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Meeting minutes are meant to summarize the most important points of the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is for a group to convene and make decisions. The ultimate goal of the meeting minutes, under this line of logic, is to accurately summarize the decisions made during the meeting. Meeting minutes are taken in the form of notes, then written down later in full length. To make the process a little easier, ask the leaders of the meeting for an agenda, or summary of meeting events. Make an outline for meeting minute notes based on the meeting agenda.
Pay attention to the decisions made during the discussion. Make sure to notate all information related to the final decision.
Use the time when people are debating the decision to take notes about the key issues that seem to be involved in the discussion debate. Don't worry about who said what.
Read through the notes afterward and highlight the points that are the most pertinent to members. Go back and look through the notes for any pertinent information that was mentioned that pertains to the leadership aspect of the group. The discussion may verge into an important tangent, such as paperwork or legal concerns. Separate this information and mail it to the group leaders.
Summarize the points that are needed for volunteers and other affiliates. Write a bullet-pointed list of all the tasks that need to be completed based on the decision made in the discussion. If the decision, for instance, was to organize a fundraiser to alleviate a deficit in funds needed for another project, note that volunteers will be needed to plan the fundraiser, recruit volunteers, advertise, etc.
Use the summary of the meeting minutes for email for members and newsletters.
Make a standard format for the meeting minutes based on the usual proceedings. Save them, since the information they contain can become useful later. The group might find itself in a similar situation later, for instance, when the people who organized the original fundraiser are no longer part of the organization. The new members can use the meeting minutes to find solutions to problems that are new to them.
Be sure to record the date and time of the meeting with each entry, as well as a summary of the purpose of the meeting.
Write the meeting minutes in short blocks of one to three sentences, so that it reads kind of like a newspaper article. This will make the basic points of the meeting easier to understand for readers.
Josalin Mitchell began her writing career in 2009. She has written web content as well as grants, training manuals, reports and brochures for nonprofit agencies. Mitchell has a Bachelor of Arts in English and women's studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching in English education.