Health Literacy in the Wild: Meeting Notes Edition

alt: An adventuring doodle peers out from behind some foliage, binoculars in hand. In the background, a second doodle diligently types away at a computer. The adventuring doodle exclaims: “Behold the majestic meeting note taker. Marvel as they capture next steps with ease!”

In our newest series, Health Literacy in the Wild, we’re showing how you can apply health literacy principles in your workplace. Today’s edition will help your projects run more smoothly and your team stay more organized.

Ready? Let’s talk about meeting notes!

Here at We ❤︎ Health Literacy Headquarters, we’re busy designing infographics, building websites, and creating user-centered materials. And while it may not be the most exciting thing about the process, holding effective team meetings that produce clear takeaways about what’s happening next is part of what makes the magic happen.

Here’s how to draw from health literacy best practices to become a note-taking rockstar:

  • Summarize next steps. If you’re pressed for time and can’t record anything else, jot down the next steps, who’s going to do them, and when they need to be completed.
  • Keep it brief. Remember, you’re writing meeting notes, not a meeting transcript. Keep your notes focused on major updates, decisions, and next steps. Just like any well-written health material, the most helpful meeting notes are scannable and easy to read.
  • Use active voice. We ❤ active voice for pretty much all writing, but it’s especially important in meeting notes. “Kate will revise the fact sheet” is a lot more helpful than “The fact sheet will be revised.” (Also, there’s no shame in getting by with a little help from the zombies if you have trouble telling the difference between active and passive voice.)
  • Be specific. The best meeting notes are the ones that anyone can pick up and understand — even someone who wasn’t at the meeting. Instead of “Change the color to blue,” try “Pat will change the call-out box background color to the blue from the 9/22 color palette.”
  • Share notes soon after you meet. It’s good practice to jot down notes during a meeting, clean them up immediately after, and send them out within a day. This way, you’ll help keep your team on track!

The bottom line: Your team will thank you for taking clear, actionable meeting notes. And that’s a health literacy win!

Tweet about it: How can #HealthLit principles help you take better meeting notes? @CommunicateHlth has tips:


Browse recent posts

Do you heart health literacy? We sure do! Sign up to get practical health literacy tips and tricks — delivered to your inbox every week.