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Taking Minutes of Meetings

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Taking Minutes of Meetings

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A practical, easy-to-use resource for one of the most important people at any meeting: the minute-taker.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


The unsung hero of any corporate meeting is the minute-taker, quietly and diligently recording the decisions, big and small, that fuel the engines of business. Minute-taking is not simply the process of scribbling notes on a pad. A skilled minute-taker distills lengthy discussions down to their essential messages, and creates order and harmony from the often discordant process of reaching a consensus. Office communication consultant Joanna Gutmann carefully explains every aspect of the process, from setting up the meeting and distributing the agenda to taking notes and formatting the minutes. You will encounter quite a bit of redundancy if you read the book cover-to-cover, but getAbstract believes you will find it to be an indispensable reference if you are assigned to take the minutes.


Why Take Minutes?

Minutes are the essential documentation of a meeting and they:

  • Provide participants with a record of the meeting and its outcome.
  • Fill the gaps for committee members whose minds wandered, who had to leave or step out of the room, or who could not attend.
  • List all the action items and note who is responsible for each activity.

Most secretaries have no formal training in taking minutes, yet they usually get this assignment. Sometimes the chair will ask a meeting participant to take minutes. Today, meetings are less structured than in the past and the minutes reflect this more casual attitude. Some firms still want formal minutes, while others prefer a minimal record. Regardless of your firm’s meeting style, you can learn the valuable skill of taking minutes.

The Meeting Cycle

Organizations hold both regularly scheduled meetings convened at recurring intervals with the same attendees, such as weekly sales meetings, and "one-off," occasional meetings called to address specific nonrecurring issues. The meeting cycle has clear phases that facilitate organizing the gathering, and taking and distributing minutes...

About the Author

Joanna Gutmann is an office communication training consultant. She has designed and implemented several courses on office skills and communication for secretaries and other office staff members.

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