How to Take Minutes at a Business Meeting

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If you work in a business environment, the time is going to come when you will be asked to take minutes at a meeting. Impress your colleagues by already knowing how by following these steps.

Step 1: Bring a notebook
Bring a notebook to the meeting with you. If you will be writing minutes often, you may want to buy a good notebook to keep your minutes in rather than a cheap one.

If you have a laptop, you should use it to save time later.

Step 2: Send around a sign in sheet
Create a simple sign-in sheet that has columns for name and contact information and pass it around. You will be able to refer to this record in order to document attendance.

Find out who was supposed to be there and make sure you include the people who did not attend in the minutes under regrets.

Step 3: Begin note-taking
Begin note-taking by noting the date of the meeting and the time the meeting was called to order.

Step 4: Record old business
Record old business, which is anything that needed a follow up from the last meeting. Note anything that was done or not done and by whom.

Step 5: Record new business
Record new business. For example, when someone has an issue to address they will make a motion. Note exactly what they said along with who seconded the motion and whether or not the motion passed.

Step 6: Finish notes
Write down any action items or things specific participants agreed to do, but don’t transcribe word for word debates or discussions. End the notes with the time the meeting adjourned and the date of the next meeting.

Step 7: Type and distribute
Type up the minutes as soon as possible after the meeting so it’s fresh in your mind. Once you have typed them, distribute them to members for review and approval at the next meeting.

Did You Know?
During one day, there is an average of 17 million meetings in America.

20 Replies to “How to Take Minutes at a Business Meeting”

  1. Step 1 bring a notebook
    Step 2 Create a signage
    Step 3 note the time of the meeting
    Step 4

    Step 7 type the minutes

  2. Awesome information for those who want to know how to write minutes. Based on this video, I have written a website post. @t

  3. When most organizations had secretaries or assistants, then the stress of having to write down everything rather than focus on what is actually going on was not an issue. Take me back to Mad Men.

  4. I take board meeting minutes for a living in my role as non-executive chairman at several companies. I gave up hand written notes a long time ago, and now type as I go. I even commissioned some software to help me do it which several other companies now use. You can find out more about it at and sign up for the free version. Contact me if you want any tips on how to do it.

  5. When I was year 9 head girl (age 13) in school, i was asked to take minutes, and I had no idea what it meant. So I wrote how many minutes each person spoke for, and confidently handed the page in to the head teacher. She didn't react at all, so I thought I did it right, and moved on…Years later I remember that meeting and I'm still flushed with embarrassment whenever I speak to the head teacher since I now know what minutes are…FML

  6. If two parties meet do both parties send out minutes of the meeting or only one party?

  7. Short and powerful–replete with information. I watched a 10 minute video and got less information. Just brilliant.

  8. Thanks for the video! However this process is pretty heavy. I used to take meeting notes and minutes like this before but if you have more than 1 meeting a day it becomes really time-consuming. Now I use my iPad for meeting notes with the app "Beesy". It is way more easy to take notes and above all, it's dynamic note taking system enables an automated generating of meeting minutes that is impressive and hugely time-saving. You should have a look!

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