Taking Minutes


Taking minutes doesn’t mean writing down every single word said at the meeting – phew!


However, you do need a brief and clear summary of what was discussed and agreed upon. At the end of each discussion topic, confirm the decision, the action to be taken, who is responsible, and the timeline for completion.


Key Steps for Taking Effective Minutes

  1. Attendance: List the attendees and record any apologies from those not present.
  2. Previous Minutes: Ensure the minutes from the previous meeting are read, approved, and signed by the Chairperson.
  3. Agenda Order: Follow the agenda, giving each section a subheading and writing separate paragraphs for each topic.
  4. Main Issues and Decisions: Summarize the main issues and decisions. You don’t need to note individual views unless there’s strong opposition.
  5. Voting: If a vote is taken, make more detailed notes.
  6. Timely Write-Up: Write up the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting while the discussions are fresh in your mind.
  7. Prompt Distribution: Send out the minutes promptly so those who missed the meeting know what was discussed and those with tasks are reminded of their responsibilities.
  8. Follow-Up: Put a reminder in your diary to follow up on the assigned tasks.
  9. AGM Minutes: For AGMs, which are governed by stricter rules, keep a formal note stating names of proposers and seconders, quoting the exact text of resolutions, and the results of the voting.

Useful Words in Minutes

  1. Agree: Indicates a strong consensus supporting a particular course of action.
  2. Noted: Means that a matter was reported, but no decision was necessary.
  3. Received: Indicates that a report was presented and accepted.
  4. Approved: Means that a recommendation has been endorsed.
  5. Resolved: Indicates that a motion was formally proposed, voted upon, and passed.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your meeting minutes are clear, concise, and effective.