Taking minutes doesn’t mean writing every single word that was said at the meeting - phew!
But you do need a brief and clear summary of what was discussed and agreed. So at the end of each discussion topic, confirm the decision, the action to be taken, who will be responsible and by when.
At every meeting, make sure you:
- List the people that were at the meeting and record any apologies from those not attending
- Ensure the minutes of the previous meeting are read, and if they are approved, obtain the Chairperson's signature on them
- Following the order of the agenda, give each section a subheading and write separate paragraphs per topic
- State the main issues and decisions made. You don’t need to note down individual views expressed or the proposers and seconders of resolutions - unless there is strong opposition
- If a vote is taken, it’s worth making more detailed notes
- Write up the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting, while the discussions are still fresh in your mind
- Try to send out the minutes promptly so those not at the meeting know what was discussed and those that have tasks to carry out are reminded of them
- Put a reminder in your diary to chase up those tasks
- When recording an AGM (governed by much stricter rules) keep a formal note, stating names of proposers and seconders, quoting the exact text of resolutions and the results of the voting.
- Agree – means that a strong consensus to support a particular course of action
- Noted - means that a matter was reported, but no decision was necessary
- Received – means that a report was presented and accepted
- Approved - means that a recommendation has been endorsed
- Resolved – means that a motion was formally proposed, voted upon and passed