I attend a lot of meetings both in person and over the phone. Although we are often given an agenda for the meeting I often feel like things wander a little more than I am comfortable with, but instead of getting frustrated I created my own meeting note taking template.
Here is how I use it:
Who: I write who was at the meeting. If it is a really large meeting I might just put the general name of the meeting or key people.
Agenda: I copy the agenda over or if I am in a meeting that doesn’t seem to have an agenda I can either ask what it is or figure it out through the meeting.
Connect: Often I am given ideas, direct input or remember people I need to connect with because of the meeting. I put that info in that box. For me, the whole point of having a meeting is to connect with someone or connect people I know to other people.
Do: Here’s the thing about meetings, I don’t like to walk out without having some task unless it really is just an information session. Do is where I write all the things I need to do and I might write things my team or partners need to do if it something I am going to have to check in on at some point.
Date: I circle the day and write in the date.
Blank Field: The blank field is where I make notes, doodle or write down important concepts. It is the free for all zone.
I have a stack of these printed out and they are on a clip board and on some days I go through half a dozen depending on the scheduling of my day.
You can download the meeting notes template and give it a try. I predict you will have more focused and better meetings.