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

In previous posts (What is the correct way to amend minutes and I’ve finished my draft minutes – What do I do with them now?) I’ve outlined the suggested process around what happens after you’ve finished completing the first draft of your minutes.

It’s human nature to take personally comments and amendments that may get made to our minutes. After all, sometimes it took blood, sweat and tears just to get to the draft minutes stage! Then they come back with the dreaded red pen through them or lots of tracked changes people want to make to your beautiful work.

So how do we deal with those changes without going into a spin.

Remove the emotion

It’s hard to take a constructive view of something when we’re having an emotional reaction to it. By removing the emotion we can take a much more logical view of our work.

smiley faces

Process the changes

Go through the changes made to your minutes objectively by looking at each one and asking these questions:

Is it a spelling, punctuation or grammar issue?

To help do it better next time
  • Peer review
  • Use the spell checker!
  • A refresher course on spelling, punctuation and grammar rules

Are there places where more information was added?

To help do it better next time

This could be where you’re not putting in enough detail. Ensure your minutes have enough detail in them to fully reflect the discussion that took place.

A good tip is to write the minutes from the point of view of someone who didn’t attend the meeting.

Are there places where information has been deleted?

This is the opposite to the one above and could be an issue of too much detail.

To help do it better next time

Ensure you’re clear about what type of minutes are required for your meeting. It could be that the meeting requires concise minutes and you’re providing too much information.

Do you agree with the suggested changes?

Have another look at the notes you took at the meeting. Changes may back up something that you took down but, for whatever reason, didn’t end up in your draft.

Or, is someone actually trying to change the minutes by adding in something that wasn’t discussed at the meeting or changes the context of the discussion.

Remedy: Discuss this with your manager to get their opinion.

Make a goal to improve your next minutes


Based on the feedback you’ve received, make a goal to improve your next minutes.


By removing the emotion from feedback allows you to step back and grow as a professional minute taker whether that be tidying up the spelling, punctuation and grammar, adding information or deleting irrelevant information.

How do you handle receiving feedback on your minutes?



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