Minute Taking Lingo For First-Time Minute Takers


So, it's a Tuesday afternoon, and all is going well in your office job, and then your boss says, "is it ok if you take the minutes for today's meeting?". You nod yes - how hard can it be? You've heard of minutes but never quite knew what they were. But inside, you're thinking, what even are minutes?! And how does one write such a thing?

You then sit comfortably in the meeting, waiting earnestly, to get as much written down from the meeting as possible. Then you start hearing all these strange terms you've not heard before... "move", "made a motion", "apologies". Suddenly, you turn into the human embodiment of the confused emoji face. Sounds familiar? Well, if you've ever done an administration or secretarial job, then it might be! Minute taking is a staple duty for many people working in administration, but it is often a skill that is very overlooked.

I wasn't always Speedy Minutes - Professional Minute Taking Service and I was once in the exact same boat you are. If this is your first time taking minutes, then here is A-Z of minute taking lingo to help you on your way.

Learn more about what Speedy Minutes does here.

  • Action items - Action items are the tasks that were agreed on in the meeting. These are arguably the most important thing to document in the minutes, noting who the task was assigned to and the time frame.
  • Agenda - This is a list of the items to be discussed in the meeting. This helps give a direction for the meeting and ensure participants stay on topic.
  • Apologies - Invited participants that could not attend the meeting are known as 'apologies'.
  • Minutes - Meeting minutes account for the points, actions, and takeaways from a meeting written in a word document. They serve as a legal record as to what took place in a meeting and who attended.
  • Motion - A motion is a proposal that is put before a meeting for discussion and a decision. Usually, a board member will "make a motion" or "move to approve" said motion. If a motion is passed, it becomes a resolution. It should be recorded in the minutes the voting outcome.
  • Resolution - A resolution is the final form of a decision taken at a meeting by voting on a motion. Resolutions are binding and should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.