Write clear, concise and condensed meeting minutes and still keep your sanity!

One of the questions I commonly challenge minute takers and managers to think about is whether their meetings actually need a minute taker.

I generally receive a look of horror from managers and one of glee from minute takers. And a Google search came up with zilch on whether all meetings should be minuted.

We blindly go about our day attending meetings and it seems to have become standard. If you’re having a meeting you need a minute taker. Right? No, not necessarily.


What is the purpose of minutes?

Generally we need minutes taken for the following reasons:

  • To provide an historical record
  • To provide a record of the discussion
  • To provide a record of future action
  • Ensures the meeting has been accountable and responsible

The above is a requirement for most meetings.

But what about the informal staff catch-up, progress update meetings and let’s-find-out-how-busy-we’re-all-going-to-be this-week meetings that we automatically go to?

Do these types of meetings need to be minuted? I would suggest not.

Could people-shock-horror!-take their own notes?


Alternative ways to pass on information

Information from these meetings could be passed on in other ways. For example, at a staff meeting people could send you an email to advise what they’re doing this week, where they’ll be etc. Information from that email can be relayed to staff through other means.



Another test to see whether your meetings need to be minuted is to use this checklist:

√ Do you get the feeling no one reads the minutes?

√ Are actions not getting completed from the meetings?

√ Does anyone come back with changes to the minutes?

Just think of the extra hour you might gain each week if there was one meeting that didn’t have to be minuted.

So the challenge is now out there!


Does your meeting really need to be minuted?



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