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January 05, 2006

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saeed ahmed

your tips will help me draft better MOM from today. i m impressed. i would continue reading your notes. please keep sending me emails if possible.
good work! keep it up.

Lynn

Saeed Ahmed, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter if you want regular emails from me. You can do that on my website, syntaxtraining.com. Or sign up for this blog's feed.

Best wishes,

Lynn

Aryssa Amin

I am due to start a new job which will require some degree of minutetaking and making sense of dictation from a dictaphone. Although I have taken minutes before ( a while back ) I am nervous as the Terminology will be different within this line of work. Can you give me any advice on how to go about writing and abreviating minutes?

Lynn

Hi, Aryssa. Read my blog entry for December 16, 2007. It includes a link to an article, "Meeting Notes Made Easy."

Good luck!

Lynn

Adeyemi Thomas


I have been requested to be taking minutes during our Board Meetings. Please can you advise me the tense I shoud use when writing minutes. I know it is a reported speech.
Thanks
Adeyemi

Lynn

Adeyemi, past tense would probably be appropriate, as in "Dr. Rey reported" and "the group decided." However, I suggest that you ask for samples of past minutes so you can do what previous notetakers have done.

Good luck!

Marilynn

I have always had a hard time trying to get everyones information and trying to pick out what was important. have any good ideas for me?

Lynn

Marilynn, I'll send you a helpful article.

Laura, Cameroon

Thanks, you have eased my work today. Keep it up.

Dave

Thanks a lot. Your tips will help me write correctly minutes. Bye

temitope

i am currently a secretary but i want to know more about how i can write a good business meeting minute.

Lynn

Temitope, follow the suggestions in this blog post, and read through the blog when you have time. Also subscribe to my e-newsletter if you do not already receive it: http://syntaxtraining.com/signup.html.

JACOB MAKANGA

Your guideline is very good. Am a secretary of wedding committee please send me sample of minutes

Joan

Good afternoon

I am a secretary; I will be starting a new job very soon and so would like to know about business meeting minutes.

Thank you

Lynn

Joan, read my blog entry for December 16, 2007, "Be Kind to Your Note Taker." (Do a Google search on this site.) The entry includes a link to a helpful article "Meeting Notes Made Easy."

Good luck!

Wasef Alhakim

Thanks so much for the tips, I totally love your site and set it as my brower's homepage.
BR,
Wasef

Brooke

I am looking for a workshop to learn to write minutes better. Do you know of any in northern California? I seem to only find ones in Australia and the UK...

Lynn

Hi, Brooke. I do not know of any such classes in Northern California. However, I am teaching Note-Taking Made Easy in Seattle on Wednesday, March 18. The flyer is not available yet, but when it is finished, I will send it to you.

Lynn

Marian Koomson

i have been asked by my director to take minutes for management meeting, i did it for the first time, but my director said my grammer is not the best, what should i do? please help me out.

Marian Koomson

i am a ghanaian, please give some advise, i want to improve my gramme i am ready to learn.

thank you

Lynn

Marian, there are many things you can do. Begin with these five steps:

1. Use a grammar and spelling checker for everything you write. It will catch errors such as "i" for "I" and "grammer" for "grammar."

2. Write short, clear sentences with one idea. For example, this is correct:

I am a Ghanaian. Please give me some advice. I want to improve my grammar. I am ready to learn.

3. Always capitalize the first word in a sentence.

4. Get my "60 Quick Word Fixes," which is featured in the right-hand column of this blog.

5. Ask your coworkers to help you find your errors. When you make an error, find out what is wrong. Then do not make that error again.

Best wishes,

Lynn

Lori Joubert

Thank you for these wonderful tips and comments on writing meeting minutes. I have been taking meeting minutes for the last six months in an Academic Medicine environment. The terminolgy can be a real challenge. I would like to save some time with re-listening to the entire meeting to create accurate minutes. Any suggestions for best way to record minutes and find what you need quickly? thank you, Lori

Tony

When referring to people during the typing up of minutes, we are currently referring to people who attended the meeting by their initials e.g. GL. However, individuals not actually at the meeting are referred to by their full name e.g. John Smith. Is this correct?

Lynn

I don't recommend referring to anyone by initials, unless an individual is known generally by initials (for example, JC for Juan Carlos).

Using initials forces readers to continually review the list of attendees to recognize who is meant.

Benny

[email protected]

Benny

though i have completed my diplome in secretarial, i still need to know much more on how to write the letters and minutes

sarah

i wanted to know the differences between action and narrative minutes.

