The Difference Between a Personal Assistant and an Independent Minute Taker

personal assistant at desk with notebook and computer

We have heard a number of times the phrase “Doesn’t the P.A take the minutes of a meeting?”. While this is often true in many workplaces, there are a number of tasks that a personal or executive assistant will have on their list of duties. When you’re thinking of ways to streamline your business, save time and help your personal assistant in the long term, an independent minute taker may be the perfect option for you.

What does a personal assistant do?

There is a long list of tasks a personal or executive assistant may have to cover within the workplace. In general, assistants work for managers and executives, or even wealthy celebrities and families. They have a number of responsibilities which can include:

  • Acting as the first point of contact via phone or written correspondence
  • Arranging transportation and accommodation
  • Managing appointments and the person’s schedule. Making sure no appointments overlap is a must.
  • Acting as a reminder for important events and tasks
  • Organising conferences and events
  • Creating reports and presentations
  • Managing files and administration systems
  • Liaising with other staff and individuals on behalf of their manager
  • Miscellaneous tasks as assigned by the manager
  • Taking minutes at meetings

As you can see, this is a rather long list of tasks and this isn’t an exhaustive list of what a personal or executive assistant can do. Depending on the industry they’re working in, there may be other tasks that are their responsibility such as social media posting, general maintenance at the office, and so on.

What is an independent minute taker?

An independent minute taker is a person who attends meetings and takes the minutes. They will not have any say in the meeting and their responsibility is to ensure the minutes are taken accurately and professionally. Because they do not work for the organisation itself, they have an unbiased approach to the minutes, ensuring that the minutes are as accurate as possible. They can provide the minutes in a quick time frame, allowing you to focus on the tasks and responsibilities highlighted during the meeting. Overall, they make the meeting run smoothly and can help you to have a reliable set of notes and minutes every time you hold a meeting.

Why don’t I just get my assistant to take the minutes of the meeting?

You can. But, as you can see from the lengthy list above, your personal or executive assistant may have a plethora of tasks already on their hands. In many cases, a personal assistant may not have the experience and expertise to provide you with an accurate set of minutes, but they are perfect at every other aspect of their job.

Taking minutes in a meeting doesn’t stop when the meeting is over. The assistant will usually need to set aside some time after the meeting to package all of the minutes into a comprehensive document. It needs to be legible and easy to access for all stakeholders. More often than not, the minutes are put aside as a non-urgent task and can be forgotten about, which is never helpful for your compliance. Instead, this is where an independent minute taker can help enormously.

To help your assistant to focus on more important tasks set out for them, hiring an independent minute taker can help you to:

  • Obtain accurate and professional minutes for every meeting
  • Ensure the minutes are ready for everyone involved within a professional time frame
  • Have an unbiased set of minutes
  • Help your personal assistant to focus on more important tasks

If you’re looking for someone to handle your minute, contact Sarah at Meetings Into Minutes today. We can handle all of your minute-taking needs in a professional and accurate manner. Call today on 0421 388 337 or contact us now.

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