Minutes, also known as protocols or, informally, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting or hearing. They typically describe the events of the meeting, starting with a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues.
Minutes may be created during the meeting by a typist or court recorder, who may use shorthand notation and then prepare the minutes and issue them to the participants afterwards. Alternatively, the meeting can be audio recorded, video recorded, or a group’s appointed or informally assigned Secretary may take notes, with minutes prepared later. Many government agencies use minutes recording software to record and prepare all minutes in real-time.
For private organizations, it is usually important for the minutes to be terse and only include a summary of discussion and decisions. A verbatim report is typically not useful. The minutes of certain groups, such as a corporate board of directors, must be kept on file and are important legal documents.