Samed

please can I get a sample minutes?

Elisabeth de Snaijer

At our last board meeting a member requested that previously approved minutes be revised. I have done that but would like to know if these revised minutes need to go on the upcoming agenda for teh next meeting? Do the revised minutes need to be approved again?

umar Alhassan

your tips on how to write minute has realy helped me to improve brilliantly on minute writing.

Jolynn Chow

Dear Lynn,

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and viewpoints so generously.

I have a question on the use of subject lines in email.

Some people put their whole (short) message in the subject line, and there's nothing to read when the reader opens the message.

Don't you think that this is sloppy and unprofessional?

Jolynn

Jolynn Chow

When using reported speech in minutes, the reporting verb should obviously be a past-tense one.

What about verbs in the reported clause? For example: The President reminded members that security in the club (is/was) everyone's responsibility.

If the issue is still current, should it not be "is", although grammatically it sounds awkward?

Jolynn

Lynn

Hi, Jolynn. You can find the answer to your question about subject lines if you use the search string "Blips on the Email Screen" on this site.

As for the tense of verbs, I recommend the present tense for your example: "The president reminded members that security IS important." If you use "was," you suggest that the president believes security is no longer important.

Jolynn Chow

Thanks, Lynn. That confirms my belief.

REV.DAVID KALEEBU

Your notes are splendid.I have been assisted much as an Anglican Diocesan Secretary-Mityana Anglican Diocese,Uganda East Africa.
Humbly iam requesting you to be my mentor in secretarial issues.
God bless you,
DAVID KALEEBU+
P.O BOX 286,MITYANA,UGANDA EAST AFRICA
TEL+256772363839

Amoakwa Ben. Baah

Thanks for your helpful tips. I always have a problem getting the important idea out of various submisions on an issue at a meeting.Pleasse kindly help me.

Lynn

Amoakwa Ben. Baah, you will find good ideas in this article: http://syntaxtraining.com/ezine/Meeting_Notes_Made_Easy.pdf

Copy the link into your browser.

Lynn

Esther dominic

yes! for a while now have been thinking on how to write a perfect and good minute when ever am in a meeting with my directors, but i find it hard, pls can any body send me copy or tips in writeing a perfect minute in a meeting!

Esther dominic

please i am ready to learn rather than to make mistake, pls LYNN you can as well give me tip and send me copy of it thanks.........

juliet

A great help to read your writing blog.hopefully im looking forward to learn more on this topic.

Claire

Can you rewrite and reissue minutes after they have been approved and adopted?

Jimi Ogunmokun

That will help. Thanks.

James,  Glasgow, Scotland

Am I correct in thinking that it should be 'minute' of a meeting and not 'minutes'? One meeting. Singular. No?

Lynn

No, they are meeting notes--meeting minutes.

Abraham Makur Mangok

I have been asked be writing council of ministers minutes. could help on how to write such kind of minutes?

Abraham Makur Mangok

I have been asked to be writing council of ministers meeting minutes hence, I need some help on how to write such kind of minutes since they need resolutions by the end.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Abraham, here is the advice I can offer:

Ask for samples of previous minutes. Then use those as models.

Once you yourself have written the minutes, you will get ideas for writing them better.

Good luck!

kiki pipo

i dont have the slightest idea about minutes taking and very soon i'm going to start a new job that requires the knowledge of minutes taking. so could you please give me an advice on this topic? and i also need a sample minutes taken during a meeting. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
regards,
kiki

Adriana

I have never done minutes. I will be doing so in 2days time. As this is my first job in a bank, i am not only afraid that i am not able to extract the important information but also the new terms that are being used.Help!

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Adriana, relax. Here are some ideas:

1. Get samples of other people's minutes so you will see which format is customary at the bank.

2. Sit next to a kind, wise person who is willing to whisper answers to your questions.

3. Get as much written information as you can in advance. Ask people for copies of any notes they contribute to the meeting.

4. Recognize that you will not do it perfectly the first time. Ask for help from more experienced note-takers.

I am planning a live online class on taking notes at meetings, but it is not ready yet. I will let you know when it is.

Good luck!

Lynn

Julius

Wow, I really appreciate for your tips on minutes writing as they helped me passing my coursework and continue guiding us the more.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Julius. I am pleased to have been helpful to you.

Lynn

Penny

This page has been such a blessing. I am now having to take minutes in several executive meetings. I am supporting the executive director and chief medical officer. The meetings are horrible. I really need any help you can give. This is the only thing that seems to make me feel inadequate.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Penny, check this site in a couple of weeks. I will announce a new online class called "Meeting Notes Made Easy."

