Taking and Writing Minutes

The minutes are a permanent record of an Organisation’s activities and decisions. 
They should, therefore, be written on a hard backed copy (or typed and then paste the sheets on to the copy).
Loose leaf files are not acceptable because minutes could be altered or removed without this action being noticeable.
This good Secretary will not record every minute detail that went on at the meeting. The following passages illustrate the right and wrong way to do things.  
The Chairperson stated that we need to make a decision on whether to have a band or disco at the annual fundraiser for the Community Centre. John Lynch felt that a disco would attract a lot of young people and the possibility of trouble. Mary Dalton thought the disco was very successful last year. Tom Murphy felt we would get wider support from the community if we had a band. Michael Brady agreed with this. Eventually it was decided to get a band.
Accounts like this are too long winded and you lose people’s attention.

It is better to take concise notes at the meeting as follows: Item 7: Fundraiser for community centre. Discussion: Band or Disco? Decision: Band. Prices to be explored. Final decision to be made at the next meeting. Person Responsible: Matt Feelon  

Then the minutes can be written as follows: Item no. 7. A decision needed to be made on whether to have a band or a disco for this year’s Community Centre fundraiser. After a lengthy discussion it was decided to get a band. Matt Feelon is to get some prices of bands for the next meeting.

Minutes should be written as soon as possible after the meeting for two reasons.
 Firstly, because issues will be fresh in the mind and secondly, a ‘To Do’ list can be compiled and issues can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

 Duties After The Meeting
1. Write up minutes as soon as possible after the meeting.
2. Send reminder notices of decisions requiring action to the relevant people. A telephone call may suffice. 3. Promptly send all correspondence as decided by the committee.

Writing Letters
When writing letters try to keep them simple, make them short, precise and to the point. If available use headed notepaper, don’t use pages out of notebooks or copies. If you can’t get the letter typed, remember to write legibly.
At the start of the letter identify the group on whose behalf you are the writing. Always remember to give a contact number as well as your address. Keep a copy of the letter sent. Finally, and most importantly, check the letter for accuracy of content and also spelling.