Minutes in 90 Minutes

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These are the files I use for a class I teach on writing minutes.

You can download a .pdf file of my teaching notes here. These were written to make sense to me, so they’re not at all formal, and fairly rough. You’ll might need the free Acrobat Reader to print or view them. You can find a .pdf of the handouts used in class here. I last taught this class for the Getty Institute, and, at their request, have made the materials available here. You’re free to use them, though I ask that you let people know that you got them here, and that you do not distribute them on the Web, and that you leave my contact information in place.

In addition to including a number of templates with Microsoft Word and the other Microsoft Office applications, Microsoft offers other templates on their web site. The complete list of Microsoft Word for Windows templates is here. These templates are designed for use with Microsoft Word for Microsoft Windows, but most will also work with Microsoft Office on Macintosh. There are a few Macintosh templates here.

I include some printouts of templates in the handout from Microsoft’s Meeting and Agenda templates that I thought were most useful. “Minutes for organization meeting (long form))” is a fairly typical minutes format, with a place for listing attendees, approving the minutes, approving the agenda, open issues, new business, and proposing the agenda for the next meeting, the time of the next meeting, and of course, adjourning. You could easily add additional agenda topics, or a special section at the end for action items, and of course, the headings could be modified to suit your needs.

Minutes for organization meeting (short form)” is a very brief, and less formal template. The minutes are reduced to the title and time of the meeting, announcements, discussion and roundtable. You might want to add a section at the end for “Action Items,” where you would list tasks to be performed, the person who has agreed to perform them or has been appointed, and a due date.

The third template is the small screen shot showing the layout of the minutes form.The “Meeting Minutes” template. This template may be most useful when you’re actually taking notes at the meeting. It’s a form, and not only makes your minutes attractive, it encourages logical organization and offers visual cues about what information is most important. I’m not sure I’d use the form as it stands for the final, official minutes, but it would be fairly easy to edit and use the information you’ve entered in the form as the basis for your official minutes.