What are your tips and tricks and tools for someone who has been told they have to take board minutes with no training. I am totally freaking out about this. I sat in on a meeting last week and found it so hard to keep up and take notes. I am not allowed to record the meeting which would have been a life saver but it is not an option. My anxiety levels are so high. I have expressed my concerns about this but they haven’t really been taken in. I have considered leaving but I love my job otherwise so I would rather stay and try work through this issue.

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  • Thanks for posting this. I am very keen to follow this post for an answer also.

  • Maybe learn short hand, abbreviations for words, so you can write quicker. Bit rough that you can’t record the meetings

  • Learn your own short hand. I hate taking meeting minutes and I feel for you that you can’t record them. Seems silly as they are more guaranteed accurate board meetings minutes if they are recorded.

  • Maybe ask for some training. Attending training to upskill can be a good thing and looks good on a CV too.

  • I use dot points when taking short and concise minutes.

  • Do they have an agenda? This might help to give you the topics they’re talking to, preparation is key. Get to know the people, areas and what they’re working on. who is sitting where (could ever draw yourself a map until you know people better). Over time it’ll become easier but hang in there, you can do it (I’ve been there and now am much more comfortable taking committee and board minutes!). Also, google can be your friend. There’s some great articles on helpful hints. If you are part of a more formal set up (eg local government) look at supporting organisations (local government association) as there are formal procedures to follow. Once you become more comfortable with who is saying what, what they’re working on and talking about, you can focus on the highlights of the discussion and what you’re supposed to record. You’re new to this, ask questions. Let THEM tell you the resolutions they want recorded and wording. Ask your boss for guidance on what level of detail. You can totally set the scene for them and lead them to give you the info they need recorded and to what level.

  • Dragonfire?
    Why cant you record it but minutes are allowed?

  • I’m an EA and take minutes all the time so am used to it. I take my laptop with me and type as people speak.
    It also depends on what kind of minutes they are after – whether it’s word for word or just the important points which will be referred to back later such as actions which need to be taken outside of the meeting in which case you don’t really need to worry too much!
    Just ask your boss what they are looking for with the minutes and this may ease your anxiety. Especially if it’s only to take the actions.

  • I’d ask again or if they can let you speak to others that have done the job before for advice. I used to use a laptop and take basic notes then edit it later. Writing by hand got too messy and I couldn’t read it all later.

  • When I take notes from meetings I often don’t write sentences, just words which I work out later

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