3 June 2011

Minutes in Minutes

Alas I do not have 'minions' to take minutes at meetings :j
(I use the word in reference to a twitter conversation in recent days.)

So I have developed a technique that allows me to handle both roles of chairperson and minute-taker. Not an ideal scenario, but it is workable for most of the project meetings I have to arrange.

It requires a laptop and word processor that can track changes. If you don't have one, can you borrow one for the meeting? No, you will need a minion.

1. Make a copy of the previous meeting's minutes and save it to the laptop.
2. Turn on track changes.
3. Leave the headings, but delete the notes and actions. With track changes turned on the text will show with a line through them but is still visible to provide context as you take notes and tidy up later on.
4. Change the date, location and time if necessary. Insert any new headings needed based on the agenda. Add any apologies that you have received. Add any notes-to-self if you are chairing so that you remember key points you need to raise in the meeting - mark these in a colour or make them bold or whatever so they stand out from the regular notes.
5. Go to the meeting
6. Record notes from the meeting, not worrying about spelling, grammar etc, just make sure that you have enough information to note the important points, names and their associated actions and dates. Save it.
7. Back at your desk, turn off the track changes. Turn the notes into proper sentences and tidy up actions etc.
8. Accept the changes you made so that the previous minutes are then properly deleted.
9. That should be all done.

Using this method I can generally post the minutes on the intranet or shared site on the same day of the meeting.