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Minute Taking Tips

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Before the Meeting

Scribes, please do this several minutes before the start of the meeting. I think you can do this up to 1 hour before the scheduled meeting time.

Enter the following commands in the #eo IRC channel:

  • trackbot, start meeting
  • Scribe: YourName
  • ScribeNick: your irc nickname
  • Chair: Name
  • Regrets: Name, Name (get regrets from the attendance questionnaire list those who indicated "Cannot participate" or "Maybe cannot participate")

During the Meeting

Enter the following commands in the #eo IRC channel.

  • [Shawn will help with this] To indicate who is at the meeting:
    Present: Name, Name, Name
    To add names:
    Present+ Name
  • At start of a new topic:
    Topic: What the new topic is
  • To record what someone says, put their name or initials and a colon:
    Jane: strongly support the revised heading
  • To record a resolution:
    RESOLUTION: What the resolution is
  • To record an action (remember the action will be listed out of context so be specific):
    ACTION: Shawn to record actions clearly
  • What to record:
    • You don't need to record everything that it said, just the "jist" of the relevant comments
    • Make sure to record final decisions carefully
    • Feel free to ask for clarifications of who is speaking, for important things to be repeated, for someone to scribe their own thoughts (if they are in IRC), or for the meeting to pause momentarily so you can catch up with scribing
    • ...

For more info, see: IRC Trackbot commands and Zakim IRC bot.

At the end of the meeting

Do the following right after the meeting (because the agenda and regrets get wiped away after the meeting):

  1. Enter the following command in the #eo IRC channel:
  2. Download the content from:
  3. Agenda: Copy the agenda items from - make sure to get the list markup up and links for HTML
  4. Regrets: Make sure you have all the regrets from the attendance questionnaire (Note that this is formatted as a definition list

After the Meeting: Editing Draft Minutes

  • Copy the agenda items from and paste it at the top of the minutes under the <h1>, see example. Make sure to markup up the lists and include the links.
  • Review the minutes, and:
    • Add a brief summary of key decisions and discussions, e.g., see 4 May 2012. This is particularly useful for people who were not able to attend the meeting.
    • Add info as needed for clarification, e.g., documents that were referred to but did not get in the minutes. [you can add information in brackets] However, be careful not to add content that was not discussed in the teleconference. Especially make sure that the action items at the end make sense out of context.
    • Remove "chatter" not important for later readers, e.g., things like "this should be a short meeting"... Delete extraneous material; e.g., side comments about dogs barking upstairs, people being out sick, etc.
    • Check that important words aren't missing; e.g., missing "not" in the sentence "I do like that solution"
  • Delete:
    • <h1>- DRAFT -</h1>
    • "See also: IRC log."
  • Put the date in with the <h1> (instead of as an <h2>)
  • Confirm that the <title> got set. If it says "SV_MEETING_TITLE", change that to "EOWG"
  • Confirm that the major agenda topics are listed in the Contents section, marked up as <h2>, and linked to the topics below. Add other headings (e.g., <h3>) as appropriate to help group the information and facilitate skimming for specific sub-topics.
  • If there are no action items, add "[none]" to the link in the Contents section:
    Summary of Action Items [none]
  • Skim the "Scribe.perl diagnostic output" section, see if you need to make any edits based on the notes, and delete it.
  • If someone else is cleanning up the minutes besides the scribe, you can add your name, e.g,:
    Scribe: Bob, cleanup: Sue
  • Validate the HTML.
  • Email the minutes to Eric & Shawn at
  • Thanks!