Oh meeting minutes, how you are the bane of existence. And yet every time I need you, there you are backing me up. Thank goodness for computers these days with the ability to copy paste, organize incessantly, and search every word. Yet there still must be a few tips to make the weekly annoying but necessary project status notes easier. Well, here are a few!
- Code word for No Change
- Good meeting minutes are consistent and have old and new business. That means every week the same topics and word combinations are on every copy. Whether the first time it was mentioned or weeks after resolved, how can a quick search tell you if it’s the one to open with the answers or not? If you have a code word, symbol, or other tell (try all caps) whether it is new or old news, the preview of the search results that match will tell you which one you’re looking for.
- Everything is online these days, so if you need to reference an email, an external url, or a full spreadsheet, make it easy to find by adding it in. In Microsoft Office, go to Insert > Object and you can even put in full excel spreadsheets. Drag and drop works too from a saved file.Then you don’t have to worry about saving it in 3 different places because all will reference a single document location.
- If you use Microsoft Word for your meeting minutes, there is a great feature called “Track Changes” under the Review tab. You could turn it on from meeting to meeting to know what updates happened at that meeting, rather than just the notes from before. Then, before your meeting, click “Accept all changes” so that your new meeting only tracks changes for the single meeting. Great idea!