Taking minutes for a meeting is a common task that almost anyone in an organisation is be asked to do from time to time. A meeting's minutes, simply put, are a record of the comments made and actions executed during the meeting. There is a fairly standard way to take meeting minutes and type them up that will help you to put together a professional-looking record of the meeting's events.
Obtain a copy of the meeting's agenda before attending the meeting. Make a rough outline in which you can write the minutes. Include a new heading for each item on the agenda as well as a section at the bottom of the minutes for "AOB" (any other business). You can take the initial meeting minutes on a piece of paper, or type them up directly onto a laptop computer.
Prepare a list of the attendees expected to arrive at the meeting. Print the list onto a sheet of paper if you would like each person to sign in, or keep the list handy so you can check off attendees as they arrive. If you are unfamiliar with any of the attendees, sketch out a seating chart and make sure that each person is introduced so you can correctly identify speakers throughout the meeting.
When the meeting begins, take note of the time. As the meeting progresses, note discussion points, motions made, who made each motion, votes taken and resulting decisions. Note when the meeting is adjourned.
Review your notes from the meeting as well as the sign-in sheet, if your used one, in preparation for typing up the final draft of the meeting minutes.
Head the meeting minutes with the name of the organisation, purpose of the meeting and meeting chair. Below that, list the date that the meeting took place as well as the time that it began and ended.
List the attendees and absent members of the meeting. For each topic that was discussed, list relevant points, actions taken and the name of the person who passed the motion or was responsible for addressing each topic.
Take a final copy of the typed meeting minutes to the meeting's chair for approval. In some organisations, approval of previous minutes will take place at the beginning of the next meeting.
- University of Warwick: How to Write Meeting Minutes
- 10 Steps to Successful Meetings; ASTD Editors; 2009
- If you're concerned about keeping up with the pace of the meeting, take a tape recorder along to supplement your notes when you are typing up the final minutes for the meeting.
- Don't labour over recording the details of every discussion. The objective of meeting minutes is to record what was done rather than what was said.