Just imagine: never having to take minutes again! How great would that be? Sorry to burst your bubble. Taking minutes is, and will likely always remain, a necessary evil. You know as well as anyone, that proper minutes--including clear lists of decisions and action points--ensure that the subsequent meeting flows faultlessly. Unfortunately, we cannot erase the necessity of taking minutes, but the following tips will help you to take them much more quickly! Here are 6 tips for efficient meeting minutes-taking.
Tip 1: Clear agenda
With a clear agenda, you simplify life significantly. It saves a lot of irritation. If the objective of each agenda item is clear and the amount of time to be spent on it defined, communication is simplified. And the more focused the discussion, the easier it is to take minutes!
Tip 2: Many new faces? Make a face chart
Are there many unknown faces in the meeting group? Make a face chart in advance, so that you can type with the discussion and know who was speaking and when. That way you can keep on top of it and don’t have to wonder who-said-what later.
Tip 3: Dare to ask
Does the structure of the meeting run amok despite your good preparations? Are you unsure what was actually decided? Dare to ask for an explanation. That will only result in concrete results that will only improve the meeting!
Tip 4: Double role? Double preparation!
The modern secretary is no longer just the manager’s right-hand man, they are co-managers. So you may need to participate in the meeting yourself and take notes. If so, then prepare thoroughly because doing both at the same time is extremely difficult. Assure that you have all of your arguments already clearly mapped out. Do you have a large stake in the meeting? Ask then a colleague to take over the minutes for “your” agenda point.
Tip 5: Meet digitally
We meet to define action points and to make decisions. It is thus extremely handy to register the action points and decisions directly into the agenda item. With digital meetings, you can do that: you define action points and decisions with automatic properties. That saves a lot of time during note-taking, but also afterwards: you can send the minutes much more quickly. Do your colleagues want a list of decisions by subject, dossier, meeting or person in charge? No problem, these overviews are available by pushing a single button!
Tip 6: Don’t procrastinate …
Don’t put off the minutes for too long. The faster you begin, the fresher the meeting will be in your mind. Read through your notes as soon as possible and organize them into a logical structure. Run into vague patches? Now you can fill them in based on the context.