Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

Alternative to Taking Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes Alternative

I’ve always hated taking meeting minutes.  No one reads them and it takes forever to write them.  Plus you lose the input of the person in the meeting who has to take notes. So, unless you need minutes for legal purposes or to keep a thorough record of the history of a committee, consider this alternative to meeting minutes.

What do people want to know? People care about any decisions made in the meeting and what will happen next.

Therefore, I recommend groups create a “Decision Board.”

What you do is capture on a flipchart any decisions made on the agenda or even off-agenda.  So you might have something that looks like:

Agenda item #1: Identify the appropriate target audience for this product and schedule three focus groups with them.  Show prototype.  Must be finished by 60 days from now.  Peg will spearhead this effort.

A Decision Board also can include a decision to put off making a final decision until the next meeting.

Agenda item #2: No decision made. Everyone to review their estimated expenditures through year-end and report back this number in the next meeting on November 1.

The value of a Decision Board is that it will remind the group of what was decided and provides members with a focused set of instant minutes.  I recommend the Decision Board be typed up and sent out after the meeting as a reminder of what was accomplished.

So, creating a Decision Board as an alternative to meeting minutes will enhance participation and create more effective meetings!

Maximize Meetings Without Taking Minutes

Some time ago, Success Magazine queried online, “How To: Maximize Meetings?”

I responded with one important tip and it was selected as the Editors’ Favorite!   My suggestion was printed in Success Magazine in the Letters to the Editor section.  I was rewarded with a free copy of the magazine publisher’s (Darren Hardy) book  The Compound Effect.  Below is the tip that won the prize!

One recommendation I make to my clients on improving their meetings is to institute a Decision Board (often replaces meeting minutes).  This captures on a flipchart what decisions were made on each agenda item along with the appropriate next steps.  These become the meeting minutes and, when reviewed at the end of the meeting, remind people of what has been achieved and their commitments going forward.

I describe this technique in my blog post entitled Alternative to Meeting Minutes.