I hope you will soon feel more comfortable in the meetings you describe.

Lynn

Penny

Thank you Lynn. I want to feel comfortable. I appreciate your blog and thankful I found it.
Penny

Abby

After attending quite a few meetings, I am still unable to get the minutes accurate, i.e. what exactly should I record; how do I get my attention span going to record the most important things in a meeting. Can you give me some pointers?

Abby

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Abby, I will offer a class called "Meeting Notes Made Easy" in March. Watch this blog or my website for an announcement.

Lynn

Ali saidi

Thank you for info.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

The next online Meeting Notes Made Easy class is on March 18, 2010, at 10 a.m. Pacific Time in the U.S.

You can get a link to a full desription of the class at http://syntaxtraining.com/upcomingclasses.html

Lynn

fredrick otieno oyombah

hi, you have a very comprehensive tips, please assist me to improve my grammar,becouse i have a problem in addressing people in a meeting, send me a sample of your minutes in my email, thank you.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Fredrick, you may want to take the class listed above. What type of minutes do you need to write?

Lynn

NB

How do I take meeting minutes in narrative form?

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

NB, it sounds as though someone has asked you to take notes in "narrative form." Ask the person for a sample.

Good luck.

Lynn

wamunyima  kwalombota

kindly iam asking for a detailed format of meeting

ify

when writing minutes, should a plural or singular verb be used with the following statement:The minutes of the previous meeting was/were read.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

The verb should be plural: "The minutes were read."

Lynn

millie

hi, i have to say u provide excellent help. thank you for it. i am ateacher and i am a post gard student as well i study for my master's in teaching english as a foreign lang. i am designing a course as a part of my assignments and it includes a unit on how to write minutes.do u know any website that can provide me with help concerning activities. i want to keep it very simple they are beginners. thanks again

Nancy White

i am a secretary in a car industry. i want effective minutes writing tips and samples

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

I recommend my live online class Meeting Notes Made Easy. The next session is on May 4. You can find information on the home page of my website at http://syntaxtraining.com.

Lynn

Harry Waisbren

Completely agree that "when our meeting minutes aren't effective, we waste the time we spent in meetings."

This is a problem not only due to the high likelihood of "meeting again for the same original purpose", but for the added wasted time through the process communicating back and forth to pick up the detailed information necessary to complete the broad strokes of action items they do remember---yet aren't able to complete successfully.

That added stress is a big reason why meetings can suck, in lamest terms, yet it doesn't have to be that way. On that note, I recently did a book review of Joanna Gutmann's "Taking Minutes of Meetings" which explains the craft in a fashion that can help prevent this from happening: http://www.qworky.com/blog/2010/04/qworky-review-taking-minutes-of-meetings/

Francisca Bukari

This is my first time of visiting this site but its been helpful.
I will always log on.

Thank you.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Harry, thank you for mentioning Joanna Gutmann's book. If it has lots of examples of meeting notes and minutes, it should have a wide audience.

Lynn

Joyce

Hi Lynn,
Thanks for much for those useful insights on how to write minutes.I am a university grad who studied media and communidcation and hoping to get a job that requires me writing minutes. i have always been
afraid of not getting it right. please can you provide more help?
Joyce - bennie

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Joyce. I teach an online class "Meeting Notes Made Easy." You can find a link to the class description on this site (upper left column) or on my company website: www.syntaxtraining.com. The next class is on July 15.

Lynn

Beky Branagan

Hi Lynn,

Is there a handbook for this type of thing? I work in a medical environment where everybody knows everyone else. Usually people are mentioned by their first and last names, (John Smith) without the MD or PhD. The questions has come up as to whether or not we should add the titles to the minutes. Is there some standard for this kind of thing?

Thanks,

Beky

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hi, Beky. So you are deciding whether to add degrees such as MD and PhD to your minutes. Do you normally include degrees in your documents?

Why not add degrees to the list of attendees if that is the norm? Then you can use just names in the body of the minutes.

You may want to check with your communications department for advice.

I do not know of a standard for titles and degrees in minutes. Some organizations use formal titles such as "Commissioner" before names. Others use first and last names. Others use a title and last name like this: Dr. Smith, Dean Gomez.

Good luck.

Lynn

Sanjeevi Joseph

Hi Lynn..

As a trainer for a corporate company in India, I have found your Business Writing tips valuable. How much would you charge for an hour of your talk on proposal writing if you were to address company executives through webex?

