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In meetings, do you take your own notes or rely on the minutes?

(39 Posts)
UnquietDad Mon 22-Jun-09 17:22:51

Thought it would be interesting to ask this as it is a side-discussion which has come out of the debate on handwriting in the Crafts thread.

If you work or have worked in an office environment, and you have an appointed admin person to do the minutes - do you sit there and take your own notes as well?

Because it seems some people do, and I have never known this.

I don't mean the odd jotting about an action point or meeting time particular to me which can go in my diary. I mean notes of what other people have said, for your own records.

PandaG Mon 22-Jun-09 17:26:51

just make my own notes re dates etc., as minutes do not always get circulated for a few days. Don't ever keep detailed notes.

(maybe I would if there was an issue I felt strongly about and was unhappy about the accuracy of minute taking - but this situation has never arisen!)

UnquietDad Mon 22-Jun-09 17:27:52

Yup, that's what I've always done, Panda.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 22-Jun-09 17:31:53

I always take my own minutes. As minutes can easily be 'edited' to incorrectly summarise something, or place emphasis on something, or missed, or not get typed up at all. But I am also paranoid grin

If it is a basic team meeting full of hot air and bluster ideas that are just being trashed about I don't, but if it a formal meeting to do with for example, supervision, or about a risk issue, or about something that I will want to refer back to correctly (ie if it is not recorded properly it can be a problem) then I record my own minutes.

DeborahBorr Mon 22-Jun-09 17:34:35

God, no, I'm not awake for long enough for any notes to be coherent. We have meetings about meetings. I rely on the minutes and quickly scan them to check whether or not my name is against an Action Point.

theDreadPirateRoberts Mon 22-Jun-09 18:26:04

Yep, for two reasons - 1. Sometimes it's the only way I can stay awake, and 2. Huge differences can be achieved in what was said and what is understood by careless (or careful) slanting of phrases. For this reason, I often used to offer to scribe unasked wink

choufleur Mon 22-Jun-09 18:29:48

depends what the meeting is about and whether I am likely to have to do things as a result of the meeting

fridayschild Mon 22-Jun-09 18:33:26

I take notes of my action points and to stay awake.

UnquietDad Mon 22-Jun-09 23:58:38

All very interesting. Thanks.

gigglewitch Tue 23-Jun-09 00:02:29

UD, I always take my own ... sometimes I do wonder if the "official" minutes produced by a certain manager at our place are about the same meeting as the one I have attended!! grin

Tortington Tue 23-Jun-09 00:03:54

i take notes on what pertains to me

nooka Tue 23-Jun-09 07:08:59

God no. I do re-write other people's minutes on a fairly frequent basis though, as it's not a skill that people are necessarily very good at (sadly I've organised a fair few committees in my career). Short notes about key points are generally sufficient for that.

If the meeting is one I am not central too, then I usually doodle quite a bit though grin

traceybath Tue 23-Jun-09 07:13:33

I would take notes so i could ask for official minutes to be amended if necessary.

Also to prompt me on my actions because the minutes may not be distributed that promptly.

However to be honest as a project manager it was normally me taking all the notes anyway.

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 23-Jun-09 09:06:02

I used to through notes re anything I needed to action stuff that was coming etc. Used to be a girl who would take notes of everything including everyone elses actions, even informal discussions that were not minuted. I thought very strange

slug Tue 23-Jun-09 09:20:44

I've taken up recording them. But then I'm working on a podcasting project at the moment so it pays to practise what I preach.

AMumInScotland Tue 23-Jun-09 09:29:00

Just my own action points, date of next meeting, deadlines etc. Plus other thoughts that have been triggered by something at the meeting, but aren't actually being discussed and minuted. eg thoughts of "Oops I'd better check that's actually working" which I'd prefer not to mention out loud...

3littlefrogs Tue 23-Jun-09 09:30:17

Always take notes IMO.

One committee I am on has a "minute taker" who always gets it spectacularly wrong. And circulates the minutes before they have been approved/agreed. It drives me mad, so now I take my own.

snickersnack Tue 23-Jun-09 10:47:25

I always take my own notes. Meetings I'm in generally aren't formally minuted - someone may be put in charge of capturing what needs to be done and sending it around - so I'm used to writing things down. I find it quite a helpful way of cementing what's being said in my mind.

tinierclanger Tue 23-Jun-09 10:48:48

Always take my own notes. Our minutes are circulated for approval and nearly always something gets missed!

UnquietDad Tue 23-Jun-09 11:06:46

With so many of you taking your own notes it rather begs the question of what minutes are FOR. I've never been in a meeting where I have been bothered enough to do this. And I've been a project manager!

BonsoirAnna Tue 23-Jun-09 11:08:43

Minutes are a consensual output of the meeting.

Your own notes are a record of the individual POVs.


UnquietDad Tue 23-Jun-09 11:11:44

Is that everywhere or just in Paris and Milan ? wink

Sunshinemummy Tue 23-Jun-09 11:16:38

I take my own notes but not verbatim minutes, rather I log actions, decisions and any risks, assumptions, issues or dependencies that arise.

Swedes Tue 23-Jun-09 11:20:13

Minutes = arse covering for all
your own minutes = covering your own arse

Swedes Tue 23-Jun-09 11:22:47

btw I loathe the way the word action is used in a business context, it really makes me want to vom.

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