensive summary with relevant meeting highlights starts with clear and concise notes during the meeting. Focus on capturing the main points, decisions, and action items. Use bullet points or numbered lists to organize your notes and make them easily readable. Utilize tools for note-taking to streamline the process and ensure consistency.

how to write a meeting summary

After the meeting, review your notes and identify the key takeaways and action items. Highlight important decisions and ensure that every action item is assigned to a responsible party with a deadline. This task list is crucial for maintaining accountability and tracking project progress.

‍ For a concise summary, review the agenda items and note any decisions made and outcomes achieved. Also, capture any changes to the agenda that occurred during the meeting, such as postponed or added items. This helps in providing an accurate representation of the meeting's content.

‍ A meeting moment is a noteworthy quote or anecdote from the meeting that helps illustrate a key point or decision. To capture a meeting moment, jot down any significant statements or insights shared by participants and include them in your summary. This brings life to the meeting summary and engages the reader.

‍ When writing a meeting recap, use clear and concise language, maintain a neutral tone, and avoid jargon or overly technical terms. This ensures that your summary is accessible and easily understood by all attendees, fostering better internal communication.

Quick Meeting Summary and Email Communication

Prioritize Readability and Precision in Your Content ‍

Your audience will thank you for a summary that's easy on the eyes and light on jargon. In today's fast-paced world, digestible content reigns supreme. Let's dive into a quick example to illustrate this.

Example of a Summary with Bad Readability

‍ "Utilizing our proclivity for intricate methodologies, our team conducted an extensive exploration into the viability of project X. We've collated an abundance of pertinent data, analyzed via an array of multifaceted algorithms, which have, subsequently, elucidated the paramount trajectories we ought to pursue moving forward."

Example of a Summary with Good Readability

‍ "Our team researched the feasibility of project X. We gathered important data and, after thorough analysis, identified the best directions to take in the future."

Opt for clear, concise sentences, interspersed with short paragraphs. And a word to the wise? Technical language might showcase expertise, but it can alienate the uninitiated. Finally, never underestimate the power of editing and proofreading. It's not just about catching typos; it's about refining your message to perfection.

Crafting an Engaging Summary

how to write a meeting summary

Begin your summary with an engaging introduction that provides context and background information. Briefly mention the purpose of the meeting, the main topics discussed, and how meeting discussions relate to the meeting objectives and overall project progression.

‍ Provide necessary context by mentioning the meeting's date, location, participants, and any relevant background information. This helps readers understand the circumstances surrounding the meeting and its outcomes. Include meeting reminders and acknowledgements to ensure all attendees are well-informed.

‍ Ensure that your summary highlights how the meeting's discussions and decisions relate to its objectives. This helps emphasize the importance and relevance of the meeting's content, as well as the team's alignment with the company's goals.

Remember to share your meeting summary to the relevant people on the most used communication channel in your company.

Below is a great meeting summary sample. Feel free to copy and use this meeting recap template!

The fastest way to create summaries

While building the muscle memory for writing meeting summaries is a great habit, why not save your time and automate this task?

Wudpecker does just that. It lets you fully focus on the conversation and building connections.

It records, transcribes, and summarizes your meetings.

You can also ask it specific questions about a meeting, for example "How could have I conveyed idea X in a more understandable way?" or "Tell me everything person Y said about issue Z."

On top of that, Wudpecker...

  • Automatically joins and records your meetings once you've signed up, so there's no repeated setup
  • Can extract insights despite the meeting length
  • Works for both online (Google Meet, Zoom or Teams) and in-person meetings. You don't even have to attend the meeting yourself.
  • Takes max 10 minutes after the meeting to give you the summary (but usually just a couple)
  • Lets you share the notes to other people
  • Lets you change the structure of the notes
  • Recognizes speakers during the meeting and separates their dialogue in the transcript, making it easy to follow along and attribute comments to the correct person
  • Is able to make transcriptions in 100+ languages

In conclusion, writing an effective meeting summary requires clear and concise note-taking, identifying key takeaways and action items, and presenting the information in a professional and engaging manner. By applying the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can ensure that your meeting summaries accurately capture the essential information and serve as a valuable resource for all attendees.

Remember to always:

1. Take clear and concise notes during the meeting. 2. Identify and highlight key takeaways, decisions, and action items. 3. Summarize the meeting agenda and capture any changes that occurred during the meeting. 4. Include memorable meeting moments to illustrate key points or decisions. 5. Write a quick summary for situations where brevity is essential, such as in email communication.

By following these guidelines, you will create a comprehensive and well-structured meeting summary that keeps everyone informed and aligned, facilitating better meeting follow-ups and accountability.

Effective meeting notes can serve as powerful supporting documents for future reference. You can be sharing meeting summary to the meeting attendees to ensure team alignment. As you continue to practice and refine your summarizing skills, your meeting summaries will become an invaluable tool for ensuring clear communication and driving progress within your organization.

Dashboard

Date: Time: Purpose of meeting:

Agenda Items

1. [agenda item 1], 2. [agenda item 2], 3. [agenda item 3], ‍ meeting summary.

[Summary of discussion for Agenda Item 1]

Action Items:

  • [Action item 1]
  • [Action item 2]
  • [Action item 3]

[Summary of discussion for Agenda Item 2]

[Summary of discussion for Agenda Item 3]

Other notes

[Any possible extra reminders, announcements, etc.]

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Meeting-Summary-Template

How to Create an Effective Meeting Summary Template

By Rad Aswani • September 21, 2023

How often have you left a meeting only to realize later that you missed out on critical information or misunderstood the action items assigned to you? The solution to this common problem lies in a well-prepared meeting summary. A concise and informative meeting summary not only helps attendees stay aligned on the key takeaways but also enables those who couldn’t attend to catch up with ease. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the art of crafting an effective meeting summary, explore the essential components of a meeting summary template , and share valuable tips and tools to help you create impactful summaries for your meetings.

Key takeaways

  • Meeting summaries are an important tool for effective communication and progress tracking.
  • Meeting summaries should include main topics discussed, decisions made, action items assigned and supporting documents.
  • Utilizing AI and automation tools can create more accurate meeting summaries with improved efficiency.

Defining meeting summary and its importance

meeting-summary-importance

A meeting summary is a brief record outlining the significant conversations, resolutions, and tasks resulting from a meeting, often based on the meeting agenda. It is pivotal in sustaining effective communication and progress tracking, keeping all stakeholders informed and in agreement with the decisions made and actions assigned during the meeting. Creating detailed meeting notes immediately after the meeting concludes, while details are still fresh, guarantees accurate and timely information dissemination. To better understand this concept, you can refer to a meeting summary example.

A well-written meeting summary helps teams stay on the same page, avoid misunderstandings, and serves as a valuable resource for future reference. Knowing how to write a meeting summary effectively ensures attendees have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and deadlines, which contributes to enhanced productivity and collaboration within the team. Providing a quick meeting recap of important points and action items in the meeting summaries is crucial for success.

Meeting summary vs. meeting minutes: understanding the difference

Meeting-minutes-summary

While both meeting summaries and meeting minutes serve to document the contents of a meeting, they differ in their level of detail and formality. Meeting minutes are typically more comprehensive, providing a detailed record of the meeting attendees, absentees, and all discussions, decisions, and actions taken at the meeting. They are written in a more formal tone and are considered the official record of the meeting.

On the other hand, meeting summaries are:

  • Less formal and more concise
  • Focus on the main ideas and outcomes of the meeting
  • Provide a detailed record of the entire meeting
  • The tone is less formal and more accessible
  • Make it easier for readers to quickly grasp the essential points and follow up on action items.

In summary, while meeting minutes serve as a comprehensive and formal record of the meeting , meeting summaries are a more concise and accessible tool to ensure all stakeholders are informed and aligned on the key takeaways and action items.

Essential components of a meeting summary template

components-of-a-meeting-summary

Having a well-structured meeting summary template is pivotal to create an effective meeting summary. The template should include:

  • Main topics and key points discussed
  • Decisions made
  • Action items assigned
  • Supporting documents or references for additional context

We will delve deeper into each of these components next.

Main topics and key points

The main topics and key points section of a meeting summary should provide a concise recap of the important discussions and outcomes of the meeting. This section enables readers to quickly grasp the essence of the meeting without having to go through the entire meeting content. Capturing the main topics and key points allows the meeting summary to serve as a valuable resource for attendees to review and recall the most critical aspects of the meeting.

Including background information and any previous discussions related to the main topics can help provide context, especially for those who were not present at the meeting. Bullet points can be used to present the main topics and key points in a clear and organized manner, making it easier for readers to understand and remember the information.

Decisions and action items

The decisions and action items section of a meeting summary is crucial for ensuring that all attendees are aware of their responsibilities and deadlines . This section should clearly outline the decisions made during the meeting, as well as the tasks assigned to each attendee and any pertinent details that were discussed.

Providing a clear and organized list of action items in the meeting summary assists attendees in keeping track of their responsibilities and ensuring all tasks are completed promptly. This section also serves as a convenient way for meeting participants to review their progress and monitor the overall progress of the project or initiative.

Supporting documents and references

Supporting documents and references play a crucial role in providing additional context or corroboration for the meeting deliberations. Some examples of materials that can be used to support a discussion are:

  • Client communications
  • Project instructions
  • Related articles or blogs

Relevant sources provide a better means for garnering evidence and making effective decisions. Including these materials in the meeting summary ensures that attendees have all the necessary information at their fingertips to make informed decisions and follow up on action items.

In addition to providing context, supporting documents and references can also serve as a source of additional information for those who were not present at the meeting or need to delve deeper into specific topics discussed during the meeting. Incorporating this section into the meeting summary ensures that all attendees have a comprehensive understanding of the meeting content and can refer back to the supporting materials as needed.

Step-by-step guide to creating a meeting summary template

creating-a-meeting-summary

Having explored the essential components of a meeting summary template, we now move on to a step-by-step guide on creating one from scratch. This guide ensures that your summaries are clear, concise, and informative for all stakeholders.

Start by gathering all the necessary information from the meeting date for the next meeting date. 

Choose a format

Selecting the right format for your meeting summary template is essential, as it sets the foundation for the entire document. Factors to consider when choosing a format include your organization’s requirements, the preferences of your stakeholders, and the specific needs of your team. For instance, some teams may prefer a more formal and structured format, while others may opt for a more casual and conversational tone.

When choosing a format, also consider the various tools and applications available to facilitate the meeting summary creation process, such as note-taking apps or AI-powered transcription services. Consider using a virtual meeting platforms like Kumospace how powerful AI transcription and summaries. These tools can help you streamline the process of capturing, organizing, and sharing meeting content, ultimately making it easier for you to create an effective meeting summary that meets the needs of your team and stakeholders.

