You will find it easier to work out what the meeting might be expected to achieve by engaging with a business item if you have a handy note to remind you of the sort of minute that could emerge. These are the main ones you’ll need:
Minute of record
This notes facts, usually where there was no discernment to record but the minute needs to be in the minute-book to remind the meeting of topic, dates, names and other details required for the archive. Much routine business can be formulated as minutes of record.
Minute of consideration
This goes slightly deeper than the ‘record’ type of minute. No decisions or actions were agreed as outcomes but the meeting’s records need to have a note that the meeting did address the item.
Minute of decision
This is the lengthy one and the hardest to draft in the meeting. There could be a complex matter to be addressed, maybe conflict is involved. As well as all previous minutes and discussions, you will need to add or attach all relevant papers as a paper trail. There could be diagrams, charts, summary documents and so on. The meeting will probably want to collectively edit your first draft of their outcomes. Don’t be disheartened by that – the resulting text will be one that the meeting should own as a community. You will have as many draft outcomes to hand as you can think of. Some of that wording could come in useful for the final agreed text.
Minute of appointment
This needs careful attention to names, places correct spellings and dates. If it concerns appointment to a period of service, a ‘till’ date of the agreed end date of the service must be included.
Minute of report
Don’t try to make a summary of the report – let the attached written report cover that. If the Friend reporting hasn’t provided a written version you still don’t need to summarise. However, the meeting might want one or two points to be included. Ask the meeting to suggest the wording they would like.
A useful type when the meeting has got stuck but expects something to be noted and agreed. It will note the facts of the item, how far the meeting has reached (if at all) and a final sentence to say when the discussion will be addressed another time. Keep this minute as brief as possible.
Sometimes an item isn’t concluded when the time is up. This could be during an all-day meeting, or one spread over several days. Each continued minute needs to include the wording ‘to be continued’ and there will be a clear paper trail noting the collection of minute numbers once it’s all concluded.