Ann from Presque Isle, Maine in the United States has asked for tips about taking minutes on a laptop computer.
The trick here is to prepare in advance. If you prepare the agenda and make it very detailed, then when the meeting is running, all you have to do is fill in the gaps on the agenda document and it becomes the minutes.
Most minute takers I know who move to taking minutes on a laptop, never go back to doing it manually.
Remember the key understanding you must have about minutes is that minutes are a record of what is decided and what is done, NOT what is said. Once you have that understanding then taking minutes on a computer is a breeze because you simply capture main points during discussion and then the final decision and then the action that is required.
People who have the most difficulty with minutes whether they are manual or on a computer are those who try to capture what people say – and this is not what minutes should be.
A great advantage of taking minutes on a laptop is that there is no transcribing later – a huge time saver!. You may need to edit slightly but it’s a much easier task than trying to transcribe handwritten notes.
I have been training in minute taking for over 25 years and now, about 70% of the minute takers I meet take their minutes directly onto a laptop and would never go back to handwriting.
It may take a person not used to a laptop a couple of meetings to get used to the idea of taking minutes directly onto the laptop but it is worth persevering.
There are other hidden advantages also. People who take minutes on a laptop are generally more highly regarded by the other people in a meeting than those who hand write minutes – it sounds crazy I know, but it’s true.
Also, if you do the minutes on a laptop, you can distribute them very soon after the meeting and that goes down very well indeed. It is ridiculous, but true, that minute takers are judged by the time it takes the minutes to be distributed far more than they are judged by the content of the minutes! The reason is that almost no-one reads the minutes, but they know when they receive them!
Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.