Customize the template

Once you’ve chosen a format for your meeting summary template, the next step is to customize it with relevant headings and sections that reflect the main topics and crucial points discussed during the meeting. This ensures that your template accurately captures all the important details and provides a clear and organized structure for your meeting summary.

To customize your template, start by examining the existing format and identifying the key sections that need to be adapted to suit your meeting content. For example, you may need to add or modify headings to better align with your meeting agenda, or include additional sections for supporting documents and references.

Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments, format and design your template to make it visually appealing and easy to read.

Save and share the template

Once you have customized your meeting summary template, it is important to save and share it for easy access and future use. Saving your template in a central location, such as a shared drive or collaboration platform, ensures that all team members can access and use the template for their meetings.

Sharing the template with your team also encourages a consistent approach to meeting documentation across the organization, promoting effective communication and collaboration among team members. Making your meeting summary template easily accessible and shareable helps to establish a culture of transparency and accountability within your team, contributing to enhanced productivity and team performance.

Tips for writing an effective meeting summary

writing-an-effective-meeting-summary

Creating an effective meeting summary involves more than just filling out a template. Writing an accurate and useful meeting summary can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you create one:

  • Take detailed notes during the meeting: Jotting down comprehensive meeting notes ensures that you capture all the important points and action items discussed during the meeting. By taking detailed notes, you also minimize the risk of overlooking or misinterpreting crucial information, resulting in a more accurate and reliable meeting summary.
  • Organize information clearly: Present the information in your meeting summary in a logical order, with the most important information listed first. Use bullet points, headings, and subheadings to structure the content, making it easier for readers to quickly grasp the key points and follow up on action items.
  • Provide context and clarify ambiguities: To ensure comprehension by those who were not present at the meeting, include sufficient background information and any previous discussions related to the main topics in the meeting summary. If someone who was absent from the meeting has difficulty comprehending the summary, take the initiative to provide clarification.
  • Proofread for accuracy and readability: Carefully review your meeting summary to ensure the accuracy of the information and that the summary is clear and comprehensible for all readers, not just the writer. This step is crucial in maintaining effective communication and progress tracking within the team.

Utilizing AI and automation tools for meeting summaries

automation-tools-for-meeting

In today’s fast-paced business environment, efficiency is key. AI and automation tools, such as Kumospace , Airgram, Wudpecker, and Fireflies, can help streamline the process of creating meeting summaries by transcribing and analyzing meeting content, generating summaries, and identifying action items.

Kumospace is a virtual workspace and meeting platform that uses generative AI to automatically create meeting transcripts, summaries, and action items during a virtual meeting .

Airgram meeting assistant, for instance, leverages natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to generate meeting summaries that capture the key points from the meeting transcripts. Fireflies , on the other hand, offers time-saving and effort-reducing capabilities, such as capturing all conversations during a meeting and sending out recaps according to privacy settings, as well as providing keywords, meeting outlines with clickable timestamps, meeting overviews, and potential action items.

Utilizing AI and automation tools for meeting summaries not only saves time and effort, but also ensures that your summaries are more accurate and comprehensive. This contributes to improved communication and collaboration within the team.

Meeting summary template examples

Meeting-summary-template-examples

Exploring various meeting summary examples is essential to find the best format and structure for your meeting summary template that suits your needs. Numerous meeting summary template examples are available online, offering a wide range of formats and structures to choose from.

When exploring these examples, pay close attention to the different sections and headings used, as well as the overall organization and design of the template. Consider how each example aligns with your organization’s requirements and the specific needs of your team.

Remember that the ultimate goal is to create a meeting summary template that is clear, concise, and informative for all stakeholders. By examining various template examples and adapting them to your needs, you can ensure that your meeting summaries effectively capture the key takeaways and action items from your meetings, ultimately promoting better communication and collaboration within your team.

In conclusion, creating an effective meeting summary is essential for ensuring clear communication and alignment within your team. By understanding the importance of meeting summaries, differentiating them from meeting minutes, and utilizing a well-structured template that captures main topics, key points, decisions, action items, and supporting documents, you can create impactful meeting summaries that drive productivity and collaboration .

Remember to explore various meeting summary template examples, customize the template to suit your needs, and leverage AI and automation tools to streamline the process. With these tips and tools at your disposal, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of crafting effective meeting summaries that keep your team informed, aligned, and on track for success.

Frequently asked questions

How do you write a summary for a meeting  .

When writing a summary for a meeting, thank attendees for their input and participation, begin by summarizing the most important topics discussed, attach relevant materials, include meeting action items, clearly outline the decisions that were made, include the next meeting's date and time, and share the summary as soon as possible. Thank attendees for their input and participation. Begin by summarizing the most important topics discussed. Attach relevant materials and include meeting action items. Clearly outline the decisions that were made. Include the next meeting's date and time. Share the summary as soon as possible.

What is the summary of a meeting schedule?  

A meeting schedule provides an overview of the meeting, including the agenda, attendees, timelines, motions or decisions, and any attachments. It is typically written in a formal tone and format and serves as an official document to reference in the future.

How do you write a good report after a meeting?  

To write a good report after a meeting, thank everyone for their time, summarize the discussion, list action items and deadlines, include any relevant visuals or data, use a professional tone, make it reader-friendly, be concise, record decisions made, and proofread your summary. Start by thanking everyone for their time and effort. Summarize the discussion that took place, including any action items and deadlines that were discussed. Include any relevant visuals or data that were discussed during the meeting. Use a professional tone when writing the report. Make sure the report is reader-friendly by using short sentences and paragraphs. Be concise and to the point. Record

How do you summarize meeting notes in AI?  

Summarizing meeting notes in AI involves downloading the transcript file from the video meeting tool being used, copying it, and pasting it into ChatGPT. The AI then quickly produces a summary of the meeting for the user to review.

What is the difference between a meeting summary and meeting minutes?  

Meeting summaries are less formal and provide a concise overview of the main ideas and outcomes, whereas meeting minutes provide a detailed record of the entire meeting.

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Rad has over 7 years of experience in Marketing. Currently, she is the fun Digital Marketer at Kumospace. She leads initiatives such as influencer marketing, SEO management, and social media to name a few. Outside of work, Rad enjoys traveling, working out, and spending time with her family and friends.

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How to Write a Meeting Summary (with Examples)

Ayush Kudesia

There are several tutorials that can teach you how to write a meeting summary.

Sure, they can educate you on what to include and what not to. Sift through them, and you can learn how to write a summary of meeting minutes. If you’re in luck, your meeting participants may like it too.

But if you dream bigger and want to write a meeting summary that  stands out and makes you a trendsetter, consider something better than a run-of-the-mill tutorial.

Try our ultimate guide on how to write a meeting summary and tool.

Table of contents:

What is a meeting summary?

How is a meeting summary different from meeting minutes, why should you write a meeting summary, example of a written meeting summary, how to write a meeting summary, eliminate manual meeting summaries with fireflies.

A meeting summary is like a highlight of your meeting, with all the juicy bits.

how to write a meeting summary - what is a meeting summary?

A meeting summary generally includes the following:

  • A quick recap of what went down during the meeting.
  • All the discussed action items.
  • Who is responsible for each task.
  • Deadlines (if there are any).

If someone missed the meeting, you could share the summary to give them the deets. It's also a single source of truth that anyone can reference to clear any confusion or doubts. If you’re responsible for creating the meeting summary, remember to share it with your team in the follow-up email soon after the meeting.

how to write a meeting summary

Meeting minutes are a detailed overview of your meeting, while a summary is a shorter version containing only the essential points.

Here’s a comparison:

Meeting minutes

  • A detailed record of everything discussed and decided upon in a meeting.
  • It includes the meeting agenda, attendees, timelines, and motions or decisions.
  • Usually written in a formal tone and format.
  • Used as an official document to reference in the future.
  • Often distributed to all attendees and stakeholders for review and approval.

Meeting summary

  • It is a brief overview of the key points discussed in a meeting.
  • Usually written in a more casual tone and format, such as an email.
  • It highlights the most important decisions, action items, and takeaways.
  • Often used as a follow-up to the meeting to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • You can share it with attendees and stakeholders for information, but not necessarily for approval.

Are meeting notes the same as meeting summaries?

how to write a meeting summary - Are meeting notes the same as meeting summaries?

Meeting notes and meeting summaries have some striking similarities, but the former is more personalized. Individuals take notes of the meeting to capture their thoughts and ideas.

In contrast, meeting summaries are, just as the name suggests, summarized versions of meeting minutes.

Meetings notes might contain inferences and additional context (related to the individual) compared to a general meeting summary.

how to write a meeting summary

Never get lost

A meeting summary has all the tasks and goals discussed. By putting everything in writing, you can refer to it later to ensure that you stay on track and follow through with the discussed action items.

Never forget a thing

A meeting summary serves as a reminder of every vital detail discussed. It helps you recall important information that may have slipped your mind and lets you stay organized and focused on your goals.

Keeps everyone on the same page

For those who missed the meeting, a summary can help them catch up. Even for those who attended the meeting, it is an excellent refresher and reminder of key discussion points. It ensures that everyone stays informed and on the same page.

Time is precious

If you need help recalling the details of a meeting, refer to the meeting summary. You won't have to waste time reviewing the call recording or bothering a colleague for information. The summary has everything you need to refresh your memory and stay on top.

Cover your bases

In some cases, a meeting summary can serve as your corporate defense. If you ever face a question or dispute about what you discussed or decided during a meeting, your summary has got your back. It's a written record, so you and your organization are protected from legal issues.

It’s finally time to learn how to write a summary of a business meeting.

Make detailed notes of the meeting

You can’t summarize something you have no account of, can you? Make detailed notes of the entire meeting. Actively listen and write down key points, decisions, and action items.

Capture any supporting information or context that may be important later on. Use any method with which you feel comfortable. Do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper, or use a digital note-taking platform (Evernote, Docs, Google Keep, etc.).

how to write a meeting summary

Ensure you write your notes in an organized way so they are clear.

If you do not like writing meeting notes, you can take things up a notch with Fireflies, an AI notetaker that helps you transcribe, summarize, and analyze all your online meetings or call or video recordings.

Emphasize important decisions

how to write a meeting summary - Emphasize important decisions

A good meeting summary highlights every important decision made or discussed. Transparently highlight these decisions in your meeting summary. Start by identifying them and organizing them based on their priority level. Provide clear and concise explanations so everyone reading the summary is harmonious.

Mention how these decisions will affect the team's work as it clarifies roles and responsibilities and helps each person understand how their efforts fit into the bigger picture. Avoid any unnecessary repetition in your summary.