Regards,
sanjeevi
www.chennaipage.com

Nancy

Hi,

I'm wondering what I should do with action items that have not been completed and will not until a time later in the year? As an example, I take monthly meeting minutes for a committee at a university and if an action item cannot be completed until the fall semester starts, should these items stay on every set of minutes with "not completed" or "carried over", or should this item be removed from the minutes until the time arrives when it can be completed? And, if this is the case, how do you remember to put them back in at that time?

Thanks

Nancy

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Nancy, that is an excellent question. Your solution to keep the action items on the minutes as "Carried over" is a good one. "Carried over" sounds efficient, whereas "Not completed" suggests an oversight.

Do you have a section at the end of your minutes where you list action items? If so, the "Carried over" items can be included there in a special category.

Thanks for the interesting question.

Lynn

pralhad

I am very much delighted your site .so could u plz send me the one example or a copy of minutes plz
Pralhad Pokhrel

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Pralhad, I will blog about minutes in the next few days and will include an attachment.

Lynn

nisreen

last week i attended meeting first time , and my boss asked me to write minutes meeting...can you help how to do

Thomas Sentu

Material is good. Grateful if you would keep me posted on your up-to-date material on Managing Business Meetings; Procedures and important Terms used as and when

Keneiloe

I am a very junior receptionist who has been intrusted with very important duties.I need you to please send me a copy of professional munites please?

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

If you want to write notes and minutes easily and efficiently, register for Meeting Notes Made Easy. It's an online class I will teach on September 14, 2010.

In the class, you get practical information, note-taking practice, and models and templates for effective meeting notes. Find information here: http://syntaxtraining.com/upcomingclasses.html and write to me with any questions.

Lynn

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Interesting. These days, many of us find ourselves in the position of taking minutes without a clue of how to go about it. Those tips are a gerat guide for making this task easier.

SS

Lynn,
I just stumbled upon this website. I am afraid of writing minutes or reports. I am always at loss of words and putting my thoughts together and express it correctly. I need to improve my vocabulary and writing skills. It takes me lot of time to put things together in an organized manner. Would appreciate your suggestions and guidance.

Thank you for putting these great tips here

SS

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

SS, there are many ways to improve your business writing skills and your confidence. One is to read this blog. Another is to subscribe to my free monthly newsletter, "Better Writing at Work." You can sign up at:
http://syntaxtraining.com/signup.html

Scroll up and look at the list of blogs and other resources I have featured on the left of your screen. Visit the sites you find helpful.

Our online writing classes will begin again in January. When you see the class "Meeting Notes Made Easy" offered, I encourage you to take it.

Keep working at it, and your confidence and skills will improve. Good luck!

Lynn

Anna

Lynn

I've taken 3 times minutes writing for the meeting. I used to have the recorder with me but still having problems of summarizing it. I need your help, please.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Anna, please watch for the January Meeting Notes Made Easy class, which I will teach online. You can enroll in it.

From your comment, I am guessing that you are taking notes in English as a second or third language. It would be a good idea for you to work on your written English skills too.

On this site, please look at the left column, near the top. You will see two sites I recommend: (1) Interactive ESL Quizzes and (2) Interesting Things for ESL/EFL Students. Both those sites can help you improve your skills in English.

Good luck!

Lynn

nabi frank

i want to know all the accepted forms of minutes writing.

Lily Zerubabel Boateng

I am a secretary at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. This is my first time of visiting your site and I am very much impressed. Please I will be happy if you can send me tips on detailed minutes writing.

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Please use the tips above and search this site using the phrase "meeting minutes."

Lynn

Richie

Good tips and thanks! I look forward to reading more of your post.

Maggie

i want to learn how to write minutes for several meetings including workshops please advise

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Maggie, I am offering an online workshop on January 25, 2011. You can find the link to the session information in the upper left section of this blog. The class is called Meeting Notes Made Easy.

Lynn

winifred tetteh

hi
am to submit a meeting minutes to two chairman of an association
how do i going by it? thank you
yaa

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

I am sorry that I do not understand your question.

Lynn

Nutifafa Tamakloe

thank you so much for deciding to help people. i want to find out from you whether it is acceptable when writing minutes to have statements such as "John said". i used to think it should rather be "John stated". please teach me which is correct. thanks

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Hello, Nutifafa. Both "said" and "stated" are correct. However, other words can be more efficient. Please read my blog post "Choose the Right Verbs for Shorter Meeting Notes" at http://www.businesswritingblog.com/business_writing/2010/03/choose-the-right-verbs-for-shorter-meeting-notes.html

Lynn

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