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April 2024

Know-how

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.

Leo
Founder Associate
Overview

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!

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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;

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location of the meeting
  • Agenda,
  • A list of attendees
  • The meeting's objectives
  • Discussion points
  • Decisions
  • Action items,
  • Schedules,
  • Deadlines.

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;

  • Emails,
  • Client communications,
  • Contracts,
  • 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.

Check for unnecessary details in the meeting summary that are not worth mentioning. To do so in a quick way, you can pass the summary through an AI summarizing tool like Editpad, Wordtune, or Resoomer. These tools will automatically remove unnecessary details and make your summary even more concise.

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!

meeting planner with email templates
Jamie: Your AI Assistant

Make taking meeting notes simple and fast.

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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

Meeting Summary Template Email - Action Items

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

Dear Team,

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

Dear Team,

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.

Meeting Objective:

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

Key Discussions & Decisions:

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.

Action Items:

[@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.

Resources:

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.

Best regards,

Leo.

Meeting Summary Template Example - Brainstorming

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

Dear Team,

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.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Meeting Summary Email Example- Brainstorming

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

Dear Team,

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.

Brainstorming Objective:

Identify innovative solutions to address pressing environmental challenges.

Key Outcomes & Opportunities:

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.

Next Steps:

To capitalize on these opportunities, let's:

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.

Best regards,

Leo.

Why Should You Download Our Meeting Planner?

free meeting summary planner ebook download

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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.

  1. Write the date, time, location, meeting participants, and their roles.
  2. List topics discussed, decisions made, and action items.
  3. Use a text summarizer to summarize discussions, main points, and outcomes.
  4. Avoid jargon, aiming for summaries understandable by all.
  5. Note tasks, deadlines, and dependencies.
  6. Clarify post-meeting actions, responsibilities, and timelines.
  7. Stick to facts and present viewpoints without bias.
  8. Don't take unnecessary details.
  9. Include relevant background information when necessary.
  10. Use bullet points, numbered lists, and text formatting.
  11. Proofread for errors and ensure logical flow.
  12. Get Feedback from another pair of eyes.
  13. 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! If you ever want to rephrase your summary in jamie, you can easily edit it and adjust it to your own style.

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

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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.

Jamie: Your AI Assistant

Make taking meeting notes simple and fast.

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FAQs

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!

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