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Text comes from the book: “The career driver's license: Tips for success for everyone who starts working” (2011), published by, reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher.

Here writes for you:

Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Prof. Dr. Martin-Niels Däfler teaches at the University of Economics and Management (FOM) in Frankfurt am Main. Dafler, born in 1969, studied business administration and has been working as an independent communications and marketing consultant and trainer ever since - his clients include both large and medium-sized companies as well as numerous associations and academies. Since the beginning of 2010 he has been a lecturer at the University of Economics and Management (FOM) in Frankfurt am Main. His publications include “The career driver's license - tips for success for everyone who starts working”.

Write log in 9 steps: history and result

Often it goes like this: It is meeting and one is looked out, who grudgingly takes on the thankless task of writing a protocol - which nobody reads afterwards. Protocol are very important. But important: It has to be a good protocol.

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Good protocol - what does that mean?

Of the criteria, which should meet a good protocol, there is often ignorance. So: A protocol is the objective information about meetings, events, meetings, seminars, committees, debates, discussions or the like. A protocol should be complete and contain no personal comments or thoughts.

The participants can use the protocol for documentation and non-attendance for information purposes. One differentiates between two types of protocols: In results protocols the results of a meeting or session are summarized, regardless of how they came about.

exceptions prove the rule

Exception: Decisions are formulated in the wording (with voting results). In history logs, the course of a meeting or meeting is recorded, including all suggestions, objections, discussions, and remarks.

In the following, however, no distinction is made between these two forms, since the procedure is always the same for the transferee and, moreover, mixed forms often exist in practice - only the remarks in the middle section differ according to the above delimitation.

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Write the log - but how?

"Write the minutes today!" the boss says casually. And now? How do you create an optimal protocol? How do you get everything important in the meeting and at the same time manage to keep the red thread? And what is important anyway?

If the meeting is over and the recording clerk has worked hard, the most annoying part of the work follows: you have to write the log on the computer. It is not that difficult if you pay attention to a few points.

Step 1: Clarify organizational questions with the chairperson

Talk to the session leader and get the following information:

  • When does the meeting or session begin?
  • When should you be present as a journalist?
  • Is a result or history protocol desirable?
  • Is a nomination of the speakers required in the minutes?
  • How long will the meeting or session take?
  • Until when should you have created the log?
  • Who should read or release the log?
  • Who should receive the minutes?
  • Are there already documents (agenda, applications) that can be made available to you so that you can read into the topic?

Step 2: Provide all tools

Most journalists make notes on paper; only a few are typing their transcripts directly into a laptop. If you also prefer paper, then provide enough sheets and functional writing tools.

Maybe you want to use color pencils and text markers? If there is a company-internal form for protocol notices, use it.

Step 3: Appear on time at the venue

Come early in the conference room to secure a place from which you can see and hear all the participants.

It is also advantageous if you also have a place that allows good eye contact to the chairperson.

Step 4: Complete the log header

Now note the reason, place, date, participant, direction and start of the meeting or meeting. If you do not have the invitation and the agenda yet, have them given by the session leader at the latest.

If the participants are not personally known to you, leave a list of participants at the beginning. If this is not possible, you can have the participant names given to the chairperson immediately after the end of the event.

Step 5: Record the progress or the results

Once the actual event has begun, you need to concentrate fully to make no contribution. Depending on the type of protocol - see above - you can now create notes. It is advisable to use a separate sheet for each agenda item; number these papers so you do not get mixed up.

What do you do if you have not understood something exactly or could not write it down quickly enough? Quite simply: you ask. Everyone understands when you miss something. Of course, you should not inquire too often ...

If applications are made orally, it is advisable to read the transcript and have the applicant confirm that the application has been correctly noted. When voting on motions, you must record the result exactly: “10 votes in favor, 8 against, 2 abstentions.”

Step 6: Fill the log footer

After completing the meeting or meeting, enter the end time in your form. Make sure that you have a copy of all documents distributed during the course.

Talk briefly with the session leader and ask him if there are any changes due to the course of the event (such as a necessary earlier completion of the protocol or an extended distribution loop).

Step 7: Compose the actual protocol

It is best to start this task right away, because you have a fresh start in the head and can compensate any gaps in your notes.

Experienced protocol agents reserve sufficient time for the preparation of the protocol in the calendar immediately after a meeting or session. The more detailed and precise your inscription was, the easier you are now.

You should pay attention to this when writing

In general, take a brief look at the importance of the post or topic. And: The protocol language has some special features that you should consider:

  • Write in a factually-distanced style.
  • Interpretations or ratings are not welcome (unlike the Memorandum!)
  • Avoid transfers between agenda items.
  • In the progress log, write in the present form, in the result log either in the present or first past tense (“said”).
  • Keyword-like lists are possible with less important topics.
  • Mark speeches clearly, such as: "Mr. Messerschmidt explains, explains, explains, promises, agrees, emphasizes, contradicts ..."
  • Present longer speeches in indirect speech / in the subjunctive (“According to Ms. Sauer, an increase would…”).
  • Give relevant passages - such as motions or resolutions - literally and with quotation marks.
  • Only refrain from using names for insignificant contributions (“It was highlighted…”).
  • Include questions in the answers (“When asked if you also explained… Dr. Little ... ”).

Step 8: Release the log

Give your protocol to the session leader for reading. If there are no objections, it can now be signed by him and you.

Step 9: Distribute the log

Depending on the specified procedure, you can now make paper copies or send the log via eMail, Make sure you include all the attachments mentioned (applications, resolutions, slides, plans).

Make a signed copy of the transcript along with your transcript.

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