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9 tips for better meeting minutes

Assistant creates meeting minutes

Minutes are the secret weapon in the arsenal of assistants and the like. They are more than just notes, but are unfortunately often seen as a necessary evil and tend to disappear into digital drawers.

Above all, however, they are the basis for forward-looking decisions. It is, so to speak, a diary entry in terms of corporate strategy. However, writing good minutes is an art. With just a few tips, taking notes can be significantly improved, making the recording of meetings child's play. Continuous documentation ensures that the objectives, resolutions and requests for action defined in meetings are recorded in a readable format.

Depending on the committee, these minutes have the character of instructions and are often official documents that can be used in legal matters. Therefore, pay attention to accuracy when creating them. On the one hand, the meticulously documented statements can help the decision-makers; on the other hand, information that is not stated or is generally incorrect can lead to disadvantages for those involved. Don't worry: the minute takers are the pen that records everything. They cannot guess whether and how the document may have legal consequences. However, conscientiousness is essential in this task.

The meeting participants bear responsibility and make decisions. To do this, they need the best possible information base. Assistants and helpful minds record the decisive words, statements or decisions that serve as a basis for the board and other managers. That sounds like a lot of responsibility for the people who write the minutes. And that is correct. You can integrate into your daily work routine at any time to make this responsibility easier and simplify work processes in your favor.

Tips - simplify your minutes process

Behind a good decision there is often a meeting in which everything is prepared or decided. And these meetings only work if someone takes excellent minutes. Here are our tips:

Tip no. 1: Know the meeting process and agenda

Preparation is half the battle. Discuss the agenda with the chair of the meeting and store it digitally in an agreed location. In our software, all meeting participants have the option of leaving comments.

Tip no. 2: Relaxed and smooth process thanks to software

Simplicity and consistency in the handling of a meeting ultimately means using a central platform for all applications. The decision to use the ready-made logging function for real-time logging is therefore an obvious one.

Tip no. 3: Listen attentively instead of writing frantically

For excellent meeting minutes, it is important to listen actively and properly. Use your experience and a predefined text structure. This will enable you to distinguish important information from empty phrases.

Tip no. 4: You take minutes, but don't discuss them

Objectivity is an important quality for minute-takers. Whether it's the debate, the attendance recording or other points, record them impartially. If you remain objective, so will the minutes. In particular, keep personal comments out of the minutes.

Tip no. 5: KISS - Keep it short & simple

Do not use convoluted sentences or language that is difficult to understand in the minutes. Keep it simple, clear and direct. This simple language also makes it easier for others to follow the content of the meeting days, weeks, months or even years later.

Tip no. 6: As short as possible, as detailed as necessary

Minutes are meant to be read. That's why it always makes sense to get to the point quickly and show the readership what it's all about. If you include details in the minutes, make sure that they are relevant to the matter at hand. Notes make a lively discussion tangible and your brief remarks comprehensible.

Tip no. 7: Who is there, who is not?

The attendance list is recorded in the minutes. That is your job. "Oh, what does it matter if board member X's absence isn't written down." Quite a lot. Votes are often taken at board meetings. Who voted for or against and who was conspicuous by their absence is particularly important in subsequent legal disputes.

Tip no. 8: Take the minutes promptly

Yes, taking excellent minutes can take a while. But putting it off makes no sense. The reason is simple: you may have good notes, but many important details are in your short-term memory. You cannot tap into this memory indefinitely. Effective board and meeting management software is your trump card here. You can use various functions to write the minutes in pure form during the meeting. You can then edit the minutes a little and they are finished. Within a short time, it is available to the other participants. This is how you promote your reputation as a reliable worker.

Tip no. 9: Sharing is caring

After the approval loop, the minutes can be sent to the participants. Alternatively, individual excerpts from the minutes can be sent to other people via the software. This way, you have the minutes in all the right hands immediately and also have a reminder to read them. makes it easy to appoint minute takers in advance and record them live in the system during the meeting. Decisions and agreed measures are recorded separately in the software with all details. Before the minutes are sent to the participants, feedback can be easily obtained digitally via our framework. The approved document is then optionally available as a Word and PDF document.

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