Identify action items

how to write a meeting summary - emphasize action items

Your meeting summary should have a section dedicated to action items.

While taking meeting notes, identify any action items that arise, who are responsible for them, and the deadline.

It will do two things:

  • Help you follow up on the progress of the tasks.
  • Help your team stay on top of their responsibilities and increase accountability.

Ensure clarity around action items by addressing any doubts or questions the team may have during the meeting. The meeting summary should be a valuable roadmap for completing tasks rather than causing confusion.

Share the summary with everyone

how to write a meeting summary - share the summary with everyone

After the meeting concludes, use the meeting minutes to summarize the key points and decisions made. Then share the meeting summary with all attendees. If the meeting discussion concerns someone who wasn’t part of it, include them in the share list too. It will give them a brief idea of what happened during the meeting and how it concerns/affects them.

It will also allow the receivers to ask questions or provide valuable feedback.

Write a note highlighting things at the bottom

how to write a meeting summary - write a note highlighting things at the bottom

Consider the bottom note to be a little summary of your meeting summary. Keep it short—one to two sentences maximum.

While optional, it can increase the meeting outcomes and remind everyone of the discussion and tasks decided during the meeting.

Attach relevant documents

how to write a meeting summary - attach relevant documents

If you mentioned a document during the meeting, send it along with the meeting summary. It can be a client brief, report, presentation, spreadsheet, etc. Attaching such documents adds more context to the meeting summaries and ensures your team has everything to complete the tasks.

Mention the next meeting date and time

how to write a meeting summary - mention the next meeting date and time

Mention the date and time of the next meeting in your meeting summary. It’s a slight touch but can go a long way in keeping everyone organized and on schedule.

We all know meetings can be a drag. At least you'll be prepared for the next one!

Here’s an example of how to write a meeting summary template:

Say goodbye to the tedious task of manually writing meeting summaries! Fireflies automates meeting summaries by recording, transcribing, summarizing, and analyzing your conversations so you can actively engage in discussions.

Fireflies has the most comprehensive meeting summaries, also known as AI Super Summaries . This five-part meeting summary includes keywords, meeting outline with clickable timestamps, meeting overview, short-hand bullet notes, and potential action items from the meeting.

When you let the Fireflies AI notetaker join your online meeting, it captures everything that was said and sends the meeting recaps to all the participants based on your privacy settings. This saves time and effort and ensures that your meeting summaries are accurate and comprehensive.

how to write a meeting summary

Even if the participants couldn’t attend the meeting, they will receive the recaps and can review the AI meeting summary at their convenience.

how to write a meeting summary

Apart from the meeting summaries, you can also use the AskFred feature—which is like the ChatGPT for meetings —to ask questions about the meeting and review it in minutes. AskFred not only summarizes the meeting but also creates follow-up emails, social media posts, and blogs from the meeting transcript.

How to view meeting summaries in Fireflies

It’s very easy to view your meeting summaries in the Fireflies app. Here’s the step-by-step process:

Step 1: Log in to your Fireflies App.

Fireflies login page - how to write a meeting summary

Step 2: Select Notebook from the menu on the right navigation bar.

Fireflies notebook - how to write a meeting summary

Step 3: Find the relevant meeting and open it.

Fireflies meetings list - how to write a meeting summary

You’ll find the AI-generated summary in the center of your meeting notepad.

Example of AI meeting summary by Fireflies

Here’s what a meeting summary created by Fireflies looks like:

example of a meeting summary by fireflies

Each AI meeting summary has three parts:

  • Keywords are the essential terms discussed in the meeting.
  • Meeting summary lists all the things discussed in the meeting in detail.
  • Rate summary quality lets you provide feedback on the AI summary' quality and helps us further enhance it.  

Advantages of using AI meeting summaries

AI meeting summaries are becoming increasingly popular in the business world, and for a good reason. Here are just a few of the advantages of using AI meeting summaries:

Eliminates biases

AI technology is designed to be objective, eliminating the potential for personal biases to influence the summary. This means that the summary you receive accurately reflects what was said in the meeting without any subjective interpretations or opinions.

Writing meeting summaries can be time-consuming, especially for larger meetings. With AI technology, meeting summaries can be generated quickly and efficiently, freeing up your time and allowing you to focus on other important tasks.

Never miss a detail

AI is incredibly accurate and can capture even the smallest conversation details. This means that you can be confident that you do not miss any important information or action items and that everyone is on the same page.

On a final note

There you have it, folks—a detailed guide on how to write a meeting summary.

Remember to start with a clear objective and stick to the main points. Use bullet points and subheadings to organize your summary and make it easy to skim.

And if you want to take your meeting summaries to the next level, consider using AI tools like Fireflies. With its automatic transcription and summary generation, you can save time and focus on the discussion knowing that a super-intelligent assistant accurately takes notes and creates summaries for you.

So, why waste your time worrying about how to write a business meeting summary? Try Fireflies today, and never let tedious manual note-taking bog you down.

Enjoy more productive and stress-free meetings. Over to you now!

Try Fireflies for free

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How to Write an Effective Meeting Summary (With Examples)

Learn how to write an effective meeting summary with our step-by-step guide and examples. Boost productivity now!

Table of Contents

Why Do Meeting Summaries Matter?

What should be covered in a meeting summary, how to make meeting summaries effectively with ai, 8 tips for writing better meeting summaries.

How to Write an Effective Meeting Summary (With Examples)

  • They provide a record of what was discussed, decisions made, and action items assigned.
  • They help keep attendees accountable and ensure follow-through on tasks.
  • They inform those who couldn't attend about key discussions and outcomes.
  • They create a historical record that can be referenced later.
  • Without a clear and concise summary, important details can be forgotten or miscommunicated, leading to confusion, delays, and potential conflicts.

notion image

  • Date, time, location, and attendees
  • Agenda items discussed
  • Key points and decisions for each agenda item
  • Action items assigned, with due dates and owners
  • Next steps or future agenda items
  • Meeting details : Start with the basics - date, time, location, and purpose of the meeting. Also include a list of attendees and their roles.
  • Agenda items : Outline the main topics or agenda items discussed during the meeting. Use headings or bullet points for clarity.
  • Discussion summary : Provide a brief summary of the key points discussed under each agenda item. Capture the main ideas, concerns raised, and conclusions reached.
  • Decisions made : Clearly state any decisions made during the meeting, along with the rationale behind them. This helps avoid confusion and ensures everyone is aware of the agreed-upon course of action.
  • Action items : List the action items or next steps, including the person responsible and the deadline. This ensures accountability and helps move projects forward.
  • Next meeting : Include details of the next meeting, such as the date, time, and agenda items. This helps attendees plan ahead and ensures continuity.

notion image

  • Take notes during the meeting, capturing key points, decisions, and action items.
  • Feed those notes into the AI writing assistant like Voicenotes and ask it to generate a draft summary.
  • Review and edit the draft to ensure accuracy and clarity.
  • Use the AI's writing suggestions to improve the summary's structure, tone, and flow.
  • This approach can save time and effort while ensuring that important details are not missed.
  • Be concise and clear: Avoid unnecessary details and use straightforward language.
  • Highlight key decisions and action items : Make these stand out for easy reference.
  • Use a consistent format: This makes summaries easier to scan and compare.
  • Distribute summaries promptly: Share them while the meeting is still fresh in everyone's mind.
  • Seek feedback and iterate: Continuously improve your summaries based on attendee feedback.
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists: These make summaries more skimmable.
  • Include context where needed: Provide brief background details to clarify complex topics.
  • Proofread carefully: Check for errors, inconsistencies, and missing information.

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How to Write a Meeting Summary (Tips and Templates)

how to write a meeting summary

One of the hallmarks (and unintended consequences) of the world’s move towards hybrid work is the number of meetings. 

There are a lot of them, and way more than before.

‍ According to research from Microsoft , the average Teams users saw a 153% increase in meetings between March 2020 and February 2022. 

Since then, millions of people have transitioned back to the office. But ask practically anybody, and they’ll tell you that they’re still in tons of meetings.

Some are important. Others, not so much.

And that’s why it's important to learn how to write a meeting summary.

‍ What is a meeting summary?

A meeting summary is a short overview of the key points that get discussed during a meeting. Usually sent in an email after a meeting, they highlight takeaways, decisions, action items, and next steps—serving as a reference and reminder for all attendees.

‍ What’s the difference between a meeting summary and meeting minutes?

Meeting minutes are a detailed record of everything that happens during a meeting, including summaries of presentations and discussions. Although they contain much of the same information as a meeting summary, meeting minutes often serve as an official record for legal purposes and are more common in board and shareholder meetings.

‍ Why are meeting summaries important?

These days, with so many meetings occupying our time, it’s hard to keep track of everything that gets said during a meeting, let alone attend every single one.

Meeting summaries make it easy to look back at what was discussed and see what team members are working on at a glance.

Usually, the responsibility of writing a meeting recap falls on one person. And if that’s you, you’ll want to get it right. Few things are more annoying than having an hour-long meeting only to get a summary in return that misses key points, assigns tasks to the wrong people, and is filled with spelling mistakes.

If you want to write a meeting summary that people will actually revisit and read (including yourself), follow these steps:

How to Write a Meeting Summary

‍ step 1: prepare ahead of time.

Before your meeting begins, review the agenda, see who’s attending, and what you plan to discuss—this will help you identify key points, issues, and topics worth noting as they come up in the conversation. 

If this isn’t the first time you’ve met, look at past meeting summaries, documents, or conversations, especially if it’s a recurring meeting or a continuation from a previous one, to help jog your memory and get you in the right headspace. 

Step 2: Choose a Format or Template

Give your meeting summary some structure, so it’s easier to identify key points and action items. 

Use headings to separate discussion topics, point form notes or bullet points to jot things down quickly, and a section at the bottom for action items.

Here’s a simple template .

Related: You’re Probably Taking Meeting Notes Wrong—Here’s a Quick Fix

Step 3: Consider Transcribing or Recording Your Meeting

Using software to record, transcribe, and summarize a meeting is helpful because it provides a permanent record of what was discussed and allows you to focus entirely on the meeting without taking notes.

With Bloks, you can transcribe and summarize any conversation or call—no bots required. 

Once Bloks has worked its magic, you can add tags to automatically organize your summary, so it’s associated with the relevant event in your calendar and easier to find later on.

→ Get early access to Bloks

If you decide to use an AI meeting assistant like Bloks to transcribe and summarize your meetings, skip ahead to step seven.  

If not, move to step four.

Step 4: Take Detailed Notes

During the meeting, focus on capturing the key points, themes, and topics of the discussion, any decisions made, and which tasks were assigned. 

