How to Take Meeting Minutes as an Executive or Administrative Assistant

May 8, 2023


An administrative assistant sitting in on a meeting smiling with her coworkers. She's sitting at her laptop, demonstrating how to take meeting minutes effectively.

Knowing how to take meeting minutes is important for any executive assistant or admin professional. One of your main responsibilities is to support managerial and executive staff, and this usually includes sitting in on meetings and noting pertinent information. If you are wondering how to take more efficient and rapid meeting minutes, this article is for you. 

The Value of Meeting Minutes

Simply put, meeting minutes are the notes admins take from the start to the completion of a meeting. The duty of taking down meeting minutes is usually assigned to one admin professional. This is an important task, as everyone in the meeting relies on that individual to take accurate notes. More than that, team members rely on admins to later disseminate accurate notes to the meeting attendees. The main purpose of taking meeting minutes is to provide a concise and accurate overview of what occurred during a meeting. 

Utilizing a Meeting Minutes Template 

The best way to take accurate, informative meeting minutes is to develop a template that you can use during each meeting. A template is an outline or a “roadmap” that helps you expedite the writing process. Additionally, the template you create and use should be tailored to your company and the flow of your individual meetings. 

A good meeting minutes template should include: 

  • The name of the meeting minutes recorder 

  • Date and time of the meeting 

  • The attendees (a complete list) 

  • The purpose or agenda of the meeting 

  • Any decisions made during the meeting 

  • Any To-Do items assigned during the meeting, including who they were assigned to 

  • Back-up plans or ideas mentioned to support the decisions made 

  • Follow-up meeting date and time 

Moreover, things may stray off-topic during a meeting, or something unique or unusual may occur. If something occurs that seems noteworthy, even if it falls outside of the meeting agenda, note this down. 

Board Meeting Minutes: What's the Difference? 

As an admin or executive assistant, you may be tasked with the responsibility of keeping board meeting minutes. Board meeting minutes are a complete record of what occurs during a board meeting. These minutes are especially important, as the board of directors of any corporation or organization often makes the most important decisions. 

Board meeting minutes are similar to regular meeting minutes. However, there are a few key differences. For board meeting minutes, you must ensure you include the following: 

  • If the board chair is in attendance or not 

  • Which board members are in attendance

  • What other attendees are present, such as admins, presenters, or other guests

  • Approval or disapproval of the previous board meeting minutes 

  • Any reports or presentations that occurred 

  • Whether quorum requirements were met or not 

Noting whether quorum requirements were met or not during a board meeting is one of the most vital pieces of information. A quorum is the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at any of its meetings to make proceedings of that meeting valid.

If the quorum requirements are not met for a particular board meeting, any decisions or motions made during that meeting are invalid. Therefore, this portion of the board meeting minutes must be noted in writing. 

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