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How To Write Minutes For Meetings

Updated on October 22, 2011

The biggest purpose of recording a meeting’s minutes is to keep record of all the decisions made and the resolutions passed during a formal meeting. It is a very crucial part of formal and semi-formal meetings and helps the attendees keep track of all the business resolved during a particular meeting.

It also helps to view the previous meetings minutes before attending a new one to come up to date with the issues resolved and those that still had to be resolved.

Writing minutes may seem a tedious business but it can be done very easily if a person knows how to go about it efficiently and effectively. The methods to record a meeting minutes depend upon the formality of the congregation that is being held.

In most formal and corporate meetings, the rules are rigorous and have to be carried out a particular way each time. 

The minutes of a previous meeting have to be approved at the start of each new meeting and all relevant corrections have to be incorporated into the recorded minutes before the chairperson signs his approval of them.

Semi-formal and informal meetings have a varied and less rigorous way of recording minutes. In general however, the basic principals are the same, and if one knows how to go about it, this dreary job will seem very easy.

Here are some tips and general guidelines about how to go about writing minutes for a meeting:

Make A Short Summary About The Meetings Agenda

Make sure you know what the meeting is about. By doing this, you ensure that you know what the discussion will be about.

You may also need to view the minutes of a previous meeting held on the same agenda so you get yourself up-to-date about the position of the proceedings.This way you can anticipate the motions that will be proposed and that will help you record these motions more effectively.

Make A List Of All The Tedious Details Beforehand

Before the actual meeting starts, you must make a note of all the people expected to attend the meeting.

Also it is important to make sure that you have compiled a list of the basics about the name of the organization, the venue of the meeting and of the date on which the meeting is being held, before the actual start of the meeting.

Make Sure You Know The Names Of Everyone At The Meeting

This may seem as an odd tip but it sometimes happens that there are new people or guests attending a particular meeting.

For this reason it is very important that you the names of everyone in attendance. If you can, get your hands on the seating plans of the meeting so you know where everyone’s sitting. It would help you make a better record of who said what.

Tips On Taking Minutes

Recording The Body Of The Minutes

This is the actual record of what took place at the meeting. It is very important to note here that you do not have to note down everything that is said. The most important part of writing the minutes is to record the topic of the discussion being carried out.

You need to make sure you know which direction the general course that the discussion took and the motions that were passed as well as who passed them.

In recording this, you need to mention the points that were raised in the discussion and the major decisions regarding these points.

To record the motions passed verbatim you may need a tape recorder, but otherwise, shorthand can work just as well. Just keep in mind that you need to make an efficient enough record of what happened at the meeting so you can summarize it effectively later.

For this, work the way that suits you best. Some people require extensive note taking whereas others just need to jot down specific keywords to record the basic gist of the conversation. Whichever method works for you, make sure that it helps you later, when you have to prepare a summary of the meeting.

Concluding The Minutes

Make a note of the time that the meeting is adjourned. Also take down a note of who moved the motion and who seconded it. Towards the end sign the minutes with you name so you know that it has your verification.

Distributing The Minutes Among The Attendees

After the minute has ended, make sure you type them as soon as possible so that the memory of the proceedings as fresh in your mind. It would help you recall the events of the meeting better.

Take full use of the notes that you made during the meeting and make sure that nothing of importance is left behind.

You will need to send these minutes to the attendees of the meeting. However before you do that, get an approval of these recorded minutes and the summary prepared by you, from the chairperson or the person who presided over the meeting.

If you follow these instructions you will find that taking down the minutes of a meeting isn’t that difficult a task. It just needs some organizing ahead of time and some clear thinking.

Also remember that professional who is able to take down minutes of a meeting properly understands the issues that his/her organization faces more effectively, so in the end, having to do this task will only benefit you.

Basic Guide To Taking Meeting Minutes


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    • profile image

      Mike Ani 

      7 years ago

      I appreciate your guide lines

    • profile image

      Guliye alpha 

      7 years ago

      Simply the best!

    • profile image

      asif Zaidi 

      7 years ago

      nice work and it is better for those who didn't know how to write. i myself appriciate you for basic guide line.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Liked much!!!!!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Minute writing require attention and fastness

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Im a voluntering secretary of non-profit organisation i dnt hv experience so i got it very hard for me 2 get ova 2 my work an i lv my wrk plz help

    • profile image

      rubaida W sharmin 

      7 years ago

      Liked It!!!!

    • profile image

      Bella ituen 

      7 years ago

      Meeting minute must be handled by fast and intelligent person

    • viveresperando profile image


      8 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      great hub!

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      9 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Meetings minutes are mostly essential to present the points of discussion in front.


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