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Top Meeting Summary Templates and Tools [with Examples]


Top Meeting Summary Templates and Tools [with Examples]

Explore a range of adaptable meeting templates that can be customised to suit various meeting sizes and purposes, enabling more structured, productive, and successful discussions.
Published on
June 13, 2024

Meeting summaries are essential for effective communication and record-keeping within an organisation. They provide a concise overview of the key points discussed, decisions made, and action items assigned during a meeting. By capturing this information in a clear and organised manner, meeting summaries ensure that all attendees are on the same page and that critical information is remembered.

Creating meeting summaries can be time-consuming, especially if you have to start from scratch each time. This is where templates and tools come in handy. These resources enable the efficient creation of polished and structured meeting summaries, reducing the time and effort involved.

What is a Meeting Summary?

A meeting summary is a concise document that captures the key points discussed during a meeting. It is a central reference point for attendees and anyone who may have yet to be present.

Meeting Summary elements

  • Meeting Details: Include the date, time, title, and attendees (both present and absent).
  • Agenda Review: Briefly summarise the main topics covered during the meeting.
  • Key Decisions: Clearly outline the key decisions made and any future actions resulting from those decisions.
  • Action Items: List all action items, including who is responsible for each one and the deadlines for completion.
  • Next Steps: Briefly outline any upcoming deadlines or next steps related to the meeting discussions.

Download Now: Free Meeting Summary Templates

Discover templates can be used for meetings of any size, from small team discussions to larger departmental or company-wide gatherings.

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Meeting Summary’s Contribution to Organisational Memory and Accountability

Meeting summaries are crucial in maintaining organisational memory and promoting accountability within a team or company. By documenting the key outcomes of a meeting, summaries ensure that important information is preserved and remembered over time. This is particularly valuable for future reference, as team members can easily look back at past summaries to review decisions made, tasks assigned, and progress achieved.

Moreover, meeting summaries foster accountability by clearly assigning action items to specific individuals and setting deadlines for completion. This helps ensure that tasks are followed through and that team members are responsible for their commitments. By providing a written record of these assignments, meeting summaries make it easier to track progress and address any issues or delays that may arise.

In addition to promoting accountability, meeting summaries contribute to transparency and inclusivity within an organisation. By sharing summaries with all relevant stakeholders, including those who may not have been present at the meeting, everyone is kept informed and has the opportunity to provide input or feedback. This helps break down silos and ensures that all team members are working towards common goals.

Advantages of Using Templates

Using templates for meeting summaries offers several significant advantages that can help streamline the post-meeting process and ensure consistency in communication.

Standardising the Summary Process

One primary benefit of using templates is that they standardise the meeting summary process. By providing a pre-designed structure and format, templates ensure that all summaries include the necessary information and follow a consistent layout. This standardisation makes it easier for readers to quickly find the information they need as they become familiar with the template's structure over time.

Templates also help maintain your organisation's professional image by ensuring that all meeting summaries have a polished and cohesive appearance. This is particularly important when sharing summaries with external stakeholders, such as clients or partners, as it demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism.


Creating meeting summaries from scratch can be time-consuming, especially if you attend multiple weekly meetings. Using pre-formatted templates, however, can significantly reduce the time spent creating summaries, as the basic structure and layout are already in place.

Instead of worrying about formatting and design, you can focus on capturing the essential information from the meeting and filling in the appropriate sections of the template. This saves time and allows you to distribute the summary more quickly to attendees and other stakeholders, ensuring everyone is informed and can take action promptly.

Customisation for Various Meeting Types

While templates provide a standard structure, they can also be customised to fit the specific needs of various types of meetings. For example, a template for a project status meeting may include sections for milestones, budget updates, and risk management, while a template for a creative brainstorming session may focus more on ideas generated and the next steps for exploration.

By tailoring templates to the specific purpose and goals of each meeting, you can ensure that the summary captures the most relevant information and provides value to all stakeholders. This customisation also allows for flexibility in adapting to different meeting styles and requirements within your organisation.

Furthermore, many template tools can create and save multiple templates, allowing you to have a library of pre-designed summaries for various meeting types. This makes selecting the appropriate template for each meeting easy, further streamlining the summary creation process.

Top Meeting Summary Templates

Meeting summary templates come in various formats and styles, each designed to cater to specific types of meetings and their unique requirements. This section will provide an overview of different meeting summary templates and discuss their features and use cases.