You don’t want to miss anything, so stay alert and be mindful of what each participant is saying. 

If you’re new to note-taking during meetings or struggle to take notes, use this five-step method .

Step 5. …But Not Too Detailed

After all, this is a summary. If it’s too long, it may be confusing to read or get ignored entirely by others. 

To help make your meeting summary clear and concise, try reading your notes aloud—it will help you identify any sections that need more information and notes that may need to be trimmed down or removed.

Related: “Alpha-Geek” Tim Ferriss’ Advice on How to Take Notes

Step 6: Identify Key Points

Once your meeting is done, review your notes and highlight the most important points.

Highlight topics that were discussed, tasks that need to get done, and any disagreements that came up.

Don’t be afraid to reorder things. The goal here is to make your meeting summary easy to read, not a chronological record of everything that was said (that’s what meeting minutes are for). 

Put important topics near the top of the meeting summary, so they don’t get missed, and action items near the bottom. 

Or, consider adding a key takeaways section to the top with three to five of the most important points that were discussed during the meeting.

Again, use headings and bullet points to separate each point.

Related: Richard Branson’s Advice to Entrepreneurs: Take More Notes

Step 7: Organize, Shorten, and Proofread Your Summary

Give your meeting summary a quick look over, so there isn’t any confusion about what was discussed, action items that are misassigned, or misspelled words. 

Stick to your template, but feel free to rearrange your meeting summary to make it flow naturally and be easy to read. 

Remove or clarify any technical jargon that may have come up. Use Grammarly or ChatGPT to identify any spelling or grammar errors.

If it’s too long, read each section out loud and try rewriting them—this will help you further synthesize the discussion in your own words, making it easier to understand.

If you need some help, go into Bloks or ChatGPT and use the prompt “Condense the following meeting summary into a few sentences: [insert text]” to shorten it even further.

Related: 5 Types of Useful AI Prompts for Everyday Work

Step 8: Add Info About the Next Meeting

If you plan to meet again, include the date and time of your next meeting, what you’ll discuss, and any action items that need to be accomplished before then.

If you’re the one organizing the meeting and a date hasn’t been chosen yet, you can add a note under the meeting summary asking what attendees' preferences are for when to meet again. 

Step 9: Include Relevant Documents

Attach any documents, files, or images that came up during the meeting or could help clarify anything that was discussed (think slide decks, articles that were mentioned, or other relevant resources).

Step 10: Send It

You’re all done! Email your meeting summary to all attendees and guests that couldn’t attend. 

Still Need Some Help? 

Here’s a simple meeting summary template you can use during your next meeting:

Basic Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Title: [insert text]

Date: [insert text]

Time: [insert text]

Location: [insert text]

Attendees: [insert text]

1. [insert text]

2. [insert text]

3. [insert text]

4. [insert text]

5. [insert text]

Key Discussion Points:

1. [Insert Agenda Item]

Summary: [insert text]

Key Takeaways: [insert text]

Actions Required: [insert text]

[Continue for all agenda items]

Decisions Made:

Topic: [insert text]

Decision: [insert text]

Action Required: [insert text]

[Continue for all decisions]

Action Items:

Action Item: [insert text]

Responsible Person: [insert text]

Due Date: [insert text]

[Continue for all action items]

Additional Notes:

  • [insert text]

Next Meeting:

Title: [insert text]

Tentative Agenda: [insert text]

Summarize and transcribe any meeting in minutes with Bloks—the AI-powered productivity assistant. Get early access .

Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure— you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.

Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable. 

Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it .

We hear you. 

Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.

Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization. 

Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.

We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.

Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar

First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)

You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.

Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.

From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.

Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.

Now, the fun begins

You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page. 

Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith ).

(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)

From there, you want to complete your profile. 

Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.

But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting. 

Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.

Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability. 

Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.

Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.

Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters. 

You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).

You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.

And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.

Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.

If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.

You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.

Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android. 

If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. hit us up in our slack community or contact us through support .  , get access today, download bloks.

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Meeting summary: How to Summarize Meetings

There are two very similar types of documents dedicated to keeping track of what’s happening at the meeting. They are called meeting minutes and a meeting summary. It is important to distinguish these two types because the last one is more informal, while the first one is an official document. So, you shouldn’t be overzealous with meeting summaries, and better use a meeting summary template whenever you can to save your time. Here are some tips on how to create a meeting summary.

Meeting report: What should be in it?

In most cases, meeting summary is more than enough to cover the most important aspects of the session. In case you were not required to write detailed meeting minutes that include all participants, decisions, and points of view, it is better to do a short meeting report. It does not even require you to write notes about meeting organization, which is the subtlest part.

We should clarify one important thing before we start explaining how to write a meeting summary. In case of a summary format, your document shouldn’t contain tons of unnecessary data. It must be helpful, so you can reflect on the event, understand the flow of the discussion, and remember key points of the meeting. You can make notes on the go using meeting recap templates – printed or digital ones from yoyomeeting – to share with the attendees right after the meeting and avoid allocating a separate time slot to it in the future.

Even though meeting summaries are more informal documents, they still have to include the basic information that makes the final report easy to understand. The meeting summary should include:

  • Timing: at what time the meeting started, at what time it ended, how long it was
  • The host of the meeting and who initiated the event (usually, it is the same person)
  • Type of meeting (formal or informal)
  • What was the purpose of the gathering
  • Who was responsible for writing the minutes of the meeting or who was taking notes
  • Important thoughts and decisions during the meeting
  • List of people invited but didn’t attend the meeting

During the meeting, listen carefully to every speaker, pay attention to every point of view voiced, while ignoring unimportant distractions. Do not make unnecessary notes, keep paragraphs in the report as short possible.

Meeting summary template

Keeping track of all your meeting notes can be difficult. Especially when you have to host multiple gatherings each week. In this case, using a particular summary template for each meeting is a smart choice as it makes your preparation routine much easier. However, you can always stick to a universal template, make it your main tool to cover the most important aspect of every meeting and write clear and concise reports.

Depending on the specifics of your work, the meeting summary template can vary a lot. In all cases it must feature a clear structure that you can adapt to any meeting in your organization. Build it to help you reach the shareable result by the time you finish writing the last paragraph. If you have been wondering how to write a meeting summary, you may also be interested in action items that we discussed in a separate article.

In case you prefer to use a more modern tool, sign up for a free trial of yoyomeeting now to have a straightforward way to manage your meetings!

Get FREE action items template here ⇒

Action Items Template

How to write a meeting summary

In many cases, management doesn’t have time to take notes or write a complete meeting summary, so they ask someone else to do that instead. If you happen to be that person, we can share a few recommendations you will find useful for this routine.

  • Ask your managers about their expectations for the meeting report. For example, whether it should be detailed or just contain the main ideas of the meeting.
  • Ask about meeting minutes – whether you can refer to the information in this document while preparing your summary.
  • Try to get early access to the meeting agenda, so you will be able to analyze the most important decisions and details upfront.
  • Consider bringing along the meeting report template to take notes directly in it during the session.

meeting summary template

Stay objective and unbiased while you are taking notes for the meeting summary, especially if you are doing this job for someone else. Consider bringing a voice recorder with you to make sure you don’t forget something important and have a backup in case you do. Sometimes even partially pronounced idea could be important and worth mentioning in your summary, and without a recording, you won’t be able to recall it.

When the meeting is over, it is time to get to writing your summary. It is best to do this as soon as possible so that the memories of the event are still fresh in your head. Here are the three main pieces of advice to follow at this stage:

  • Read your meeting recap notes twice and compare them with the information in the meeting report or meeting minutes.
  • Identify discussed topics, highlight main ideas for each of them, remembering the context and relevant insights.
  • Write a small overview for each topic. Be objective and to the point – your summary should be one page long (two pages max for longer meetings with multiple topics). If you are stuck, have a look at our additional tips on how to write a meeting report.

Creating a meeting notes summary with yoyomeeting

Now that you know how to summarize a meeting, we strongly advise you to test an effective tool that will come in handy for all your meetings. Yoyomeeting is an add-in for Office 365 designed to make tiresome meeting routines less complicated and more fun. One simple, user-friendly application to assign tasks, take notes, record decisions, and much more. Here are some of our amazing features:

  • Agenda Management
  • Meeting Attendee Management
  • Notes & Minutes
  • Task Assignment
  • Decision Recording
  • …and more!

Everything you need is neatly organized in one flow within your Outlook so you will be able to get things done better, faster, and smarter. Start your free trial now!

Improve your meetings with yoyomeeting for Outlook

Apart from the action items template, we offer a lot more on meeting management with hacks on how to improve your meeting culture . So follow us on facebook or connect to our  LinkedIn company profile to stay in the loop and to get the latest on meeting management excellence.

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How to Write an Online Meeting Summary Like a Pro?

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Use meeting summary templates., add action items, how long should an online meeting summary typically be.

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Learning how to write a meeting summary is a crucial skill, especially for people that regularly attend or lead meetings. 

Keeping track of everything discussed and decided in meetings can sometimes be daunting. This is why knowing how to effectively summarize your discussions and key action items for future reference is important. 

This blog post comprehensively takes you through all you need to know about writing online meeting summaries by highlighting: 

  • Why you should pay more attention to effective meeting summaries;
  • Comparing meeting summaries with meeting minutes;
  • How to write a meeting summary like an expert;
  • Templates and real-life examples.

What is a Meeting Summary?

A meeting summary is a concise and condensed recap of the key discussions, decisions, and action items from a meeting. A summary is an overview and does not contain every single word verbatim, as only the important highlights are captured.

Meeting summaries enable the participants and stakeholders to quickly grasp the key discussions. They can be written down in various forms, including brief email updates, bullet-point lists, or summarized documentation, depending on the organization’s preferred format.

A meeting summary should be created and shared with participants and other relevant stakeholders immediately or shortly after the meeting. This is mainly because the details are still fresh in their minds, and internalizing the context becomes much easier. 

In most cases, the person leading the meeting is the one that usually takes notes. However, some organizations may designate a specific individual to jot down the notes. But what can you do if you are overwhelmed with taking notes of the meeting and running it? 

Read on to find out how Krisp’s AI Meeting Assistant can help you seamlessly take and organize your online meeting summaries.

Advantages of Taking Meeting Summaries

Learning how to write effective meeting summaries has numerous benefits, including: 

Meeting summaries distill complex discussions into concise information. By condensing lengthy conversations, you can get a structured and focused overview of the discussions, eliminating confusion and boosting clarity. 

Effective communication

Meeting summaries are an effective communication tool, allowing information to be disseminated efficiently to the participants and other relevant stakeholders.

