Notes of Meetings

Many meetings do not need to be noted in full, but action points should always be noted, and the note circulated to all present, and to anyone else who needs to be aware of decisions. It is particularly important that names and time scales are attached to action points.

Full notes must always be prepared of discussions of important subjects. This is to avoid or resolve later disagreement about what is said, and/or to communicate views and decisions to those who need to know about them. See also my separate advice on how to conduct effective meetings.

Notes of formal meetings are known as Minutes (with a capital M).

Contrary to popular perception, civil servants' notes are clear and unambiguous. The Cabinet Minutes Style Guide offers excellent advice. Here are some extracts - advice which you should follow whenever you are writing any meeting note:

Grammar, punctuation, etc.

If you have not read Lynne Truss’s excellent book Eats, Shoots and Leaves, we would recommend it.

There are also a number of conventions for capitalisation and abbreviation:

Martin Stanley