Re: Taking Minutes at Meetings

Subject: Re: Taking Minutes at Meetings
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 11:18:31 -0800 (PST)

Sorry, but I gotta wade in here on the minutes subject.

One of the problems with taking minutes is that you have to write
almost everything down. Hmm....sounds pretty good.

However, I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm in a meeting,
on a project that I'm going to have to write about, I'm doing other
things while I'm in the meeting...I writing down what transpires in
the discussion that I care about, but I'm also writing things down
that are maybe are not expressed in the meeting but have to do with
thoughts and reactions based on what is discussed in the meeting.
I'll be writing down questions, noting comments, drawing little
flowcharts and diagrams, making notes about meeting attendee
reactions, all kinds of stuff that has to do with MY part of the

I don't know how to do both of them well, and me doing my part well
is more important than someone else getting their copy of the

In addition, if you are the official minutes-person, you will be
expected to attend all meetings, even if something being discussed
has nothing to do with what YOU are doing. You don't have the option
of not attending. Also...I don't know about any of you, but I've been
in meetings where I discovered that I could be more effective
somewhere else and excused myself from the meeting...can you do that
if you are the minute taker?

I tell people that I'd be happy to share my notes of a meeting with
anyone else, but they need to understand that they are my
interpretation of the meeting and they only contain what I need to
know, not what everyone else would need.

> I suggest you swallow your pride and take minutes, and thus be one
> of the better-prepared writers on the block.

John Posada, Senior Technical Writer
"How to be happy in life: Never impose your beliefs
on anyone else and never fry bacon in the nude."
-- Anon
mailto:john -at- tdandw -dot- com, 732-259-2874

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