• Caroline Donough

Minute-Taking in the 21st Century

I'm constantly amazed at how technology keeps innovating the way we work. Just look at minute-taking for example. When I was starting out as an Executive Assistant years ago, the tools we used for writing minutes back then were a pen and a notepad, and sometimes maybe a recorder as well. Now, though, instead of a pen and a notepad, we take our laptops into the boardroom. Welcome to minute-taking in the 21st century!


But despite the gift of technology, some common challenges still exist in minute-taking. For instance, sometimes people talk too fast. Some speak with an accent. Sometimes the discussion goes off-agenda and you're not sure how much detail to put in. Decisions, tasks and due dates may not be clear... and so on and so forth. While it may not be possible to change people's behaviour, it is possible to change and evolve the tools we use. I'd like to share a tip which might help other Executive Assistants or anyone who's tasked with writing minutes. You'll need media streaming tech like Google Chromecast and a large screen TV with HDMI port for plugging in the Chromecast dongle. Even better if the TV has Chromecast already built-in - that way, no need for the dongle. Or just a projector and a projection screen will do. Here's how we do it where I work: We cast our minutes template onto the boardroom's big screen so that everyone in the meeting can see exactly what I'm typing as the meeting unfolds. The beauty of doing this is that we can correct any error on the spot, making sure that what's written is an accurate account of the discussion. The best part is that the minutes are good to go the moment the meeting ends. No need for transcription later and no trying to recall who said what. If you haven't tried this before, I encourage you to give it a go. It's brilliant. It saves time and makes writing minutes so much easier.

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