Business

How To Take Minutes in a Meeting

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

I was so nervous when I wrote my first meeting minutes. Before that, one question had come to my mind, “How to take minutes in a meeting?” From my experience, I understand it has a vast effect. Decisions are made in these meetings, which involve a lot of time and money. It can change people’s careers or companies’ fates.

Surprisingly, from 2020 to 2021, the number of meetings attended by workers increased by 12.9%. Even so, the value of the global video conferencing market grew from $3.85 billion to $6.03 billion. That’s a value increase of 36%.

This blog details meeting minutes, their importance, tasks involved, writing format, and many more. So, read and enrich yourself.

What are Meeting Minutes?

Minutes are concise notes taken during the meeting to remind you of what has been discussed and agreed upon. It is written data and accurate accounts of the proceedings. In addition, they must record essential details, opinions, and assignments and take notes for future meetings and explanations of previous meeting details.

An assistant, a professional note-taker, and the company secretary are mainly responsible for taking minutes. In any general meeting, anyone can take minutes, especially those assigned by the boss.

How to take minutes in a meeting

How Are Meeting Minutes Recorded?

You keep a pen, a diary or a laptop to write down your points, but sometimes you can miss them. So, it’s better to record. To do so, you can use:

  • A mobile device
  • A recording app
  • Face-cam reactions to recordings
  • A video editor.
  • Manage meeting recording tools
  • Zoom in the virtual meeting.

What Should be Contained in the Recorded Meeting Minutes?

You must mentally prepare for any meeting and arrive early before the other attendees. For example, a group may use a specific format to record notes. It typically includes the following details:

  • Company name
  • The purpose of the meeting
  • Date and time of the meeting begin and end
  • Presenters and absentees list
  • Agenda
  • Signature
  • Acceptance of or amendments to the previous meeting’s minutes
  • Decisions will be made regarding each item on the agenda, including the following:
    • Approved or engaged in activities
    • Next actions
    • Accepted or rejected work
    • New business
    • Any legal action
    • Time and date of the upcoming meeting
    • Discussion of previous topics/agenda
    • A synopsis of the conversation
    • Outcome/action points
    • Any deadlines for actions

How Detailed Should the Minutes Be?

Be attentive and pay attention when taking minutes and keep in mind the following details:

  • Board and regulated meetings need a clear outline of the discussion, decisions, and action points.
  • Meetings in a team usually include an action plan, a deadline, and who will do what.
  • When you meet a client, he concentrates on his needs and speaks with you in great detail. Don’t promise or discuss beyond your limit; use it for future reference.
  • Summarise the discussion, note each important point, and give each attendee credit for it.
  • The last paragraph is stated at the end, along with the disagreements and discussion that led to those conclusions. It typically involves follow-on actions.
  • Be sure to record who assigned subsequent tasks to whom and what their deadlines are.

How to take minutes in a meeting

How Do I Write Effective Meeting Minutes?

Minutes are an official written record, so it is essential to write effectively. Consider the following advice to write successful meeting minutes :

Basic points:

  • Make a note of who is present and who sends an apology for being absent. Write down their names and positions.
  • Write the schedule, what decisions were made, and by whom.
  • You can use your shorthand and abbreviations to save time and keep up with the discussion.
  • If you forget something, you can follow up with the organiser, like someone’s name spelling.
  • Review the previous outline and make any necessary adjustments.

Writing issues:

  • Be sure about the spelling and write it in the same tense form.
  • Write down as soon as possible after the meeting, while everything is fresh in your mind.
  • Edit and create a concise document, avoiding irrelevance and repetition; make it easy to read.
  • Proofread several times before sharing your meeting minutes.
  • Make sure your senior has read and approved it before distributing it.
  • You can use Google Docs.

Things to consider:

  • Review your outline and, if necessary, add notes or clarify points.
  • Check repeatedly to ensure all decisions, actions, and motions are noted.
  • Depending on your board, minutes are formally approved at the beginning of the next meeting. 
  • Don’t be afraid to interrupt and ask someone to speak louder or repeat if you can’t hear what they’re saying. It may happen as they speak softly or if there are signal problems. Typically, the problem is mostly seen in virtual meetings.
  • In Board meeting minutes, including a short description of each action and the reason behind it.
  • If there was a lot of discussion before taking action, note these arguments for further reference.
  • Minutes must be signed by the board members and chairman.

How to take minutes in a meeting

What Tasks Are Involved in Taking Minutes?

The basic tasks are involved for the minute-taker as follows:

  • Take rough/draft notes during meetings.
  • Writing or typing these notes in clear text.
  • Copy and circulate them to relevant people.
  • Keep every meeting’s minutes in one place for easy access.

What Is the Format for Writing Meeting Minutes?

You will have to take thorough meeting notes that people must be able to refer to later if necessary. An example of one template is as follows:

  1. Who attended?
  2. What time did the meeting begin? Where was it held?
  3. Agenda Item ( should be a question, not a topic. Topics reappear, and questions get answered)
    1. Key points made and by whom
    2. Decision made?
    3. Assignment and date for the expected report?
  4. Agenda Item – Same as above (#3 ) and continuing so on.
  5. Be prepared to list the decisions and assignments made at the end of the meeting.
  6. The time when the meeting ended.

How Do You Take Notes From a Meeting?

