A Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Write Minutes

A Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Write Minutes


Writers Write creates resources for writers. In this post, we include a step-by-step guide to help you write minutes.

What are the minutes of a meeting and how do you write them? This post will tell you everything you need to know. 

Minutes are the official written record of a meeting. Any individual in attendance at a meeting can keep minutes. This person must distribute these minutes to all members at the meeting.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Write Minutes

The Template

  1. Heading 
  • The name of the committee (or organisation).
  • The date.
  • The location.
  • The starting time.
  1. Participants
  • The name of the person conducting the meeting.
  • The names of all those who attended the meeting (including guests).
  • Those excused from attending.
  1. Approval of previous minutes
  • Were the minutes of the previous meeting approved?
  • Were corrections made?
  1. Action items
  • A report on each topic discussed at the meeting.
  • Unfinished business from the previous meeting. 

For each item: 

  • Note the subject of the discussion.
  • Include the name of the person who led the discussion.
  • Include motions.
  • Note voting outcomes.
  • Include any decisions made.
  1. Announcements

Include announcements made by participants, including any agenda items for the next meeting.

  1. Next Meeting

Include where and when the next meeting will be held.

  1. Adjournment

Include the time the meeting ended.

  1. Signature line

This is name of the person who prepared the minutes. Include the date the minutes were submitted. 

Tips To Help You In The Meeting:

  1. Check-off attendees as they enter the room.
  2. Record decisions or notes on action items in your outline as soon as they happen.
  3. Ask for explanations if necessary.
  4. Do not capture unnecessary details.
  5. Record it. If you are concerned about being able to keep up, record the meeting, but let others know you are doing it.

Once the meeting is over, it is time to pull together your notes and write the minutes.

Tips To Help When You Are Writing The Minutes:

  1. Write the minutes as soon after the meeting as possible.
  2. Ensure all decisions, actions, and motions are clearly noted.
  3. Write in the same tense throughout.
  4. Do not use adjectives or adverbs.
  5. Edit for brevity and clarity.
  6. If you need to refer to other documents, attach them in an appendix, or indicate where they can be found. Do not rewrite them or summarise them.
  7. Be objective. Avoid inflammatory or personal observations.
  8. Avoid using people’s names except for motions or seconds. This is a business document, not about who said what.

Additional Tips For Board of Director’s Minutes:

  1. Include a short statement of each action taken by the board.
  2. Include a brief explanation of the reason for the decision.
  3. If there is deliberation before passing a motion, summarise the major arguments.

If you want to  improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme.

 by Amanda Patterson

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