C20 Keeping records

  • Clear, brief and accurate records should be kept of every meeting. Good records (minutes) mean that any disagreements about decisions made can quickly be checked. They can also be used to look back and check progress.
  • Good records should also be kept for each activity carried out. Many outside organisations may consider good records an indication of a group’s ability to manage resources and funds. They can also provide a record of those present at every meeting. They should always be open to members.
  • It is a good idea for members who act on behalf of the group to keep a diary in a notebook, recording each activity, how many came, what was shared or learnt, what were the results etc. This simple idea will provide good records and a lot of information when evaluating the work of the group.


  • Consider the purpose of records kept by any groups or organisations of which participants have experience. Did they fill a useful purpose? How often were they referred back to?
  • Could they have been more useful? Were members able to see copies of the records? Did they have too much detail or too little?
  • Consider the present meeting. How would you keep records of the meeting? Is it necessary to record all the discussion or just the decisions reached? Should minutes be as short as possible or as long as possible?
  • Have any participants kept a diary of their activities. Notes need only be very short, but could still prove a very useful record.