Taking Meeting Minutes - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Taking Meeting Minutes eBook  

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-994-7 (29 Pages)
Meeting minutes are a summarized written record of a meeting. Being asked to take the minutes can be a stressful experience as it can be difficult to know what to put in and what to leave out. This free eBook provides detailed guidance on how to take notes during the meeting and how to turn them into professionally presented minutes.

Chapter 1 - Taking Meeting Minutes
Meeting minutes are a summarized written record of a meeting which detail what has been decided and by whom it is to be actioned. In certain circumstances, minutes may be considered as legal documents, but even where this is not the case they represent the definitive record of the meeting.

Chapter 2 - Elements of Meeting Minutes
For minutes to be an accurate reflection of what took place during a meeting there are certain elements that must be included in the electronic or written document.

Chapter 3 - Responsibilities of the Minute Taker
The role of minute taker is not confined to that of just of attending the meeting. The individual performing this role has certain responsibilities that must be met to ensure that communications are efficient and timely.

Chapter 4 - How to Take Meeting Minutes
There are two crucial communication skills you require to ensure that your minute taking is an accurate reflection of what took place during a meeting. These are the ability to listen, and the ability to take clear and concise notes.

Chapter 5 - Potential Problems When Taking Minutes
For the person taking the minutes, all meetings present the same basic problems. They can be summarized as: deciphering what is an important fact from all the noise, the difficulty in making a contribution to the meeting and anticipating potential issues or problems that could arise.

Chapter 6 - Meeting Minutes Checklist
If you are looking for something more sophisticated than a simple checklist you can consider some of the electronic tools and software available. Some of these minutes tools are free, others are priced per user. You will have to select the one that best meets your or the organization's needs and provides the right combination of functionality and simplicity.

You will learn:
  • How to minimize stress by preparing thoroughly before the meeting begins.
  • A step-by-step approach to note taking that makes sure that you don't miss anything important.
  • How to overcome the most common problems encountered when taking minutes.
  • The ten questions your meeting minutes must answer before they can be considered complete.
  • How software tools can make minute taking easier and how to choose one.

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I Can Fully Recommend This Book
Despite having been in countless meetings, I have never felt fully comfortable with the process of taking minutes. What exactly should be included? What parts can be skipped over? While a lot of people are able to produce passable minutes, I was interested in learning more about the proper way to do it and how they can be most efficiently done. With that in mind, I read the Taking Minutes eBook and learned more about meeting minutes than I ever knew before. While some of the information is likely review to some people, it was all very useful to me and will help me to both take better minutes, and better instruct others on how to do the same.

One of the first takeaways from this document that I will remember is the idea of having a dedicated minute taker who is not otherwise involved in the meeting. By carefully choosing this person, and it can change from meeting to meeting, you can be sure that their attention will be fully devoted to taking the minutes, not divided between writing minutes are arguing about points of discussion in the meeting itself. From now on, I am going to make sure the minute taker is not someone highly involved in the discussion.

Another piece of information that I found useful was the idea of highlight the what and who of each point of the meeting. The book presents the idea that the most important thing to capture in the meeting is what has been decided on and who is being tasked with taking on that responsibility. These are clearly the most important pieces of information to grab, but for some reason I never have thought about it that way. Rather than attempting to transcribe the entire meeting from start to finish, it is important to have the minute taker understand the conversation in the meeting and be able to pick out parts that are important to record. I think improving this alone will make the minutes from my meetings far more useful than they have been in the past.

That last point also covers another item that I have wondered about - having someone unrelated to the meeting, say a secretary, sit in a take minutes. I was never sure that this was a good idea, and now I feel like I know why. If the secretary is not versed on the actions of the team or committee in the meeting, he or she might not understand which points are more important than others. Using a member of the team or committee is always best because they will understand thoroughly the conversation that is taking place.

Beyond the instructions in this eBook, I also appreciate the simple access to the format and process that is usually involved with minutes. If you can't remember all of the parts that go into a formal minutes document, or what needs to be done with the document after the meeting is over, simply consult this book as a quick reference. There are organized lists that will be able to find in no time and remind yourself of the proper procedures. While this information is likely available other places around the web, it is convenient to download this book and just have it on hand when you need it.

I feel that the short amount of time it took to read this book was very well spent. I'm confident my ability to take minutes, as well as to read them, has been greatly improved already. If you would like to sharpen up your minutes ability, or you have staff that you would like to learn more about minutes, I can fully recommend this book.
Bill Baldwin

Extremely Helpful and Detailed
As someone who has worked at various companies for the last 30 years and who now teaches management to business students, it is extremely important to me that my students learn how to take minutes properly if they want to succeed. While lesson planning I came across this e-book and now incorporate it into my lessons. It is extremely helpful and detailed about how to properly take minutes.

