Being asked to write up the minutes from a meeting can sometimes seem a difficult task. However, if you follow our simple steps below you’ll write great meeting minutes and amaze your colleagues.
1. Go to the meeting, understand what is said, and take notes.
You don’t need to note every word. Just keep a record as follows:
- Names of everyone who was there (and apologies from those who weren’t)
- Key decisions made
- Next steps and actions agreed.
If you don’t understand something then ask, if you don’t understand what is being decided then it’s unlikely anyone else will.
2. Write up the minutes
You can either do this in Microsoft Word, or use a simple tool like www.pailz.com, to type up the minutes. Tools like Pailz help you by prompting you to enter in all the right information that you need in a good minutes document (names, apologies, date, the location and so on)
3. Review the minutes
Once you’ve written them, you need to send them to someone else who was there to check them. It might not be necessary but it’s often worth confirming with the chair (the person who ran the meeting) that you’ve got an accurate reflection of the meeting.
4. Circulate the minutes
Send a copy of the minutes to everyone who was there. If your minutes are on Google Docs then you just need to click the Share button, otherwise attach them to an email.
I advise sending meeting minutes as soon as you possibly can. Within a day is ideal. Within fifteen minutes would be best! This means that everyone keeps what was discussed and agreed to in mind. It also means they are more likely to do what they promised.
5. Make sure everyone knows their actions
Many people turn up to a meeting, agree to something, and then promptly forget about it.
As a good meeting minutes writer you should send a copy of their actions to each person individually. This is because the purpose of most meetings is to coordinate action, by letting each person know what they are meant to be doing you help them to get one step closer to actually doing it.
Again a tool, like Pailz.com, can help with sending out and chasing up actions. When used for meeting actions, it provides each meeting participant with a list of actions in their to do list (or pail!) which helps them to then check them off, notifying you the meeting minutes writer when they are done.