We all love to take meeting minutes don’t we? Well here’s an advice: Do it!

There are quite a few reasons why they should be taken:

  • It gives people that couldn’t make it to the meeting a chance to follow up
  • It tends to make sure the meeting stays on track, especially if you have an agenda as well
  • It’s easier to remember what decisions were made. (How often haven’t you been at a meeting that went round and round so much you couldn’t remember what was decided on an hour later?)

There are also quite a few reasons why you should take them:

  • It shows you as an organized and responsible employee and coworker
  • It can establish you as a leader as a good “minuteman” often needs to nudge the meeting back on course when to many digressions are made.
  • It can get you into meetings at which you would otherwise not have been allowed
  • You will have a much easier time remembering what was decided at the meeting

I will go deeper into it later how to take good meeting minutes but here are a few pointers:

  • Only write down decisions. No “Danny talked about his previous experience with mods”. Of course the exceptions are any vital reasons for making the decision and if someone directly asks you to put something into the minutes. Then you should always do so.
  • Be brief. Nobody wants to read the 40 page meeting minutes you write down from the 6 hours meeting. The best “minutemen” are those that can compress that meeting into 1 or 2 pages.
  • Keep the meeting on track. When you are waiting to write down a decision on something for a very long time, it might be time for you to get the meeting back on track. This can be done very subtly with a “Sorry but what was our decision on X again?”

I hope I managed to convince you to take excellent meeting minutes at every important upcoming meeting. I know that every company I have worked at needs someone [else of course] like that.

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