When asked to take minutes at a meeting, there is a right way and a wrong way. The right information needs to be written down for the records and to ensure that things are moving in the direction they need to. Being in charge of taking minutes can get really stressful, especially if you don't know what information to write down, but it doesn't have to be. This e-book was really helpful in breaking down how to take minutes step-by-step and even touched upon software that can be used for minutes.
Firstly, I like that the book breaks down what the purpose of minute taking is. Minutes are necessary for record keeping, as well as for noting down any responsibilities that need to be taken care of. This is to ensure that responsibilities are kept and to ensure that information was conveyed at the right time to the right people. Minutes are not meant to be like note-taking for a test, they are supposed to record the important parts of a meeting.

Organization is essential to management, which is why taking minutes is extremely important in any career. The person who is usually asked to take minutes should be a good listener. They can contribute to the conversation but should focus on what is being said and to whom. The details are what count. The minute taker should be able to write concise notes and should be able to accurately note down all relevant information.

Minutes should include the time, date and place firstly. They should also include the members in attendance, announcements, tasks assigned, and deadlines assigned. Each of those categories will have their own details. For instance, when someone is assigned a task, there are a few things to note down, according to the book. Who was the task given to, when was it given to them, what is their deadline, do they have to consult with other group members, etc. This way you have a record of what is supposed to be done within a certain time frame.

The book also points out that after attending a meeting in which you have been the minute taker, your task is not necessarily done. The person who takes minutes needs to make sure they copy and hand out the minutes to all the attendees of the meeting, as well as place the minutes in the appropriate file for future references. Many times minute taking can be relevant to the legal department, so it is important to file all information taken down at meetings.

To help relieve the stress of taking minutes, there are a few things you can do to make things easier. This is a section I thoroughly enjoyed as a teacher because I cannot emphasize to my students enough how organization is a time saver. When you know you have to take minutes, make sure you have an agenda of the meeting. Knowing what will be discussed will only help you eliminate time wastage so that you can focus on the important details. The book says to also make a list of attendees beforehand, which is another time saver. Lastly, and this is important, is that the minute taker should know the minutes of the last meeting in case something has to be discussed again or someone needs to reference something in the last meeting.

I couldn't have asked for a better book than this to help understand the importance of note taking. Not only that, the book even mentions software you can purchase or programs you can use online to help you organize your minutes. If you have trouble taking minutes, you need to read this book.
Zahid Rashid

Clarifies What 'Taking the Minutes' Actually Means
The book starts off by explaining what meeting minutes are and why they are useful. Minutes are a document that is used to record who attended the meeting and the key points of the meeting. It is not a transcript of every single thing that was said, but rather a type of summary including the key points and decisions made during the meeting. I did not know before reading this book that minutes can be used as legal documents. I also thought that taking minutes basically meant writing everything down that was done or said during the meeting, like a transcript of events.

After reading this book I discovered that the two main points to be taken down are what decision was made and who is going to do it. I learned that meeting minutes also includes listing everyone that was present for the meeting. This is a useful tool so you know that everyone was informed with the same information or you can easily determine who needs to be filled in on the events of the meeting. The book does a great job of simply listing the seven parts needed to take effective meeting minutes. I used this for my first meeting as a manager. My supervisor who was not able to attend the meeting was completely impressed by the planning and organization skills that I showed as one of my first duties as a manager.

She was able to have a copy of the minutes and felt that she was thoroughly up to date on the meeting. Plus, we now have a legal document to have for our records. I am so happy that I read this book. It was easy to understand, extremely short, and FREE! I will be recommending this book to my team so that they all understand the ins and outs of taking minutes too.
Michelle Gibbs


An Effective Agenda is the Key to a Successful Meeting - Five simple questions will ensure that you and anyone in your team only attend meetings that have been properly prepared for and will be an effective use of your time. In turn, you can ask these same questions of your own meetings to ensure that they are productive activities and that everyone who comes is properly prepared for the meeting.

Encouraging Open and Honest Communication - Building a team that can thrive, even in this time of worldwide economic recession is a challenging task, to say the least. While several factors go into creating a successful team, communication is the foundation upon which every great team is built. Failure to communicate will undermine even the most qualified team, company, or organization.

Meetings Without Rules Turn Into Anarchy - A few simple rules can make all the difference between achieving your goal or not. Nowhere is this more evident than in meetings. By setting expectations appropriately everyone can share common values and behaviors .

Do Your Meetings Overrun or Go Off-topic - How many meetings have you attended where it has become an exercise in tedium and futility, rather than being a productive use of your knowledge and time? Too many too count. Is this how others describe your meetings how can you turn your meetings into efficient decision making exercises? The answer is 'preparation'.

Setting a Meeting Agenda - The best way to ensure that those attending your meeting are clear about its purpose is to send them an agenda in advance. Your communication should demonstrate that the focus of the meeting is for a specific reason and not just a broad general discussion.

Are Conference Calls a Productive Use of Your Time - Conference calls are becoming more and more common nowadays. Some companies even use them on a daily basis and for a variety of different functions. But are they truly helpful? We all know that they take up time and keep you tied to the phone for the duration…but do they really accomplish enough to make it worth the time?

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