Before taking minutes, first learn what to do before, during, and after the meeting. Here are some ideas to help you and make your work easier, such as- 

  • You can use templates from online; just edit the company’s name, logo, or other copyright terms.
  • Select your recording tools.
  • Take every piece of information accurately.
  •  Keep track of all decisions and outcomes.
  • Use precise words and avoid unnecessary conversation.
  • Get a copy of the budget and reports.
  • Double-check what you have written.

How to take minutes in a meeting

What Should You Write Down?

Whatever the type of meeting or the size of the group, there are a few essential items that you should never forget to write down. 

  • When you have a meeting, there are certain things you should always write down. These include notes about what was discussed, who attended, and what decisions were made.
  • Write meeting’s date, time and venue. 
  • Once you have these basic details, you can start listing the agenda items that were discussed. 
  • Mention previous agenda and their result.
  • Make a note of any decisions that were made or any action items that need to be completed for each agenda item.
  • Don’t forget to include the greetings part also. 
  • If there was anything else of note that came up during the discussion, make sure to jot it down as well.
  • It is important to write down everything that happened during the meeting.
  • Once you’ve jotted down all of this information, you should have a good understanding of what was discussed at the meeting.
  • From there, you can start compiling the minutes of the meeting and sending it to your superior for approval.
  • Proofread it before sending them out to everyone who attended the meeting. This ensures accuracy and avoid any confusion or misunderstanding down the line.

Mainly the minutes will ensure that everyone is on the same page and can refer back to what was discussed at a later date if necessary. Definitely it will be preserve as a official record.

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How to take minutes in a meeting

How To Take Minutes At A Board Meeting?

The board meeting minutes serve as an official and legal record of the Board of Directors’ meeting. It is quite different from other meetings and used for the below context-

  • Tracking progress
  • Detailing plans
  • Reference point
  • Record of motions
  • Votes
  • Abstentions

If you are a company secretary, you are solely responsible for filing and sharing the minutes of each session. So you have to maintain the following norms: 

Be prepared: Every organisation records its minutes differently. Discuss with the board president and use that one. It is necessary to record discussions objectively.

Practice: Ask the board president for a copy of the meeting agenda, including the names of all attendees, guests, or speakers. Review past meeting minutes and make a template. 

Take Record: You have to think about what information you need to record. Select and arrange your equipment.

Common fact: To take effective minutes for a board meeting, you can use some common facts:

  • Company Name
  • Date  and time of the meeting
  • Names of the participants and absentees
  • Corrections and amendments of the previous minutes
  • Additions to the current agenda
  • Whether a quorum is present
  • Motions taken or rejected
  • Voting-that there was a motion and a second, and the outcome of the vote
  • Actions taken or agreed to be taken
  • Next steps
  • Items to be held over
  • New business
  • Open discussion or public participation
  • Next meeting date and time
  • Time of adjournment

Final issues: You can review the following points on the agenda:

  • A short statement.
  • Action taken by the board.
  • A brief explanation for their decision.
  • If there are extensive arguments, write a summary of the primary debates.
  • Avoid inflammatory comments and personal observations.
  • Avoid adjectives and adverbs.
  • Make sure your language is precise, clear, and complete.
  • Try to finish it in three or four lines and keep it brief. As stated in the agenda, you may extend it.
  • They are considered legal records and proof of the facts.
  • Record board meetings so that the decisions and intentions of the board of directors are accurately reflected.
  • Adjusting or amending anything is legally required by the board.
  • Apply the proper language to avoid any legal complications.

How to take minutes in a meeting

How Do You Write Minutes Faster?

Writing fast is about improving your focus and concentration. Here are some tips to increase your writing speed. 

  • Check your internet connection (virtual meeting).
  • Write regularly and quickly.
  • Break the writing process into steps.
  • Create an outline first.
  • Use a timer for writing speed.
  • Don’t edit too much while writing
  • Just take a rough note.
  • Don’t research; leave it for  later
  • Use typing software to speed up.
  • Dictate your writing.
  • Use a text expander.
  • Write in a distraction-free

Why Is It Important to Have Minutes?

It’s essential to write meeting minutes for any company. There are many reasons why it is vital to take board minutes.

  • Meeting minutes are the detailed records that serve as the formal written minutes of a conference or meeting.
  • It is a written and legal requirement. A board meeting in the UK is legally required to take minutes. 
  • You can note the actions, votes, abstentions, and outcomes to show how equally the board members are responsible. You can easily track their accountability.
  • It safeguards you in the event of legal action. It is difficult to prove your innocence if you don’t note the action in the minutes. These documents are used as proof in audits.   
  • You can clearly understand not only the decisions made but also the next step of action. 
  • Clearly specify the deadline and who is in charge of that action. This reminds them of their duties and accountability. 
  • They track progress because the minutes contain action points. The board can quickly assess the reality.
  • Before the next meeting, everyone should read properly and give their approval. The act is an instant reminder of what has or hasn’t been achieved in the interim. 
  • A board is created with many moving parts that do not always agree. It shows who voted for and against the various motions, which means that members have ownership of their decisions. Keep it as a note for further modification if required.

Conclusion

I hope you now understand how to take minutes in a meeting. It is a key administrative role. So, you have to be aware of every step. When taking minutes, you cannot cut corners on anything. So take your responsibility and be confident.

Good luck!


Post Author

Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.


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