Meeting minutes keep a record of everything that’s discussed and done in a meeting, including any decision made or action taken. It’s important that these minutes are accurate, so everyone knows what was decided and what needs to be achieved by what date. To help you take effective meeting minutes, we’ve listed some do’s and don’ts for you to hold on to.

Meeting minutes Do’s:

  • Record the date, time, location and type of meeting.
  • Use the agenda as a guide. The agenda will show you what needs to be discussed and decided.
  • List the names of the attendees.
  • Keep minutes at any meeting where people vote and record all motion and outcome of votes.
  • Record the number of votes.
  • Stay objective. Record what is discussed and decided without giving a judgment.
  • Be concise. It’s not necessary to record everything that is said. Just record specific motions and votes, and decisions.
  • Write the minutes as soon as possible after a meeting when everything is still fresh in your mind.

Meeting minutes Don’ts:

  • Include every detail from the meeting in the meeting minutes.
  • Be shy about asking for clarification during the meeting to get a point straight in your notes.
  • Include personal opinions or descriptive phrases.
  • Include words of praise or criticism from anyone.
  • Detail the debate over an issue. You should include facts in your meeting. What is discussed and decided? Not everything that is said. The meeting minutes shouldn’t be a transcript.
  • Wait to type up the minutes from your notes. The longer you wait, the less accurate they become. Do it the same day or the next day, while you still remember what occurred.
  • Record content in the minutes that could be embarrassing or inappropriate to an individual, company or the organization.
  • Keep draft or handwritten minutes. Discard the draft after minutes have been approved.
  • Don’t include personal comments or judgments.

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