As a result, she can quickly send out notes after the meeting “because I don’t have to figure out how to organize the topics. And it looks the same each time I send it out,” she says.
Finelli isn’t the only one using timesaving meeting tactics. Some people spend eight hours a day in meetings. So any tip that helps speed up front-end or back-end work can be a lifesaver.
Peerless minute-taking skills can be yours in just minutes — Effective Minute-Taking: Tips to Improve Your Meeting-Recording SkillsHere are a few more of Finelli’s power tools for meetings:
Bring your laptop. “You can type a lot quicker than you write,” she says, “though most savvy admins already know that.”
Block out time the day after a meeting to finish your notes. For note-heavy meetings, Finelli reserves time to finish her minutes—by the following day, at the latest. “Your memory will be fresher and the notes will be done faster and easier.” She also sets an internal deadline for having minutes distributed.
Provide nameplates and tent cards. Finelli keeps a Word template for the nameplates.
If it’s a large meeting or if anyone is new, “it’s helpful to have nameplates for all employees so everyone knows whom they’re talking to.”
Mastering the minute-taking process, from the 8 things you must do before the meeting starts ... to the proper format for submitting minutes once the meeting is over ... and everything in between. Learn howUse ergonomic equipment. “Remember to take your footrest, wrist rest, keyboard and chair when taking notes,’’ Finelli says. “It helps!”
Keep a recording device ready, to relieve the stress of capturing every detail as it happens. They can be particularly useful for impromptu meetings, when you haven’t brought a laptop.
For example, the ThumbTack is a mini-microphone that plugs into the headphone jack of an iPod nano or touch.
Save a running list of meeting tips. Finelli shares her tips list with other assistants on her team and asks them to add their best practices.
Nationally renowned speaker, author and trainer Joan Burge will take you from pre-meeting preparation to post-meeting follow-up – giving you a comprehensive overview of the minute-taking process, and providing the skills that you can put to work immediately.
Effective Minute-Taking: Tips to Improve Your Meeting-Recording Skills will help you:
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- Discover the appropriate way to take, write, draft and distribute meeting minutes
- Establish guidelines and check-off lists to ensure quality
- Feel comfortable with the role of meeting recorder
- Review samples and illustrations of appropriate agendas and minutes
- Determine what information should be captured
- Know how to prepare your draft and final copy
- Correct, file and index minutes
- And much more!