How to Transcribe Minutes

If you ever work an administrative position, it may be your job to transcribe minutes. It can be harder than you think to transcribe minutes. Transcribing minutes means striking the right balance between reproducing too little and too many notes you took at your meeting. Furthermore, you must exercise not only sharp listening skills but a good editorial sensibility. By following the guide below, you can produce a professional minutes transcription.

Do your transcription as soon as you can after your meeting. You will be able to easily recall what transpired at the meeting.

Correctly entitle your minutes document. Record the meeting's attendees, the meeting's objective(s), and the date/duration of the meeting. You should also include a key that lists the initials of the attendees alongside their full names, because each time an attendee speaks, you can preface their statements with their initials.

Transcribe the meeting in its chronological order. Divide discussions/conversations by topic, if more than one topic was discussed at the meeting. For instance, if the discussion changed from budgetary concerns to human resources, preface the next conversation as follows: "The discussion than changed to human resources department considerations..."

Distinguish between the important and unimportant discussions at your meeting. For instance, you certainly don't want to transcribe the moments that someone went off-topic and talked about personal matters. Instead of mentioning that the discussion veered off-course, write either ellipses "..." or something like, "After about an hour of unrelated conversation..."

Save your document to your hard drive (or flash drive) before you print it out. A minutes transcription records most of a business's major decisions, so it is essential that these decisions be saved for future reference.


  • Always check your spelling and grammer before you submit your minutes transcription to your boss. Ask your boss if there is a template you can use to transcribe your minutes. If not, ask if there are previous minutes transcriptions you can reference while writing your own.


  • Be extremely careful about recording any outbursts in a meeting. Do not mention the person behind the outburst, but state something like, "It was strongly encouraged that.." If you ever feel unsure about associating a name with a dicussion, consult with the chairman of the meeting.


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