Informal Meeting Minutes Template

For more casual meetings, such as team huddles or brainstorming sessions, an informal meeting minutes template can be used. This template is less structured and focuses on capturing the main points of the discussion, ideas generated, and any action items or next steps. It is ideal for meetings that are more conversational and less formal in nature.

Staff Meetings and Team Minutes Template

The standard meeting minutes template suits regular staff meetings and team updates. This template includes sections for the meeting date, time, location, attendees, agenda items, discussion points, decisions made, and action items. It provides a comprehensive overview of the meeting and is ideal for keeping track of ongoing discussions and progress within a team.

Project-related Meeting Minutes Template

A detailed meeting minutes template is recommended for project-related meetings that require a more in-depth record of the discussion. This template includes additional sections for background information, project updates, risks and issues, and next steps. It is particularly useful for meetings that involve multiple stakeholders, complex topics, or critical decision-making.

Executive and Board Meeting Template

Formal meeting minutes templates are designed for executive and board meetings that require a more structured and official record. These templates often include sections for the call to order, approval of previous minutes, old business, new business, reports, and adjournment. They may also have space for recording motions, votes, and resolutions. Formal meeting minutes can be legal documents essential for maintaining corporate records.

Client Meeting Minutes Template

A client meeting minutes template is essential for client-facing roles, such as sales or account management. This template focuses on capturing the key points of the discussion with the client, including their needs, concerns, and any agreed-upon actions. It helps ensure that all parties are aligned on the meeting's outcomes and provides a reference for future interactions.

Training Meeting Minutes Template

Training meeting minutes templates are used for workshops, seminars, and other learning events. These templates include sections for the training topic, instructor, participants, key learning points, and any follow-up actions or resources. They serve as a record of the training content and help participants retain and apply the knowledge gained.

Minutes of Meetings (MoM) Template 

Creating an inclusive and precise Minutes of Meeting (MoM) template ensures the meeting minutes are fully recorded and provides decision-making support within the meeting. The structure of these templates provides various advantages, such as accurate representation of a discussion and decisions, which aids in transparency and accountability. 

Cornell Notes Template

Found in 1965 by Dr. Walter Pauk at Cornell University, the Cornell notes method develops note-taking abilities that are excellent as a memory aide. It divides pages into three sections: a note-taking column and a summary section beside the cue column. C The format can be customised to work effectively for team meetings or one-on-one discussions, helping to ensure that important points are captured and action items are identified. Many popular note-taking applications, such as Notion, Evernote, and Microsoft OneNote, already include pre-built Cornell Notes templates, making implementing this proven system in a digital environment easy.

AI-Powered Meeting Summary Tools

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has improved the way we create meeting summaries. AI-powered tools have emerged as a game-changer, offering a faster and more efficient way to generate accurate and comprehensive meeting notes. 

AI-powered meeting summary tools leverage advanced technologies such as natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and speech recognition to generate meeting summaries automatically. These tools can analyse audio or video recordings of meetings and written notes or transcripts to identify key points, decisions, and action items.

Some AI tools even offer real-time summarisation, allowing participants to see a live meeting summary as it unfolds. This can be particularly useful for remote meetings or webinars, where attendees may need to catch up quickly on what has been discussed.

Examples of Popular AI-Powered Meeting Summary Tools


Otter.ai is a popular AI-powered tool that offers real-time transcription and summarization of meetings. It can integrate with various video conferencing platforms, such as Zoom and Google Meet, and provides a searchable archive of past meeting summaries.


Fireflies.ai is another AI tool that generates meeting summaries and action items. It can integrate with calendars and email to join and record meetings automatically, and it provides a centralised dashboard for managing and sharing meeting notes.


Sembly.ai is an AI tool that generates summaries for virtual meetings. It can integrate with popular video conferencing platforms and provides real-time transcription and summarisation. Sembly.ai also offers features such as speaker identification and sentiment analysis.

Tips for Writing Effective Meeting Summaries

While templates and AI tools can significantly assist in creating meeting summaries, the quality and effectiveness of the summary ultimately depend on the person writing it. Here are some tips to help you write clear, concise, and actionable meeting summaries that keep your team informed and aligned.

