Whether it’s a big conference or small team meeting, it is vital that the company meetings are documented. This documentation work is often undertaken by someone attending the meeting, wherein they simply have to note down important points, also known as minutes.

So, if you have been selected for noting down meeting minutes, then go through our step-by-step guide.

But before we get into the guide, let’s understand what are minutes and what is their purpose.

Yeah, we know that the term ‘Minutes’ sounds a little bit misleading, but in actuality it means the important points of a meeting. It is a documentation record of the meeting that provides information to those who feel that they might have to go over the details once again at a later stage or for the ones who could not attend it.

Now, there are also some terms that you need to make yourself familiar with before you start recording minutes of meeting. These are:

  • Minute taker: the person responsible for noting down the minutes of meeting
  • Quorum: minimum meetings participants need to attend to decide an outcome
  • Action: a task completed after the meeting’s decisions
  • Regrets: Meeting attendees who were unable to attend
  • Motion: when an attendee makes a proposal

How to note down minutes?

Now that you know what minutes of meeting are, you may think that the job is really easy. But, before you take this responsibility lightly, we would like to tell you that it can get a little bit difficult.

You see, a minute taker needs to be a good listener. You also have to be quick in transcribing what you hear and ensure that it gets adequately translated on the document. That being said, we’ve mentioned a few steps that you need to follow to see to it that you do not miss out on any of the important points.

  1. Pre-planning

It is always nice to be prepared for your meeting. So, make sure that you set up your format beforehand. Well, you can take help of some of the templates available online. Also, set an agenda and expected conclusion of the meeting. In order to make sure that the meeting is on track, keep the agenda with you.

  1. Notetaking in between the meeting

Begin with noting down the location, date, time and number of attendees of the meeting. If a higher number of attendees are present for the meeting, prepare a signup sheet and make sure each attendee writes their details in it. You will also have to prepare a ‘Regrets’ sheet for those who could not attend the meeting, as it will help when you are about to distribute the minutes to them. You will have to include the following in the meeting:

  • Actions
  • Votes (if any taken)
  • Motions
  • Topics to be discussed in next meeting
  • Next meeting time/date
  1. Writing minutes

When you are writing minutes, ensure that they are legit, neat and well organised if you have to take a look at them in the future or have to hand it out to your co-workers. You will have to write down accurate information, as the meeting takes place in front of you. To make sure nobody loses track when they are reading, use correct bullets, headings and subheadings wherever it is needed.

  1. Sharing with people

Now that you have prepared the minutes, you will have to share it with both your board and client, if they demand. So, make sure that they are well formatted and can be easily understood. There are various platforms available through which you can share the minutes. If you wish, share them via electronic platforms, such as Google Drive, Evernote and The Cloud, to name a few.

  1. Using proper storage

As mentioned at the start, minutes are a vital record and they need to be stored properly. So, start by categorising notes according to the date, as this will help you keep a track of motions. Also, ensure that they are stored in a separate folder, designated specifically for that client. If you are storing minutes electronically, then the platforms mentioned above can help you out. It would be better if you store records in both hard and soft copies, because that way you’ll at least have one of them,  in case you lose the other.

Bear in mind, when noting down minutes, you don’t have to write every single thing that is being said by the attendees, but only the vital points that’ll be raised in the meeting. This might be a difficult task, as you will get confused as to which point must be noted and which must not. So, ensure you are focused on the ongoing conversation and not getting lost in between. Also, the main purpose of minutes is to note down decisions taken in a meeting and not unnecessary information.