Time efficiency

A meeting summary makes it easy to quickly scan and focus on the important details instead of reviewing the entire meeting transcript or listening to a recording of the meeting to highlight the key discussion and action items, 

Enhanced accountability

Meeting summaries outline action items, responsibilities, and deadlines. This makes them a tangible record of commitments made during meetings, enabling more effective follow-ups and accountability.

Teams working remotely or having a hybrid virtual meeting can benefit greatly from meeting summaries. A summary ensures that everyone is well-aligned with the discussions and decisions, regardless of where they are.

Meeting summaries are versatile tools offering numerous advantages beyond immediate communication and productivity improvements. This makes them a valuable asset for various aspects of organizational operations and growth.

Meeting Summary vs Meeting Minutes

Meeting summaries and meeting minutes are commonly used in the realm of business meetings. Although most people use these two terms interchangeably, they have a distinct difference. 

Here are some of the key differences to enable you to know which of the two to use during your next meeting: 

  • Meeting nature : Formal and complex meetings require detailed meeting minutes, while routine team update meetings can benefit from meeting summaries. A good meeting minutes app can seamlessly curate the right structure to follow when documenting your meeting.
  • Audience : If the recipients of the documentation are internal team members or during a catch-up meeting , then a meeting summary is more practical. However, you may have to curate meeting minutes if external stakeholders will need to access the documentation.
  • Level of detail : Meeting minutes are often more detailed, highlighting various aspects of the meeting as it progresses. However, meeting summaries only offer an overview of the most important discussions and action items.
  • Tone : Meeting minutes are often used for legal and compliance purposes. This means they have to be written in a more formal tone. However, when writing summaries, the note-taker can use informal terminologies or paraphrase terms for clarity. 

Bonus tip: Try this AI note-taker that summarizes your meeting discussions in a formal, easy-to-understand language and saves time.

Tips for Writing Meeting Summaries Like a Pro

Do you want to learn how to write a meeting summary like a pro? Here are a few quick tips to get you started: 

Start with a clear objective

It is crucial that you have a clear understanding of what to expect during the meeting. 

One way to do this is to have an effective meeting agenda that you can follow, enabling you to know the expected discussions. This allows you to determine where the important discussions take place that you need to jot down. 

Moreover, having a clear agenda for the meeting allows you to structure and organize your meeting summary in a logical manner that is easy to understand and with a good flow.

Actively listen and take comprehensive notes

Being actively present during the discussions lets you grasp essential discussions and decisions. This is also beneficial as part of virtual meeting etiquette tips, as active participation in meetings makes them more productive.

Focus on the agenda and highlight the key points, decisions, and action items. Ensure to seek clarity if you do not understand some context.

Only focus on essential details

A meeting summary only entails the key highlights and discussions. You don’t have to jot down everything mentioned but only stick to the main discussions, decisions, and action items. 

However, if you prefer to document everything said during the meeting, meeting transcriptions are a better option.

Be objective and neutral

Just like when taking meeting notes , maintain a neutral tone and avoid personal biases or subjective interpretations of the discussions. 

Always present the facts as they are, accurately and impartially, enabling the readers to form their own understanding of the discussions and outcomes.

Review and edit

Before finalizing your meeting summary, it would be prudent to take some time to review and edit it for accuracy and clarity. 

If you used informal terminologies or abbreviations that your teammates may not comprehend easily, ensure to switch to phrasing they would understand. 

Timelines and distribution

Aim to finalize the meeting summary as soon as possible after the meeting ends. You should promptly share the finalized document with relevant stakeholders when the discussions are still fresh. This is also helpful when the participants have faced virtual meeting fatigue . 

Ensure everyone stays informed and can take the appropriate actions without delay.

A meeting summary template saves you the time you would have spent organizing and structuring your summaries for readability. 

Using these templates, you can clearly structure your summaries, as you will know what information to note down and where to do so in the document.

How to Create Meeting Summaries Fast With Krisp

There are two main types of meeting summaries: a comprehensive summary and a condensed summary. 

A comprehensive summary provides a detailed account of the meeting proceedings, capturing all key discussions, decisions, action items, and supporting information. This type of summary covers each agenda item and thoroughly records what transpired during the meeting.

On the other hand, a condensed summary focuses on capturing the essential points, decisions, and action items from the meeting. It aims to provide a concise overview of the key takeaways and outcomes, enabling recipients to quickly grasp the main points without delving into every detail. 

Krisp allows you to create either a comprehensive or a condensed meeting summary, depending on your needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide on using Krisp to generate meeting summaries like a pro: 

Get your transcription 

How to Create Meeting Summaries templates

Head over to your Krisp dashboard and select the transcription that you wish to summarize. You can edit the speaker names or review for clarity. 

Choose a summary template

meeting summary template

Once you click on “Summarize,” you will get a prompt asking you to choose between a short summary (which is the condensed version) or a detailed summary (which has comprehensive details of the meeting discussions).

In this case, we’ve selected “Short Summary.”

Review the key discussion points

Short meeting summary example

Krisp automatically uses its AI capabilities to generate short and concise meeting highlights. You can edit, add, or delete the necessary details. 

Meeting Summariesaction items

You can include action items in the summary by hitting the “Add Action Items” button. You can repeat the same process if seeking for a more detailed summary, which can be generated within seconds.

Solving Pain Points with Krisp: Automated Transcription and Summarization for Seamless Meeting Sharing

Mastering the skill of writing meeting summaries is crucial for effective communication and productivity in today’s fast-paced work environment. While the tips above can help you take meeting summaries like a pro, it is a no-brainer that taking manual meeting summaries can be time-consuming and prone to human error. 

This is where Krisp, an innovative AI-powered tool, comes into play. 

Krisp offers a range of benefits for individuals and teams who seek efficient and accurate meeting summaries.

Krisp’s ability to transcribe online meetings verbatim is a game-changer. By automatically generating detailed transcriptions with speaker identification, Krisp ensures an accurate record of all discussions and interactions during the meeting. 

In addition, Krisp goes a step further by providing AI-generated summarized versions of the transcriptions. 

Whether you prefer a comprehensive and detailed summary or a condensed and concise one, Krisp’s AI algorithms identify the key discussions, decisions, and action items, saving you valuable time and effort. 

With Krisp, you can focus on actively participating in the meeting and engaging with colleagues, knowing that a reliable summary will be available afterward.

Grab this free 7-day pro trial and try Krisp today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i structure an online meeting summary effectively.

To structure an online meeting summary effectively, it is crucial to clearly outline the objectives before the meeting. You can also break down the summary into sections and arrange the information in a logical manner.

Should I include direct quotes or phrases in an online meeting summary?

Including direct quotes or phrases in an online meeting summary is unnecessary, as you only need to paraphrase and condense the key discussions. 

How can I ensure accuracy in my online meeting summary?

To ensure accuracy in your online meeting summaries, it is important to actively listen during the meeting and review the write-up before sharing it with other stakeholders.

The length of an online meeting summary can vary depending on the nature and complexity of the meeting. Generally, it is best to aim for a concise summary that captures the key points and outcomes. 

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How to Write a Meeting Summary

Are you having difficulty writing a meeting summary and do not know where to start and what to include? This article will guide you through the process and help you write it in the best way possible.

First of all, let us see what the meeting summary is so we can have a basic impression of it. Meeting summaries are used to demonstrate general information about a meeting such as a date, location, time, main agenda of the meeting, main topics that have been discussed, information about the attendees, decisions that have been made, and overall conclusion.  There are some points that need to be considered in order to write a successful meeting summary. Below are some tips that will make the writing process easier and efficient.

Before the meeting:

  •     If the summary is written for someone else (initiator), their expectations of the summary document should be confirmed and taken as a lead before the meeting.
  •     It is recommended to have a meeting summary template beforehand in order to take notes directly on it. There are different types of templates. Make sure you have one with a clear structure that you can use for different kinds of meetings.
  •     Having access to the meeting agenda helps to get familiar with the topic and form a first impression about the possible outcomes and decisions that can be made during the meeting.
  •     Prepare some tools that will be useful, such as pen, paper (meeting summary template), voice recorder, and other important documents.

During the meeting:

  •     Listen carefully to everything, be objective, do not get distracted by anything
  •     Compare what was on the agenda, if it was said during the meeting and which important factors were not discussed
  •     Write down and record important decisions and people who made them or opposed against. One key point: Do not add your opinion to it.  

As soon as the meeting has ended, review everything you wrote, filter the most important parts, compare the notes with the other documents you had beforehand, and if necessary, listen to the voice recorder to clarify. The meeting summary should be precise. The following information should be added to a summary:

  •     The main agenda, purpose
  •     List of the attendees, also those who were invited but could not make it
  •     The date, location, start and end hours, and how long it lasted
  •     Name of the initiator, host of the meeting
  •     List of the discussed key points of the agenda
  •     The decisions and outcome.
  •     Whether the meeting accomplished its goal
  •     List of the topics, ideas that will be discussed in upcoming meetings (if mentioned).

Once you finished writing the summary that contains the information above, it is time to evaluate it before it is given to the initiator. The information should be clear, neat, without any exaggeration.

Does it meet the expectations of the reader? Do they get all the necessary information out of it? Can it be used as a reference for future meetings? A successful summary should have a positive answer to all these questions. To speak figuratively, you should put yourself in the reader’s shoes when writing the summary. This way, you can see it from the reader’s point of view.

English

How To Write A Meeting Summary: Tips, Types, Templates

Feb 10, 2024

Feeling the pressure to remember every detail from that overwhelming meeting?  We understand how overwhelming it is to remember every detail discussed during the session. Well, worry not – meeting summaries always come in handy in such situations. Writing a perfect meeting summary is always a helpful reminder for those present,  and also a convenient means of updating those who were unable to attend. 

If you're wondering how to write a meeting summary, what types there are, or need a sample format for manual input then just keep reading this blog. And hey, we have got a cool note taking AI tool Audionotes to make this task easy for you.

What is a Meeting Summary? 

A meeting summary, also known as a meeting recap, is like a report that keeps track of the important things discussed in a meeting. It includes key points, decisions, and tasks that were talked about. The purpose of a meeting summary is to gather all the important info from the meeting and share it with everyone who was there and even those who couldn't make it. 

A good meeting summary covers the basics like the date, time, and place of the meeting, who attended, what was on the agenda, what was discussed, decisions made, tasks to do, and any extra notes or attachments.

Well if you are counting it's the same as meeting minutes, it's not. Let's clear that up.

