Taking Minutes

Strive to take better meeting notes

Poorly written notes from a meeting may result in confusion over who is supposed to do what moving forward. To keep assignments clear and concise, follow these tips.

What's the perfect note-taking tool?

These days you can choose a note-taking tool that fits your work style. Consider these options from members of the Young Entrepreneur Council.

Set the stage for a meeting note-taker

High-speed presentations, rambling discussions, unclear decisions, and vague action items at meetings without agendas make life hard for meeting note-takers, writes Lynn Gaertner-Johnston. Here are a few of her tips for organizing meetings that are easier to record.

50 verbs to spice up your writing

If you find yourself repeating the same words over and over when you take minutes, Executive Assistant Nickey Christmas, who blogs all things PA, EA and VA related on her Practically Perfect PA blog, offers a good list of verbs “that you can slot into the minutes as and when you need them.”

Should you take notes in meetings electronically?

For some people, a computer will never replace a pen and paper for note-taking during meetings. But for others, electronic notes may make more sense, especially if they have to share them electronically anyway. Here are three questions to determine which way is best.

When confused at a meeting, butt in

Speaking up in meetings to ask for clarification can be intimidating. But it’s best to summon the courage, especially if you’re the one taking formal minutes or notes. Having a few useful phrases in hand can give you the confidence you need to speak up:

Most meetings end with indecision

Not surprisingly, 85% of executives are dissatisfied with the efficiency and effectiveness of their companies’ meetings, reports Harvard Business Review. Here are two ways to help drive better decision-making during a meeting—and boost your boss’s efficiency:

Closing the loop on minute-taking

The meeting may be over, but the minute-taker’s job goes on. At the group’s next meeting, you may hear corrections to the minutes, says Joan Burge, founder and CEO of Office Dynamics. “Follow the legal requirements of your organization in correcting the minutes,” she says. “If no special requirements are indicated, then follow this procedure”:

Minute-taking: Should I write that down?

You’re taking minutes in a meeting when the conversation suddenly goes off topic. Or two attendees begin to argue. To what extent should you capture the conversation? Joan Burge, founder and CEO of Office Dynamics, offers these tips for turning meeting conversations into a valuable road map—even when the conversation is difficult to track.

10 steps to better minute-taking

Taking minutes wasn’t getting any easier for Terri Michaels, even after years of practice. “I had become wordy, and the minutes were sometimes eight pages. Each new director or company wanted them done differently,” she says. Finally, she enrolled in a workshop, and things changed. Now she uses these 10 best practices: