A primer on taking minutes for board meetings.

Advance preparation

Reformat and edit committee reports and the property management report. Use consistent style for minutes.

Establish styles sheet template for minutes. Currently 11-point Arial with 1.15 space between lines.

Update the footers and name and number the Appendices pages separately from the minutes.

Minute Processes

Before deadline for submissions to board package (one week prior to the meeting)

  • Create a file with Action Items listed in previous month’s Appendix A.
  • Circulate to the people responsible for Action Items to determine if the items are ‘not started’, ‘in progress’, or ‘complete’.
  • Send updated file to go with board package – Agenda item 3.
Prep for Board Meeting
  • Open the last minutes, save as current board meeting date.
  • Change footer: Date of the current board meeting – and date sent to board (to be completed on the day the minutes are ready to send).
  • Go through Agenda package (sent a week prior to the board meeting) and fill in as much information as you can.
  • Request reports that were provided in Word (get them from the chair – it’s much quicker than editing pdfs that come in the board package).
    • Review reports, clean up any typos etc. Check with the author any substantive suggestions for change.
  • Insert reports as Appendices.
  • Motions:
    • It’s helpful to have motions prior to the meeting when possible.
    • Motions are recorded in the minutes, not the appendices.
    • For online meetings, prepare a separate file for the chair that contains all the motions that have been submitted in advance so they can be projected on screen at the right time, and be amended if need be.

You can either add In-Camera notes in the minutes and remove them to a separate file after the meeting; or you can set up a separate file in advance and move to that file at the In-Camera portion of the meeting.

At Board Meeting
  • Ask chair to save Closed Caption if meeting by Zoom (for reference if needed).
  • Note who is present, who’s missing, number of observers, etc.
  • Capture verbatim comments as the meeting proceeds (remove to another file after the meeting).
  • Ensure motions are clear and accurate.
Next Day: Prep and File approved minutes of the previous meeting

After the minutes of the previous meeting are approved at last night’s board meeting:

  • Open the file that went “to members” last month.
  • Make changes (if any) that arose at last night’s meeting.
  • Save file name to Approved.

Change the footer on the file to include the Approved Date eg:
Minutes of OGHC Board Meeting 2022-02-08 (Approved 2022-03-15)

  • Print and File in the Library Binder.
  • Create PDF
    • Save PDF to OGHC Drive
    • Send PDF for uploading to website
Complete the Minutes of current board meeting.
  • Fine tune proceedings, ensure motions are clear and accurate. Refer to (Zoom) closed caption file if need be.
  • Remove In-Camera minutes and put them into separate file “In-Camera”.
  • Finalize minutes, change footer to include date the file is sent to the board. For example: “Minutes of OGHC Board Meeting 2022-02-08 (Draft to Board 2022-02-12)”
  • Send Minutes and In-camera minutes to board members for comment.
  • Send minutes to members for comment.
  • Once the board has given feedback, save a copy and change the footer to:
    Minutes of OGHC Board Meeting 2022-02-08 (Draft to Members 2022-02-15)
  • Export to PDF.
  • Send to members from OGHC Gmail.


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