Meeting Summary vs Meeting Minutes 

Both meeting summaries and meeting minutes keep track of what was talked about in a meeting, but they have some differences. Let's take a look at the table below to compare them- 

how to write a meeting summary

Factors Meeting Summary Meeting Minutes  Documentation Made after the meeting ends.Taken during the meeting Purpose  Short and focused on key points.Detailed and covers everything. Tone  Easy to read and understand.Follows a formal structure Purpose Great for quick updates, daily huddles, or stand-up meetings.Typically needed for official meetings, board meetings, or legal purposes. Use Highlights action items and decisions.Includes exact words said and formal resolutions.

Now that we've clarified the difference, let's explore how to write a meeting summary.  

Types of Meeting Summaries: 

Informative Meeting Summary: Share key discussion points and decisions.

Action Item Meeting Summary: Focuses on assigned tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines.

Decision-Making Meeting Summary: Emphasizes the decisions made and their reasons.

Progress Update Meeting Summary: Reports on project status, achievements, and upcoming steps.

Problem-Solving Meeting Summary: Details discussed problems and outlines agreed-upon solutions.

Strategic Planning Meeting Summary: Summarizes long-term goals and strategic initiatives.

Innovation Brainstorming Meeting Summary: Captures creative ideas and outlines potential next steps.

Client Meeting Summary: Summarizes client discussions, needs, and follow-up steps.

How To Write A Perfect Meeting Summary

Summing up a meeting might feel overwhelming initially, but with the right approach and tools like  Audionotes , it can easily become a regular part of your meeting routine. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to help you begin on how to write a meeting summary:  

how to write a meeting summary

Take Detailed Notes

Start by taking good notes during the meeting. You can go old-school with pen and paper or opt for a digital platform like Google Docs. If recording is allowed, it's an even better choice, saving you from the hassle of note-taking and potential errors.

To make this task easier, you can count on Audionotes to record meetings, whether they're online or face-to-face,  a handy way to have a record of what was discussed. This comes in handy when you're crafting your meeting summary. And here's the cool part – the tool even recognizes different speakers in the recording. 

Thanks, everyone, for contributing and taking part

Start your meeting summary by thanking everyone for being there. A quick "Thanks for joining the meeting" sets a positive vibe and shows you appreciate their time. Keep it simple and genuine—no need to overdo the compliments.

Highlight the Important Stuff

The heart of your meeting summary is about highlighting the important stuff talked about. Skip things like who won the meeting icebreaker. Pay attention to these things

Agenda Recap: What we planned to discuss.

Big Talking Points: The main topics we focused on.

Decisions Made: Any choices we agreed on.

Next Steps: Actions to take and who's responsible.

Keep it short and sweet—just the important info without getting into too many details.

Next Meeting To-Do List

Figure out and list tasks to finish before the next meeting. Give jobs to the team

members and set deadlines to make sure things get done. 

Include meeting action items

No matter how good your summary is, make sure to put a note or key takeaways section at the end. This brief part will highlight the tasks decided and who's responsible in the team.

Remember to mention the Small stuff

Even though your meeting summary should be short, don't forget the small stuff like the date, who was there, and how long the meeting lasted. Make sure to include any important info that helps understand what was talked about and the decisions made.

Attach Supporting Documents

If you need to explain something better in the summary, attach the relevant supporting document like a presentation, spreadsheet, report, or client brief. These docs can help make things clearer and ensure tasks get done on time.

Share it Across 

After you've made your meeting summary, share it quickly with everyone who needs to know. Make sure it gets to everyone who was there and anyone else who should be in the loop.

You can make it easy and use Audionotes to whip up meeting notes in just 30 seconds. 

Grab Free Template for Meeting Summary

Grab our FREE meeting summary template. It's crafted for smooth use in your meetings, following the best practices we discussed earlier. Copy it and get started easily.

Feel free to use these templates based on your specific requirements and the level of detail you need for your meeting summaries.

Meeting Summary [Meeting name and date]  Hey Team, Thanks for joining the meeting and sharing the valuable insights.I trust this message finds you well. Our recent meeting on [meeting Date] was exceptionally productive, setting the stage for an exciting new marketing project. We dove deep into the project details, working together to tackle challenges and come up with solid solutions. Everyone shared their valuable insights, making sure we're all on the same page and crystal clear on where we're heading. Regarding priorities, we meticulously outlined tasks for the upcoming week, providing a comprehensive overview for the month ahead. This strategic planning aims to build a seamless workflow.  Assignments were distributed among team members: Jhon : Responsible for generating creative ideas for this projectSteve: Tasked with focusing into [specific task]Herry: Leading the charge on [specific task] For a concise review, please refer to our shared [Google Doc] and [Presentation]. Our next scheduled meeting is on [next meeting date] at [meeting time] . I eagerly anticipate your updates and progress. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out at your convenience. Thank you for your dedication, and here's to a productive week ahead. Best regards,Meeting Lead

Get The Perfect AI-Generated Meetings

Still feel like writing manual summaries is a tough task and takes a lot of time? Worry not, many AI tools will help you do this and can speed things up a lot.

Tools like Audionotes can listen to meetings, pick out the important points, and create summaries way faster than doing it yourself. This way, you can have your meeting summaries ready much quicker, giving you more time to concentrate on the important stuff—like having useful talks and making plans. Also, it has amazing voice recognition features that identify the speaker as well. 

If you wish to customize the length, tone, and language of the text, there is an option to do that as well.

Step By Step Guide on How to Use Audionotes to Generate Meeting Summaries 

Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to use Audionotes to record and generate meeting summaries-,

Step 1: Login to www.Audionotes.app Step 2: On the dashboard, Click on the styles icon on the top of the screen and select meeting summary as the output type (You can choose from various available options or even create your own) Step 3: You can now use the recorder to record the meeting, or upload the file or past the transcript Step 4: Audionotes will give you a well structured meeting summary within seconds Audionotes transcribes and transforms your voice notes, text notes and recordings into customizable structured text summaries as well as lets you create content from your notes. Audionotes also lets you chat with your notes and sync your notes with Notion.

—-----------------------------

Summarizing things in a perfect format is great for both parties. It helps everyone understand what went on in the meeting, making communication and decision-making better. While it seems a tough task on how to write a meeting summary , the above provided insights will help you make it easy. 

However, for more ease and to cut down your time, you can trust the top-notch note-taking tool Audionotes . This tool helps you record and smoothly summarize according to your preferred length and tone.  These tools change your messy notes or recordings into tidy summaries and let you customize them as you want. 

Get a free Audionotes account and let it assist you in doing the work of writing down and summarizing meetings. 

how to write a meeting summary

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Examples

Meeting Summary

how to write a meeting summary

Every company or organization conducts meetings to discuss certain topics, issues or development. There’s always a person who is tasked to take note of the key points that the meeting has discussed or achieved. And that person happens to be you. Whether you are the designated secretary or was asked to, making a summary of the meeting does not require too much hard work. However, there are certain formats that you need to follow so your summary is understandable and efficient.  You may also see  meeting outline examples & samples

Meeting summaries and minutes of the meeting are quite similar. It means summarizing the details of what the meeting has accomplished. The difference between the two documents is that meeting summaries are less formal compared to the minutes of the meeting. There is a format in minutes of the meeting that has to be followed precisely. However, for meeting summaries, it’s laxer in its format. But still, you need to put the correct information in both documents to avoid errors.  You may also see  meeting report examples & samples

how to write a meeting summary

What is the Importance of Having a Meeting Summary?

Having a meeting summary is for the people to remember the meeting and to keep track of the certain points that have already been discussed. It exists to record the highlights of the meeting proceedings such as the decisions that have been made (like motions, votes, etc.), plans for the future, identifying problems or issues and resolving them, reporting accomplishments of the company or organization for the past month or quarter, etc.

It is also used as a track record to see who are the people that participated in the meeting and as a source of information and reference for those who were absent during the meeting to know what tasks they were assigned to do and such. However, for this article, it will focus more on making a meeting summary than minutes of the meeting.

Now that you know why having a meeting summary is useful and important, let’s get down to business. Here are a few tips to help you write a meeting summary.

Before the meeting 

When writing a summary, make sure you already know what will be the agenda of the meeting. If there will be the main agenda to accomplish, familiarize what are the important details or discussions to be tackled. Ask the one who presides the meeting if minutes of the meeting should be taken or not. If you need to, accomplish the minutes of the meeting first. You can get your reference for your summary from the minutes. Just make sure to prepare all the tools you need to take down notes for your summary:

  • paper/notebook
  • cassette recorder (if needed)
  • documents needed in the meeting
  • list of the people expected to attend the meeting
  • copy of the agenda of the meeting (if applicable)

During the meeting

Meetings usually start when the group chair will formally announce that the meeting has started. Once the meeting has started, the first thing to accomplish is to do a roll call. Call out the names (from your list) of those who will participate in the meeting. Mark their names if they’re absent or present. If you have a copy of the past meeting summary with you, indicate the points that have been written down to remind the group of what topics they need to discuss that they were unable to do during the last one.

Once the agenda has been discussed, dedicate your 100% attention to the points that the participants said. Avoid any distractions. Even if you used a cassette recorder to record the meeting’s proceedings, it’s important to listen carefully to the meeting to avoid any confusion once you’ve listened to the recording later. There might be instances that the recordings will get lost or the sound is garbled, so don’t just solely rely on the recorder. Tape recorders are there to serve you as a back-up.

Aside from just listening, your role as making the meeting summary is to take down notes. Of course, you don’t necessarily need to list down everything that happened in the meeting (such as someone had a coughing fit or someone spilled their coffee on their clothes), but as mentioned above, list down the important key points that have been discussed.

List down the people who spoke up, who proposed ideas, who voice out their objections and agreements over a decision, the decisions that everyone has agreed to, the issues that have been resolved; that kind of thing. As much as possible, be objective in your note-taking. Don’t be shady over someone’s ideas or opinions that he or she expressed. Write down the ideas he or she proposed. If this seems confusing here’s an example of how to write it:

Graham suggested that the budget for improving the office’s facility should be spent on new chairs. Terry, Michael, and Carol agreed to his suggestion. However, Eric objected to this suggestion. Eric said to use the money to replace the old photocopier. John and Jones agreed to this. George, (the group chair) made everyone vote between the chairs and the photocopier. Graham’s suggestion won via unanimous decision.

Avoid writing this:

Graham suggested that the budget for improving the office’s facility should be spent on new chairs. (I agree with him. Our chairs are absolutely the worst. They need to be chucked out.) Michael, Terry, and Carol agreed. Just as everything is going well, snotty Eric opposed this idea passionately. He said the chairs are alright, it’s the photocopier that needs to be replaced. John and Jones murmured their agreement Graham and Eric then argued on which suggestion is better. George, the group chair,  then let us vote on where should we spend the money. In the end, Graham’s suggestion won. Graham has a smug look on his face and Eric shut up, sulking.

