Taking Minutes

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Unless you’re a trained stenographer, keeping thorough minutes can be a challenge. If you’re responsible for taking minutes, here are three tips to help you improve your skills.
Gail Taymor loved her new admin job at a big architectural firm—for exactly nine days. Then her boss asked her to take the minutes at the monthly board meeting.
People talking a mile a minute, not staying on topic, moving on to the next issue when action items are still clearly hanging … these things are just plain going to happen when you’re a minute-taker. But you can’t exert a whole lot of control over the unruly group in that conference room. What you can control is the structure you’ve set up well in advance to handle any meeting.
16 widely varied questions about taking minutes answered.
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?

February 19, 2014 Categorized in: MeetingsTaking Minutes

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

February 22, 2011 Categorized in: MeetingsTaking Minutes

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

November 26, 2010 Categorized in: MeetingsTaking Minutes

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:
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”:
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.
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