Meeting Action Items Template: Definition and How To Use It
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated December 1, 2022 | Published November 9, 2021
Updated December 1, 2022
Published November 9, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A meeting action items template can be a useful alternative to a to-do list that briefly describes different tasks. This template can help project managers and company leaders provide employees with more detailed information about assigned tasks and direct them to the resources necessary to complete those tasks. Knowing how to use a meeting action items template can help you increase workplace productivity and delegate various tasks more easily.
In this article, we explain a meeting action items template, describe how to use one in seven steps, offer tips for designing one, list the benefits of this type of template and provide an example.
What is a meeting action items template?
A meeting action items template lists the tasks that project managers or leaders assign to attendees after a meeting. These tasks often have a specific time frame for completion. An action item typically has a limited scope and doesn't qualify as a meeting objective, but it still explains who is responsible for a specific task, what the purpose of the task is and when it needs completing.
One person writes the task list and creates meeting action items, and a manager may then explain the task to the person responsible for completing it. The action items listed on a template may include a combination of corrective, decisive and priority actions. Using the meeting action items template after a meeting can help managers address each aspect of a task and assign and track items more quickly. It also serves as a single source of information for teams to use when completing large projects.
How to use a meeting action items template
There may be various topics your colleagues and team want to discuss during a meeting, so ensuring that you have all the necessary information to construct an action items template before the meeting can be important. Here are some steps you can take to create and use a detailed action items template:
1. Organize your information
First, collect all the information about the project or initiative. You may do this using a variety of digital tools. In addition, communicate with your team members about what still needs completing. You may also want to review meeting minutes from previous meetings. Spreadsheets can be a useful way to outline basic project tasks. You can use them to add tabs that other team members can later edit to develop a larger action items template.
Related: How To Create a Google Spreadsheet
2. List action items
Once you have the information you need, you can begin to identify and list action items for the project. These items provide instructions on completing a task, which can help simplify the more complex action items. Once you list each action item, you can begin customizing the template and adding new items as the requirements of the project change.
3. Prioritize each item
Next, begin ordering your list of items based on each employee's importance or level of priority. For example, you might list items that may take longer to complete before items that are likely to take a shorter amount of time to complete. Prioritizing the action items within your template can help each team member to better understand the specific time frame for completion. It can also ensure that they meet their deadlines.
4. Add related information
Add additional information you feel might be relevant for each action item. This information may include a description of the action item, the name of the team member to who you assigned the item, the item's level of priority, its due date, its current status and any additional notes that might be useful. Adding this information may help team members understand what you expect from them.
5. Track item status
Track the status of each task carefully to ensure that team members are completing their assignments on time. This may also include reviewing budgets and monitoring changes. Using cloud-based tools and technologies may help increase efficiency and allow you to track items more easily. Try to use a tool that provides all users or team members with status updates and allows you to send them periodic reminders.
6. Update the template
Consider allowing your team to edit the template you created and update it as needed. You may also allow them to insert comments or questions about their action items. This can help increase collaboration and allow your team to quickly address different items. The ability to update meeting action items using a template can help you quickly communicate the project's progress and ensure that it stays on schedule.
7. Review the template
Meeting action item templates can help you review team members' performance, make more informed decisions and learn more about the costs associated with completing each task. Review it regularly and remove action items that your team has completed. This can help you identify the tasks that are taking longer to achieve while also making it easier for you to add new items.
Tips for designing a meeting action items template
Composing a comprehensive meeting action items template can help you better support your team throughout each project stage. Here are some tips to help you design and improve your template:
Engage in brainstorming
Spend some time brainstorming before you begin creating your action items template. Brainstorming can help you list each item more easily. Consider arranging a brainstorming session with your team to allow each team member to offer their input.
When taking meeting notes, you may use shorthand, but when creating your template, it can be important that you include clear details and write comprehensively so others can understand it. Use your meeting notes to detail each action item for your team. Try to include additional details that make the items easier to understand and execute.
Create specific verticals
Add as much detail as possible to your template with verticals. Verticals are specific details that relate to a given item and help you design a more comprehensive template. You may determine what verticals to include by reviewing your meeting minutes. Some verticals you might use in your template include:
Unique identification number
Description of action items
Mark important deadlines and dates
Deadlines and due dates can be especially important for tracking action items. Make an effort to mark deadlines, completion dates and overdue tasks regularly. As deadlines change, update your template and inform your team about each new deadline.
Some actions may require work from more than one meeting participant. Create a continuous flow of actions by asking one team member to update the other member when their part of the work is complete. This can increase team efficiency and communication, allowing for faster task completion.
Highlight action items
Meeting notes and action item templates can contain a lot of different information. Highlighting certain items can help make your template easier to understand, allowing team members to identify the tasks that need completing quickly. It can also help you save time by making it easier for you to locate certain items and determine what still needs accomplishing.
Benefits of using an action items template
There are multiple benefits of using a template to complete tasks after a meeting. An action items template can help you ensure that your team completes each requirement on time. Some additional benefits that a template offers include:
Enhanced performance tracking: An action items template can help you determine who's responsible for which item and allow you to evaluate their progress more easily.
Improved project management: This template can also make it easier for you to manage project resources and teams, allowing you to improve the quality of individual action items and better mitigate risks.
Increased data collection potential: You can also use the template to collect a variety of useful project data, allowing you to create more comprehensive project checklists and determine which additional items to add to the template.
Example of an action items template
Action item templates are typically more detailed versions of a meeting checklist. The style and format you use for your template may vary depending on several factors, including the requirements of your project. Here's an example template that may help you in creating your own:
Build new website
Design a new website for the newest client
Met with the client to discuss the initial design
Arrange meetings with sales leads
Call three to five leads and arrange a meeting
One meeting arranged with Sarbroke Incorporated, other leads awaiting approval
Collect data from clients
Create and send a survey to current clients and design a data analysis report
Marketing research team
Completed survey, awaiting approval from marketing director
Please note that the company mentioned in this article is not affiliated with Indeed.
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