Your notes will be your reference once you start writing your meeting summary later.

After the Meeting

After the meeting has adjourned, write down the meeting summary as soon as possible while the information from the meeting is still fresh in your mind. First, read and review the notes you have taken. If you were also tasked to write the minutes, review the and compare the information you wrote. If you want to be accurate with your information, review the meeting that you recorded. Identify the relevant themes in the meeting.

Meeting Summary Examples

Below are some format samples for you to follow if you want to be certain that your work is correct.

Meeting Summary Report

Meeting Summary Report Template

  • Google Docs
  • Editable PDF

Size: A4, US

Meeting Summary Template

Meeting Summary Template

Size: 134 KB

Meeting Summary Example

meeting summary 4

Size: 294 KB

How to Write a Meeting Summary

Now that you have gathered your notes for your summary, this is the part you need to organize your summary that you will pass to your group chair. This will make your summary neat and understandable.

  • The meeting summary should be concise and summarizes perfectly the key points that have been discussed.
  • First list down what is the main agenda of the meeting.
  • List down the names of the people who attended the meeting. In another list below it, list down also who were not present in the meeting.
  • Mention the date of the meeting, what time it started and what time it ended.
  • Mention who is the group chair of the meeting. Mention how he or she presided the meeting. Mention also when he or she started the meeting.
  • Mention what is the key points of the agenda that has been discussed first and second and third and so on. To organize the key points, list these down in bullet points or number them.
  • In each key point, mention who opened up the topic first, their proposals and their decisions, who opposed and who agreed. List down the important points they mentioned.
  • Write down also what are the new ideas the participants have come up with.
  • Once the key points have been discussed thoroughly by the group, write down what was the final discussion of the group. What has the group agreed upon? What is the outcome?
  • If the meeting has accomplished its agenda, write down the time of the adjournment.
  • If there are any recommendations on what will be the agenda/topic/issues/ideas to discuss in the next meeting, list those down.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with this format, it’s time to review the summary you wrote.

Evaluate if the Summary is Good

Once you’ve finished writing the meeting summary, review it first before passing it to the group chair for review and affirmation. Here are the important points to be considered once you’ve written down your summary:

  • Make sure your reader will understand the important details in your summary especially those who were present in the meeting. To achieve this use particular words or jargon applicable in your summary. Make sure your co-workers will be able to understand what you wrote.
  • Think if you succeed in the expectation of your reader while reading your summary. Not only they’ll be able to understand your summary, make sure they can use your summary as an important reference for future meetings or projects.
  • If you’re not sure that your summary us concise and easy to understand to other people, have a friend to review it for you. He or she can help you out in the areas you need to improve.

By doing this,  you avoid doing sloppy work over an easy task. You are confident that your meeting summary is good enough for everyone’s expectations. Your group chair may even praise you for a job well done. Your co-workers will trust you enough that you do a great job in your assigned task. Making meeting summaries are easy enough to achieve it once you know how to do it.

Meeting Notes Template Example

meeting summary 3

Size: 163 KB

Meeting Summary Example 3

meeting summary 2

Size: 167 KB

We hope you found our article on meeting summary examples to be informative as well as helpful especially when you will be tasked on making a meeting summary for your own company.

General FAQs

1. what is a meeting summary.

A meeting summary is a document that provides information relating to an unofficial overview of a meeting. It records the decisions made, plans for the future, and the names of people who participated in the meeting.

2. How To Write a Meeting Summary?

You can write a meeting summary by following these guidelines:

  • Discuss with your manager if the report should be detailed or just contain highlights.
  • Analyze the meeting agenda in advance so you can get important details upfront.
  • Make use of a template.

3. What is the Purpose of a Meeting Summary?

A meeting summary allows the writer to reflect on the discussions that have been made during the meeting. It also acts as a record of a meeting so that others can be informed of the discussions, either immediately or in the future.

4. What is the Difference Between Meeting Summaries and Meeting Minutes?

Meeting summaries are semi-formal documents that provide a less detailed and unofficial summary of a meeting. Whereas, meeting minutes are formal documents that provide a detailed record of a meeting.

5. How Can You Take Notes During Meetings?

You can take notes during meetings by following these points:

  • Create an outline or use a template based on the agenda
  • Check-off attendees
  • Record decisions as soon as they occur
  • Ask for clarification if necessary
  • Capture only the highlights of the meetings

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Organization > Using ChatGPT for creating meeting agendas, minutes, and notes

Using ChatGPT for creating meeting agendas, minutes, and notes

Organizing a meeting can be a time-consuming task. But there are ways to incorporate AI into your planning so that you can save time and be more organized. Learn how ChatGPT may be able to help streamline your meetings.

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How can ChatGPT help with meetings?

You’ve just gotten out of a lengthy planning meeting at work where you and your team discussed goals for the upcoming quarter and ways to best act on them. You’ve been asked to put together a summary, as well as to identify the action items and an agenda for a follow-up meeting.

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At first, this may feel like an overwhelming task, especially if your meeting was on the long side. But there are ways to approach this ask that use AI, which can streamline the process and make it a little easier to digest. ChatGPT is AI that reproduces patterns in texts in a manner that mimics natural human speech and writing. If correctly prompted, it can generate nearly any kind of human-like text.

Using ChatGPT to create meeting summaries and identify action items

If you’re constantly in meetings, you may loathe the idea of putting together a summary for the participants. Even if there’s a recording and a full transcript available, it can be a tedious process.

One way to speed up your meeting summary is to utilize ChatGPT’s resources, which can analyze the information it’s given and generate natural-sounding text. To use this AI to create a summary of your meeting and identify action items, you’ll first need to:

  • Download a transcript of your Microsoft Teams meeting.
  • Copy the text of the transcript.
  • Open your AI and prompt it with something specific and targeted to your request, like, “Summarize this meeting transcript .”
  • Paste the full transcript into the chatbot and wait for it to generate your summary.
  • Check the work.

AI like ChatGPT is a powerful tool with a ton of information at its disposal, but it’s not flawless. It’s important to check over any AI-generated content to ensure that there are no errors of any kind. You’ll also want to think carefully about how you’re prompting it. If you’d like a summary as a paragraph or a set amount of bullet points, you’ll need to explicitly say so.

It’s also wise to give the transcript a once-over and remove any extraneous text like introductions or fillers so they’re not considered when ChatGPT is generating a summary. You may also want to add relevant details back into a summary that were omitted by ChatGPT.

If you also need to identify actionable items from your recent meeting, you can prompt the AI with a specific phrase like, “Identify the key action items in the meeting transcript,” then paste the transcript in its entirety.

You may need to play around with phrasing of this prompt, especially if the generated content is lacking. If you know that there were follow-up calls mentioned in your meeting and they’re not listed as action items, you may need to add them in yourself or adjust your prompt to be even more specific. AI is useful, but not infallible. It’s not a complete substitute for doing work yourself, though it can streamline the process.

Taking notes with AI

AI really shines when it’s used for taking outline style notes. To come up with thorough meeting notes that can help you plan and create an agenda, you’ll need a transcript of the meeting. You’ll prompt ChatGPT with something like, “Write formal outline-style notes with the main ideas as different headings” and then paste the transcript below.

ChatGPT’s AI can provide you with thorough, automatic notes that break down large blocks of information into an easily digestible outline. Double-check the generated content against the transcript to ensure accuracy, as ChatGPT is more concerned with creating text that sounds natural than sticking solely to the facts.

Creating agendas with help from ChatGPT

Putting together an agenda for a follow-up meeting can feel tedious, but if you’ve already got a summary of the previous meeting, organized notes, and actionable items created for you, the process should go a lot faster.

You may want to prompt the AI with something like, “Create a meeting agenda using this summary, outline, and action items” and then enter the text for both of those. Entering the transcript in its entirety is helpful as well in case something was glossed over previously. As with all uses of AI, you’ll need to check over the generated content for errors and inconsistencies. Imagine presenting inaccurate information to a client or to a potential business investor!

When it comes times to putting a plan together, Microsoft has a host of agenda templates to suit any need. You’ll be able to stay organized and present something professional.

AI can certainly help you and your business with summarizing meetings, pulling out action items, creating outlines, and helping you get organized for the next meeting. It’ll still be on you to give the presentation and understand the material, but a helping hand can be useful.

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Using Meeting Summary with AI Companion

Meeting Summary with Zoom AI Companion uses AI technology, which may include third-party models, and allows meeting hosts to initiate an AI-generated summary of their meeting. When the host enables this feature in a meeting, participants may automatically receive a summary after the meeting ends, if the host chose to share the summary with participants. Meeting Summaries are supported in more than 30 languages . 

how to write a meeting summary

Summaries for meetings you hosted can be managed from the web portal and will be sent through email and posted to the meeting's dedicated group chat in Team Chat , making it easy for attendees to review the key points of the meeting and the topics that were discussed.

Learn more about other Zoom AI Companion features and how Zoom AI Companion features handle your data .

This article covers: 

Limitations of Meeting Summary with AI Companion

Request enablement during a meeting, windows | macos | linux, android | ios, access summary through team chat, view email summary, how to manage meeting summaries, supported languages for ai companion summary, prerequisites for using meeting summary with ai companion.

  • Meeting Summary is available to customers with an active BAA. Learn more about AI Companion feature availability .
  • Meeting Summary enabled
  • Windows: 5.14.2 or higher
  • macOS: 5.14.2 or higher
  • Linux: 5.14.2 or higher
  • Android: 5.14.2 or higher
  • iOS: 5.14.2 or higher
  • Zoom Rooms version 5.16.0 or higher
  • Participants must be signed in to their Zoom account during the meeting to automatically receive the summary
  • Only the meeting host and co-host can start or stop the meeting summary through the in-meeting controls. Note : Starting and stopping the summary will still result in a meeting summary of the discussion while the feature was enabled.
  • Meeting summarization only begins when the host clicks Start Summary, unless the host has enabled the web setting to automatically start Meeting Summary.
  • Use of Meeting Summary with AI Companion is not available in all countries.
  • If you have set your pronouns in your Zoom profile, the AI Companion feature will use those pronouns when referring to you. If no pronouns are set, the pronouns chosen by the Large Language Model (LLM) will be used instead. 

How to start Meeting Summary

For meetings you host, you can start or stop the meeting summary through the in-meeting controls. The summarization of the meeting only begins when the host or co-host clicks Start Summary . Users can also adjust their settings to have Meeting Summary start as soon as the meeting starts, skipping the need to manually enable summary generation in their meetings. Note : This does not require the host to be present, as the Meeting Summary generation will begin as soon as someone starts your meeting.

