Effective communication forms the bedrock of success, especially for dynamic teams. At the heart of this communication lies the practice of documenting meetings. Amidst the array of documentation methods, the choice between meeting minutes vs notes is a pivotal decision that can significantly influence the outcomes of your meetings and, by extension, the overall productivity of your endeavors. 

But which of the two methods should you pay more attention to? Which documentation method works best for your team?

This article takes an incisive look at the distinctions between these two documentation methods by highlighting: 

  • What meeting minutes and meeting notes are;
  • The key differences between meeting minutes vs notes;
  • How using AI tools like Krisp can empower your meeting minutes and notes.

Understanding Meeting Minutes vs Notes

Keeping a good record of meeting discussions is a crucial and beneficial activity. By documenting the key discussions, decisions, and action items as agreed upon in a meeting, you can promote transparency, effective communication, and collaboration. 

However, meeting notes are different from meeting minutes. Although organizations tend to use them both, they differ in their offerings. For instance, there are instances when the meeting discussions are best documented through minutes, while notes may be ideal in other circumstances. 

So, what exactly is the difference between these two, and which one should you focus on? 

What Are Meeting Minutes?

Meeting minutes are a formal, comprehensive, and structured record of meeting proceedings, including the decisions and actions taken. These are meticulously compiled documents that provide a thorough account of all crucial aspects of the meeting. 

Meeting minutes tend to follow a particular format, and most include the following aspects: 

  • Essential meeting details: These include the meeting’s date, time, location, name, and list of attendees outlined at the beginning. This tends to provide a clearer context for the readers.
  • Agenda and discussions: Meeting minutes have a particular format they follow, and in most cases, this means documenting discussions as per the order of the agenda items. When you create and follow an effective meeting agenda, the minutes will capture the discussions, presentations, and other conversations surrounding it.
  • Decisions and actions: Meeting minutes have a section for highlighting the key decisions made during the meetings. Moreover, minutes may also cover the rationale behind these decisions, providing a better context for people that may not have attended the meeting. 

Besides outlining the decisions, meeting minutes may also highlight action items, including responsibilities and deadlines for the concerned teams or individuals.

  • Voting and resolutions: There may be votes and resolutions taken during certain formal meetings. These votes were taken and resolutions passed often go into the meeting minutes, providing official documentation of what was agreed upon.

Here’s our comprehensive guide to help you learn how to take meeting minutes like a pro.

What Are Meeting Notes?

Meeting notes are more succinct and informal records of a meeting. They capture the main talking points, action items, and key meeting takeaways. This makes these documents a more valuable tool for quick reference and personal reflection.

Moreover, meeting notes are usually less structured than meeting minutes. This allows the note-taker to be more flexible in capturing the essence of discussions without being tied to a specific template. This flexibility can lead to more dynamic and creative note-taking, especially during brainstorming sessions or informal team meetings.

In context, meeting notes often have the following parts that make them effective: 

  • Key takeaways: Meeting notes aim to capture the main insights, decisions, and outcomes of the meeting. This allows the users or readers to quickly grasp the highlights of the meeting without reading through lengthy minutes.
  • Action items: Meeting notes are used to emphasize action items. They are a reference for assigning tasks to teams or individuals, indicating the deadlines. This ensures that meeting participants generally know what their expectations are.

Notes offer the freedom to adopt a more casual and creative style of documentation. This way, without any strict templates to adhere to, note-takers can adapt their approach to the unique dynamics of each meeting.

Check out our guide to learn more about how to write a meeting summary and notes.

Key Differences Between Meeting Minutes and Meeting Notes

To know the best method of documentation for your meetings to follow, it would be prudent first to determine the main differences between meeting minutes vs notes. Each method serves a unique purpose and caters to different aspects of communication and collaboration. 

Let’s delve into the key differences between meeting minutes vs notes to better understand how these approaches can be strategically employed to capture the essence of your meetings.

Overall scope and detail

  • Meeting minutes: Meeting minutes are comprehensive records providing an in-depth account of the proceedings. Minutes cover the entire scope of the meeting, including the discussions, presentations, decisions, and action items.
  • Meeting notes: Taking meeting notes mainly focuses on the main takeaways, key decisions, and action items from a meeting. When jotting down meeting notes, the note-takers often omit extensive details, prioritizing brevity and clarity.

Formality and structure

  • Meeting minutes: Meeting minutes are often considered more formal and often may require approval from meeting participants. They adhere to a pre-defined structure, and minute-takers often follow a defined template, capturing all the details in a standard format.
  • Meeting notes: On the other hand, meeting notes are less formal and typically do not follow a rigid structure. These documents are mostly done by individuals for personal reference or to be shared with others in an informal setting, simply to keep everyone on the same page regarding the key discussions, decisions, and action items. Meeting notes can be easily shared in a meeting recap email or any preferred communication channels.

Purpose and audience

  • Meeting minutes: Meeting minutes are mostly intended for formal purposes, especially those with legal or regulatory implications. 

Minutes are ideal for documenting decisions, agreements, and actions that can help ensure accountability and compliance. In most cases, minutes are used in board meetings or shared with a broad audience, including stakeholders, higher management, and relevant outsiders.

  • Meeting notes: On the other hand, meeting notes are more versatile, as they can serve numerous functions. 

However, they are primarily intended for internal use, providing a quick reference for meeting participants to recall key points, tasks, and ideas. In most cases, meeting notes are ideal for brainstorming sessions, catch-up meetings, or informal team discussions.

Level of detail

  • Meeting minutes: Minutes are more extensive in the details captured, including verbatim or summarized discussions and descriptions of decisions made. 
  • Meeting notes: Meeting notes focus on brevity, omitting exhaustive discussions and only providing a snapshot of the meeting’s most important aspects.

Documentation effort

  • Meeting minutes: It is a no-brainer that curating meeting minutes can be time-consuming. This is mainly because of the comprehensive formatting and structuring that’s required. 
  • Meeting notes: Taking meeting notes is pretty straightforward and generally quicker than writing minutes. This is because doing so requires less formal effort, and the note-taker can concentrate on highlighting the key points and action items without delving into exhaustive details.

As highlighted above, meeting minutes differ from meeting notes in various ways, from the scope they cover, the detail, structure used, purpose, and how much effort may be needed to curate them. 

Elevate Your Meeting Documentation Efforts With Krisp

Effective meeting documentation is vital for successful communication and collaboration. However, curating comprehensive and meaningful meeting minutes or notes can often prove overwhelming for many individuals, such as when faced with virtual meeting fatigue.

Striking a balance between active participation and meticulous note-taking can be challenging, leading to the potential loss of crucial information.

Enter Krisp – an innovative solution that revolutionizes how you capture and curate meeting minutes and notes. 

Recognizing the difficulties many face in juggling engagement and note-taking, Krisp harnesses the power of advanced AI to streamline and enhance your meeting documentation process.

How Does Krisp Work?

By leveraging cutting-edge AI technology, Krisp ensures that no detail goes unnoticed during online meetings. The platform’s AI transcription capabilities accurately transcribe your meetings verbatim, preserving every word and nuance shared by participants.

Moreover, Krisp goes beyond mere transcription. 

It empowers you with automatic AI meeting summaries derived from the transcriptions. This means you can fully engage in your meetings, confident that Krisp is capturing your vital takeaways. 

These curated summaries highlight essential discussions, key decisions, noteworthy highlights, and actionable items, condensing the meeting’s essence into digestible insights.

What about the creation of meeting minutes?

Krisp’s innovation doesn’t stop at summaries. The platform offers automated meeting minutes, allowing you to effortlessly transform these curated discussions into detailed meeting minutes. This streamlined process saves you valuable time that would otherwise be spent laboring over comprehensive documentation.

By seamlessly integrating Krisp’s capabilities, you can enhance your meeting outcomes, increase productivity, and ensure that your documentation accurately reflects the essence of your discussions.


Try Krisp for free today and experience the future of automated meeting minutes and notes firsthand to elevate your meetings, streamline your documentation, and take the next step towards enhanced productivity.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can using digital tools or software enhance the process of documenting meeting minutes and notes?

Digital tools and software can significantly enhance the process of documenting meeting minutes and notes by providing streamlined and efficient solutions. 

These tools often offer features such as real-time collaboration, transcription, automatic formatting, and easy sharing, making it easier to create, edit, and distribute accurate meeting documentation. 

How can businesses and organizations ensure meeting minutes and notes are easily accessible and securely stored?

To ensure easy accessibility and secure storage of meeting minutes and notes, businesses and organizations can adopt cloud-based platforms, implement user permissions, perform regular backups, and use encryption technology to safeguard sensitive information. 

How should meeting minutes be structured to capture the key points of a meeting?

Meeting minutes should follow a structured format to capture the key points effectively, which includes capturing the key discussions based on the agenda, decisions made, and the action items for effective follow-ups.

Are meeting notes more informal than meeting minutes, and how should they be used?

Yes, meeting notes are typically more informal than meeting minutes. They are often used for internal reference and quick recollection.