What are minutes? And do I need them?

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What happened at the meeting of the One Handed Clock Committee?                             

Nobody knows; they didn’t record any minutes.

Moving swiftly on from that pitiful attempt at a joke, this week on the blog we are talking about the importance of minute taking.

Meeting Minutes

In their simplest form, minutes are a way of ensuring that all topics raised and decisions made in a meeting are fully recorded in an unbiased and impartial manner. Having a minute taker present during a meeting not only takes away the burden of remembering what was discussed, but also means that, post-meeting, you’ll have a clear record of everything which happened.

Beyond the Courts

Before we get too far into why you might want a live note or minute taker present during your next meeting, though, let me clarify something. For many of us ‘average Joes’, the first time we come upon minute takers is during procedural crime dramas on television. You know the ones, when Bad Boy Benny is found out by the wig-wearing, crime-fighting lawyer, because, according to the court minutes, he’s repeatedly changed his alibi for where he was when Ole’ Mrs Humphrey’s gnome was stolen. Minutes aren’t only necessary for these niche situations, though – they can be taken for many different styles of meetings, such as parish council meetings, working parties, departmental briefings, AGMs, and even recorded phone calls.

So, now that we’ve clarified gnome theft is not a prerequisite for hiring a minute taker, let’s look at why you might want to hire one.

We’ve Got you Covered

Firstly, they can provide legal protection. In the case of statutory meetings, board meetings and other formal occasions, a record of minutes stands as legal proof of what was discussed and agreed upon. If there is ever a dispute over decisions made during these types of meetings, these records can then be used to clarify the matter. Indeed, for some in the legal profession, if an event isn’t noted down in the minutes then it didn’t happen.

Minutes can also serve as an agreement to begin enacting any decisions made during a meeting. So, if a council agreed to construct a ten-foot high statue of Mr. Blobby in their local park, the minutes of that meeting would serve as a formal agreement to go ahead with that construction, regardless of the horror of children and adults in years to come.


A straightforward yet not to be overlooked reason for having a minute taker is that, as is the case in many progress briefings or statutory meetings, minutes serve as a means for continuing discussions. If a conversation was not concluded in a previous meeting, then the minutes can be used to continue it in the next meeting.

Hire Impartial Professionals

Finally, if minute taking sounds too formal for your event, we also provide a live notetaking service. As with our minute takers, our notetakers will attend your meeting, bringing all the equipment they require. They can provide you with a rough draft afterwards, and that will be followed up by a checked and edited copy, which will be in your inbox first thing the following morning.

Our minute takers are professional and discreet, and can provide you with a rough draft immediately, whilst a proofread copy will be sent to you within 48 hours of the meeting.

Be sure to check out the ‘Services’ tab on our website for more information about minute and note taking, including the different styles we can provide you with to make your life a whole lot easier.

Written by Transcriber Lydia


Take Note offers  bespoke transcription services worldwide via our secure online  portal; from  Youtube video subtitles to  verbatim legal documents, podcast transcription, translation and all in between. For a quick  quote, or simply some advice on  timestamped transcripts or video SEO,  get in touch!

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Take Note

Take Note is a UK-based transcription service with world-class customer support alongside the highest standards of security and ethics. We deliver a comprehensive range of transcription services including Audio and Video Transcription, Video Captions and On-Site Note Taking.