Board Member How To: Write Effective Board Meeting Minutes

Usually, the board Secretary writes the meeting minutes, then forwards to the other board members for review and comments.  While writing meeting minutes may seem like a time-consuming task, here are some tips and tricks to make it a breeze:

  • Create a template - this template should include a section for each agenda item.  It is very important that Executive Session minutes are documented, but NOT included in the open meeting minutes.  Having separate documents for Executive Session and Open Meeting minutes is recommended. Sample templates can be found on Google, or from your Community Manager.  
  • Use the previous meeting minutes document to start the next - there are some activities that occur each meeting, so there is no need to re-type the information.  Also, when you start from the previous meeting minutes, there is already information on the tabled topics, which will also be included this time around.
  • Take good notes during the meeting - this is the most important aspect of writing meeting minutes. It is critical that the meeting minutes are accurate, so use whichever note-taking strategy works best for you.  You could event write notes in the meeting minutes template during the meeting.
  • Complete the minutes within a week of the meeting - the main reason for this tip is to make sure the information is still fresh in your mind.  
  • Only document final decisions -  meeting minutes only need to document the decisions made during the meetings.  Discussions, commentary, opinions, etc should NOT be included.
  • Limit the minutes to 2 pages - to encourage everyone to read the minutes, and to make posting the minutes on the community announcement area simple, it is recommended to keep them short.
  • Keep in mind that these are public documents - your meeting minutes will be read by homeowners and be a matter of community record for years to come.  Please keep your writing professional and courteous.  Do not include any slang, curse words, or other inappropriate language.