What to do with processed meeting notes?

I take meeting notes with obsidian, which I then process, ie create new notes, add information to other notes, create tasks and so on.

My question is, what to do with the notes after I have finished processing them?
I see several options and would like your opinions and experiences. And if this was already asked, then also links to topics.

  1. Keep the (mostly messy in my case) meeting notes for reference. In this workflow I usually copy the note and then cut and paste or delete from the copy, to make sure, all items are processed. Afterwards I delete the empty copy.
  2. Rewrite the note. Leaves me with a readable and coherent note. Though it is sometimes awkward, as most topics should go into their own notes. If we had As we have transclusion of note parts, I could can transform the note to mostly contain transclusions.
  3. Process all information into other notes and delete the original note.

My thoughts:

  1. Leaves me with messy unreadable notes in my system.
  2. Makes it often awkward, when I processed everything. Either the note is then almost empty, or I linked to a lot of other notes, but then I feel I have “spider notes” that contain a lot of links that are not necessarily related (apart from being discussed in the same meeting).
  1. I feel I should not delete meeting notes. Maybe just fear. But I think it could be valuable to document, what was discussed when.

Having written this, I think I should go with 2). When I link to other notes, I could highlight, what information was added. However, as all notes are living notes, I fear that those links and change descriptions could become outdated, as the target notes may be rewritten to not contain that information anymore (need note history?).

I appreciate your own ideas, workflows or comments on mine.
I guess processing daily notes (which I don’t do) could be similar?

Edit: i just realizes that i can tranclude single headers, so there is a way to transclude only a part of a note :slight_smile:

An excerpt from How to Take Smart Notes (highly recommended if you have not read this!)

You need something to capture ideas whenever and wherever they pop into your head. Whatever you use, it should not require any thoughts, attention or multiple steps to write it down. It can be a notebook, a napkin, an app on your phone or iPad. These notes are not meant to be stored permanently. They will be deleted or chucked soon anyway. They only function as a reminder of a thought and are not meant to capture the thought itself, which requires time to phrase to proper sentences and check facts.

So the book distinguishes between permanent notes and the rough quick dirty notes that you use to capture, in a meeting for example.

If those captured notes are not useful, or not meant to keep for any HR or legal records or meeting minutes purposes, I would personally chuck them after you’ve processed the parts that you need to keep.

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Thank you for your input. I will read that book! (Or relisten to the bookworm episode or both.)

I guess I want meeting minutes.

This probably doesn’t answer your question, but my approach to meeting notes (not minutes) is to only keep and share two things:

  1. What decisions were reached at the meeting
  2. What next steps flow from those decisions (and who is doing each)
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Interesting topic. Personally, I like to keep meeting notes and other raw, source notes. I find that when I periodically go back to them, sometimes a new context, memory, or connection will get triggered.

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Exactly!

Though I am not keeping them raw, I try to rewrite and rearrange them so I can actually understand them later.
Keeping the notes also allows me to just leave information I don’t know what to do with in the note.

I now just accept that I will have sometimes duplicated information. Now I am embracing option 2.

Those are important. Worthy to visually separate them from the rest of the note. I need to find a good structure, and maybe put them at the top of the note so they stand out.

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I’ve actually toyed around with using the app Agenda for meeting notes and only meeting notes. You can get the important stuff out of it fairly easily, and you can avoid filling up your notes/writing apps with the cruft. It’s nice place for meeting notes to live without bothering anyone.

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I’m starting to get more comfortable with redundancy and cruft as long as their is clear separation between polished/permanent notes and transient/raw notes.

Obsidian is starting to provide the features to manage this. We just got advanced search syntax. Graph filtering is coming eventually. And I’m hoping for embeddable searches at some point.

I’ve found myself getting tripped up using other note-taking and PKM apps where I was trying to be too neat and organized, always terrified I was going to miss something or not find something later. Obsidian has relieved some of this anxiety by providing the flexibility and extensibility of plain text files with robust search and linking features.

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Haha, I had the same idea when I realized that I create date-stamped notes for future appointments to prepare and gather questions.
Seems like a good option if you prefer to keep things separated!

However, as Sam, I value using only one app very much. For one, because I do not have to transfer information back from agenda to obsidian. It is always in the system. And also because I can link topics/notes I want to discuss in that meeting. My meetings are about the things I put in obsidian :slight_smile:

Also I remember Agenda being quite hard to navigate keyboard only. One selling point of obsidian for me are its vim keybindings.

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