The participants will see a notification when the meeting summary has started. The notification type will depend on the participants’ client version.

If the host does have Meeting Summary enabled for their meetings, any meeting participants can request that it be started for the current meeting.

  • The host will receive an in-meeting request to start Meeting Summary for the current meeting.

If the host does not have Meeting Summary enabled for their meetings, the host, co-hosts, and any participants can request that it be enabled.

  • For Pro accounts, an admin in the meeting will be prompted to enable both the in-meeting Meeting Summary feature and the web-portal Meeting Summary setting through the meeting window prompt. This will take effect immediately.
  • For Business accounts and higher, an admin in the meeting will be prompted in the meeting window to open the web portal and enable Meeting Summary setting. This will take effect upon the next meeting start.
  • If no one in the meeting has the necessary admin permissions, admins will be sent the request as an email from Zoom.

Start Meeting Summary as the host

  • Start a meeting from the Zoom desktop client.

how to write a meeting summary

Once the meeting has ended, the meeting summary will be finalized and sent out shortly for viewing.

Request Meeting Summary as a participant

  • Join a meeting with the Zoom desktop client.
  • If not currently enabled for the meeting, the participant will be prompted to request feature enablement.
  • Click Send Request . The request will be sent to the host (if an admin) or any admins in the current meeting. If no admins are present, an email request is sent instead.
  • Start a meeting from the Zoom mobile client.
  • In the in-meeting controls, tap More . Additional in-meeting controls will appear.
  • Join a meeting with the Zoom mobile app.
  • Start a meeting from the Zoom Room.
  • On the Zoom Rooms controller or touch display, tap More . Additional in-meeting controls will appear.
  • Tap  Start Summary . The meeting summary will begin to be generated, and participants will see a notification informing them that Meeting Summary is active.
  • On the Zoom Rooms controller or touch display, tap More , then tap  Stop Summary  to end generating the summary of the current meeting.

How to view the meeting summary

If the host enables sharing, meeting participants can access the summary through email and Zoom Team Chat. Anyone who receives the meeting summary may save and share it with apps and others. The account owner can access the meeting summary.

The meeting summary is only available through Zoom Team Chat if the meeting was scheduled with continuous meeting chat enabled . Note : Continuous meeting chat requires client version 5.14.0 or higher.

  • Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  • Click the Team Chat tab.
  • Find and select the group chat with the same name as the meeting topic.
  • Search for the message from Zoom Meetings then click View Details .
  • (Optional) Click Edit to modify the summary, then click Save . Note : Only the host can edit the summary .
  • (Optional) Click Delete to remove the summary. Note : Only the host can delete a summary. This action cannot be undone and the deleted summary cannot be restored to the chat channel.

Once a meeting summary is available, a copy of it is provided through email. Summaries for meetings that have continuous meeting chat disabled are only shared through email.

  • Access your email inbox.
  • Find and select the email with the same subject as the meeting topic to view the summary.
  • (Optional) From the body of the email, click Edit Summary Here . You will be prompted to sign in to your Zoom account (if you are not already) to continue editing the summary through the web portal. Note : Only the host has the Edit Summary Here option.
  • Unauthenticated users will not receive an email summary, as there was no email address associated with their presence in the meeting.
  • Participants joining the meeting ad hoc (through the in-meeting contact invitation or sharing the join link) will not receive the summary, as they were not on the original invitee list.

The Meeting Summary with AI Companion page allows you to view, edit, and share the summaries of meetings you hosted.

  • Sign in to the Zoom web portal .
  • In the navigation menu, click Meeting Summary with AI Companion .
  • In the My Summaries tab, select from the list to access the meeting summary, enter a meeting topic or meeting ID, or select a date range to search for a specific meeting summary. The selected meeting summary will be displayed.

how to write a meeting summary

Meeting Summary with AI Companion can summarize meeting discussions in the languages below, with most languages being provided in public preview and requiring version 5.16.10 or higher. Quality of supported languages varies by language, audio quality, and other factors, but Zoom is working to improve quality. 

If more than one language is spoken in the meeting, the generated summary will be provided in the language that was used by the majority of participants, or the host’s speaking language if there is no clear majority. 

note icon

  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • French (Canada)

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write the Perfect Meeting Summary (with Templates and Examples

    Learn the difference between meeting summary and meeting minutes, when to use each, and how to write a concise and effective meeting summary. Use Claap's AI-powered tool to record, summarize, and share your meetings effortlessly.

  2. How to Write a Meeting Summary Like a Pro (with Examples)

    Here's how to write a meeting summary template. Start with the meeting title, date, time, location and attendees. Then, add the meeting's purpose, agenda and a summary of key discussion points. Finally, list action items with owners and deadlines, and any next steps.

  3. How to Write a Meeting Summary (With Template And Example)

    Learn how to write a concise and effective meeting summary with this guide. Find out the key components, preparation tips, writing process, and AI tools to help you create a clear and informative document.

  4. How to write a meeting summary (with template and example)

    Learn what a meeting summary is, how it differs from meeting minutes, and how to write one with a template and example. Find out what information to include, how to format it and how to send it to the relevant recipients.

  5. How to Write a Great Meeting Summary (with Examples)

    Translation. Recording. How to write a meeting summary. 1. Take detailed notes 2. Highlight key points 3. Add clear action items 4. Include key takeaways 5. Attach supporting documents.

  6. How To Write the Perfect Meeting Summary + Free Templates

    By following this practice, you can maintain a concise and accurate meeting record that will help you through follow-up and accountability. 3. Record the Meeting. Record your meetings to create high-quality transcripts, comprehensive meeting summaries, and notes. These will help you to write your meeting summaries more efficiently.

  7. Meeting Summaries: A Step-by-Step Guide

    A meeting summary is an informal document that aims to serve as an accurate representation of a meeting. A comprehensive meeting summary will consist of the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as important decisions, key takeaways, action items, next steps, follow-ups, closing remarks, and attachments.

  8. How to Write a Meeting Summary: Guide with Examples and Templates

    Remember to always: 1. Take clear and concise notes during the meeting. 2. Identify and highlight key takeaways, decisions, and action items. 3. Summarize the meeting agenda and capture any changes that occurred during the meeting. 4. Include memorable meeting moments to illustrate key points or decisions.

  9. Craft the Perfect Meeting Summary with this How-To Guide

    On the other hand, meeting summaries are: Less formal and more concise. Focus on the main ideas and outcomes of the meeting. Provide a detailed record of the entire meeting. The tone is less formal and more accessible. Make it easier for readers to quickly grasp the essential points and follow up on action items.

  10. How to Write a Meeting Summary (with Examples)

    5. Include a note highlighting what was agreed in the meeting. It's a great idea to include a note closer to the end of your meeting summary that includes any agreements that were made. By ...

  11. How To Send a Meeting Recap (With Template and Example)

    Follow these steps to learn how to properly send a meeting recap to employees or clients. 1. Take notes during the meeting. As you attend the meeting, try to take notes of only important events happening in the meeting. These can be instances like tasks assigned to specific employees or clients, any measures that were passed or announcements ...

  12. How to Write a Meeting Summary (with Examples)

    Write a note highlighting things at the bottom. Consider the bottom note to be a little summary of your meeting summary. Keep it short—one to two sentences maximum. While optional, it can increase the meeting outcomes and remind everyone of the discussion and tasks decided during the meeting.

  13. How to Write an Effective Meeting Summary (With Examples)

    A comprehensive meeting summary should include the following elements: Meeting details: Start with the basics - date, time, location, and purpose of the meeting. Also include a list of attendees and their roles. Example: Date: May 19, 2024. Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM.

  14. How to Write a Meeting Summary (Tips and Templates)

    Step 2: Choose a Format or Template. Give your meeting summary some structure, so it's easier to identify key points and action items. Use headings to separate discussion topics, point form notes or bullet points to jot things down quickly, and a section at the bottom for action items. Here's a simple template.

  15. How to Write a Meeting Recap

    Now that you know what a meeting recap is, start writing one of your own. Use these steps to send an effective meeting summary email to your company's employees or clients: 1. Take notes during the meeting. As the meeting progresses, make note of important details or dates such as project deadlines, company announcements, or the names of ...

  16. Meeting Summary Best Practices: How to Effectively Summarize a Meeting

    Identify discussed topics, highlight main ideas for each of them, remembering the context and relevant insights. Write a small overview for each topic. Be objective and to the point - your summary should be one page long (two pages max for longer meetings with multiple topics).

  17. How to Write an Online Meeting Summary Like a Pro?

    Choose a summary template. Once you click on "Summarize," you will get a prompt asking you to choose between a short summary (which is the condensed version) or a detailed summary (which has comprehensive details of the meeting discussions). In this case, we've selected "Short Summary.".

  18. How to Write a Meeting Summary

    The following information should be added to a summary: The main agenda, purpose. List of the attendees, also those who were invited but could not make it. The date, location, start and end hours, and how long it lasted. Name of the initiator, host of the meeting. List of the discussed key points of the agenda. The decisions and outcome.

  19. How To Write A Meeting Summary: Tips, Types, Templates

    Factors Meeting Summary Meeting Minutes DocumentationMade after the meeting ends.Taken during the meetingPurpose Short and focused on key points.Detailed and covers everything. Tone Easy to read and understand.Follows a formal structure Purpose Great for quick updates, daily huddles, or stand-up meetings.Typically needed for official meetings ...

  20. Meeting Summary

    First, read and review the notes you have taken. If you were also tasked to write the minutes, review the and compare the information you wrote. If you want to be accurate with your information, review the meeting that you recorded. Identify the relevant themes in the meeting.

  21. Using ChatGPT for creating meeting agendas, minutes, and notes

    Download a transcript of your Microsoft Teams meeting. Copy the text of the transcript. Open your AI and prompt it with something specific and targeted to your request, like, "Summarize this meeting transcript .". Paste the full transcript into the chatbot and wait for it to generate your summary. Check the work.

  22. 8 Best AI Meeting Summary Tools to Streamline Your Workflow

    1 Fellow: The best solution for AI meeting summaries. Fellow is the only all-in-one AI meeting transcription and management software for remote and hybrid teams that unifies your meeting notes, calendar events, action items and meeting summaries. The Fellow AI Meeting Copilot auto-joins and generates a transcript to produce a summary ...

  23. Using Meeting Summary with AI Companion

    In the navigation menu, click Meeting Summary with AI Companion. In the My Summaries tab, select from the list to access the meeting summary, enter a meeting topic or meeting ID, or select a date range to search for a specific meeting summary. The selected meeting summary will be displayed. Choose from the following options: Share : Send the ...