Avoid Transcribing Every Word

One common mistake when writing meeting summaries is trying to capture every word or detail of the discussion. This takes a lot of time and can result in a lengthy and unfocused summary. Instead, focus on summarising the key points, decisions, and action items most relevant to the team.

When taking notes during the meeting, listen for the main ideas and conclusions rather than attempting to write down every comment verbatim. Use bullet points or short phrases to capture the essence of the discussion, and avoid including unnecessary details or side conversations that don't contribute to the overall outcome.

Stay Objective and Impartial

As the meeting summary writer, maintain objectivity and impartiality when presenting discussions and decisions. Avoid injecting personal opinions or biases into the summary; instead, focus on accurately representing the views and contributions of all participants.

Use neutral language and tone when describing different perspectives or disagreements, and avoid making judgments or taking sides. If a decision was made, clearly state what was decided and its rationale without editorialising or adding your commentary.

Consider Sharing Your Screen

If you take notes during a virtual meeting, consider sharing your screen with the other participants. This allows everyone to see the summary in real time and provides an opportunity for immediate feedback and alignment.

Sharing your screen can also help keep the discussion on track, as participants can see what points have already been captured and what still need to be addressed. It also ensures transparency and accountability, as everyone can see how their contributions are recorded and summarised.

Proofread and Edit Before Sharing

Before sharing the meeting summary with the team, take the time to proofread and edit the document. Check for spelling or grammatical errors, and ensure the summary is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Use bullet points or numbered lists to break up long paragraphs and make the summary more scannable. Use headings and subheadings to organise the information and make finding specific points or action items easier.

If any areas are unclear or require further clarification, contact the relevant participants to confirm the details before finalising the summary. This helps ensure accuracy and prevents misunderstandings or confusion down the line.

Integrating Templates with Digital Tools

Integrating meeting summary templates into digital tools can significantly enhance the summarisation process. By combining the structure and consistency of templates with the collaboration and automation features of digital tools, teams can ensure that all relevant information is captured and shared in a timely manner.

Mind Mapping Tools for Meetings and Brainstorming Sessions

Mind mapping Tools such as  MindMeister, XMind, and Lucidchart encourage teamwork and creativity. They are the visualisation of thoughts that push creative development. Collaborative tools, including Miro and Microsoft Whiteboard, allow real-time sharing and editing. Visual brainstorming tools capture and group ideas in an easy-to-use way. 

Meeting Management Platforms

Beam is a people management tool designed specifically for managers who want to foster highly engaged teams. It provides powerful tools that enable managers and employees to effectively connect, align goals, and discuss challenges. Beam's intuitive meeting tool allows users to seamlessly integrate meetings into their calendars and schedule them with just one click. It also gives managers a comprehensive overview of each employee's progress, including valuable insights into goals, updates, real-time feedback, and past meeting records.

Transitioning from traditional to digital meeting summary templates means embracing online platforms and electronic note-taking tools. These digital tools offer flexibility, cooperation, and accessibility for quickly creating, sharing, and saving meeting summaries. 

The Bottom Line: Elevate Your Meetings with Useful Summaries

In conclusion, mastering the art of meeting summaries is a valuable skill that can significantly improve communication, collaboration, and productivity within your organisation. By leveraging the power of templates, AI tools, and best practices, you can create meeting summaries that keep your team informed, aligned, and focused on achieving your goals.

So, embrace the power of effective meeting summaries and watch your team's performance soar. With the right tools and techniques, you can transform your meetings from time-consuming 

obligations to productive and engaging sessions that drive results. 


How can I ensure my meeting summaries are accessible and easily searchable for future reference?

To ensure that your meeting summaries are accessible and easily searchable for future reference, consider implementing a consistent naming convention and file organisation system. This could include using descriptive file names, including the meeting date, topic, and relevant keywords.

What are some strategies for encouraging team members to read and engage with meeting summaries?

One effective strategy for encouraging team members to read and engage with meeting summaries is to make them visually appealing and easy to digest. This can be achieved using clear headings, bullet points, and visual elements such as images or graphs to break up the text and highlight information. 

How can I balance the need for comprehensive meeting summaries with the desire for brevity and efficiency?

Balancing the need for comprehensive meeting summaries with the desire for brevity and efficiency requires careful consideration of the meeting's purpose, audience, and outcomes. 

One approach is to use a structured template that includes sections for the most essential information, such as decisions, action items, and next steps. This helps ensure the summary captures the critical points without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.

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