Taking Meeting Minutes

Administrative Assistant Resource
June 19, 2012 — 2,370 views  
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Administrators record meeting minutes to provide an informative paper trail on the development of new programs. Accuracy and the ability to keep up with a meeting’s motions are key requirements. Often, large corporations and government agencies hire a professional to record meeting minutes so that those who attended or missed the event can deliberate or examine what happened after.


Here are five tips for accurate minute taking:


1. Choose the right equipment. Depending on the minute-taking scenario, space available, the culture of the meeting and the preference of the individual, taking notes on one medium versus another can improve both accuracy and speed. Many young administrative professionals may prefer keyboards because they have grown up with the technology at their fingertips. In contrast, other individuals may find it more comforting to write out the meeting minutes and transcribe the document to a digital copy later.

2. Follow the agenda. If a schedule is available, grab a copy and use it as a reference for the duration of the meeting. The agenda will help provide reference points and give an administrator the information they need to appropriately organize documentation.

3. Don’t write down every comment. Trying to write down every word, phrase or action of attendees can drive an administrator mad. Therefore, streamline the process and hone in on actionable verbs and comments. These points demonstrate the direction of the meeting, allowing a reader to grasp the immediate concerns and discussion topics, without getting bogged down in minutia.

4. Make a note of all motions. Motions are an integral part of the minute-taking process. Make a note to include all motions discussed, the results of the vote, the person who introduced the motion and any scheduled for future meetings.

5. Organize document properly. An administrator charged with covering a reoccurring meeting may cut down on time spent organizing the record by building a template. Headings and bullet points structure information in an easy-to-read format. Experts recommend using headings and sub-headings titled topics, plans and actions approved. Each of these should include the names of the involved party, times and the location. In addition, proactive organizations may benefit from making a note of items placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

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