Agenda vs Minutes: Difference and Comparison

Meetings are the group communication process where several people come together and discuss their business or other related things. Both Agenda and Minutes are a vital part of the Meeting.

Key Takeaways

  1. An agenda is a list of topics to be discussed, while minutes record what was discussed and decided.
  2. Agendas are prepared before a meeting to inform attendees of the topics to be discussed, while minutes are prepared after the meeting to document the decisions made.
  3. The agenda is a guide to keep the meeting on track, while minutes serve as an official record of the meeting proceedings.

Agenda vs Minutes

Agenda is a list of items to be discussed at a meeting, while minutes are a written record of what was discussed and decided at a conference. The agenda sets the plan for the meeting, and minutes record the outcome. An agenda outlines the topics and the order in which they will be discussed. Minutes include the names of attendees and a summary of the main points addressed.

Agenda vs Minutes

The agenda is the list prepared before the meeting, containing all the essential topics to discuss. It is sent to all the members and is approved by the Chairman only.

The Minutes are the record of all the discussed topics in the meeting; it is prepared after the session ends by the secretary and confirmed by the chairman after getting approval from its members. It is crucial as it contains all the details of the meeting.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAgendaMinutes
MeaningList all the topics that need to be discussed.Record all the discussions.
UsageUseful in discussion for Chairman.Serves as evidence for the decisions.
PreparationPrepared before the meetingPrepared after the meeting
RecordingNotice of meetingIt has a separate book
Written (Tense)Written in the future tenseWritten in the past tense

What is Agenda?

An Agenda is a plan which consists of topics and activities that has to be discussed during the meeting. An agenda is made by the secretary and distributed among the members before the meeting.

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It is never written in the present or past tense but is always in the future because it is prepared in advance.

Important things that an Agenda should include:

  1. Location
  2. Date
  3. Timings
  4. Topic 
  5. Topic Description
  6. Time distributed to each topic
  7. Name of each member

Importance of agenda

  1. Explains the objectives: agenda serves the primary purpose of defining the objectives of the meeting in detail. It creates chaos if the conference’s goals are unclear to every forum member. Therefore it solves this problem.
  2. Time for Preparation: it gives time to its member to prepare and know all the information about the activities that will be discussed in the meeting. Therefore they don’t have the excuse that they didn’t have the time to be prepared.
  3. Maintain the Focus: agenda cuts all the time wastage and maintains the focus of the meeting so that everything should be adequately discussed without wasting much time.
agenda

What is Minutes?

Minutes, or Minutes of Meeting, is a detailed note of everything that happened during the meeting. It is the conclusion of the meeting prepared after the meeting ends by the secretary after discussing it with all the members.

Unlike the Agenda, the minute of the meeting is never written in the future or present tense. It is always written in the past tense, and the reason behind this is that it is prepared after the meeting ends.

Items to be included:

  1. Time and Date of the meetings
  2. Name of the Members
  3. All the topics were discussed in detail.
  4. Decisions taken

Minutes of the Meeting is essential because of the following reasons: 

  1. Legal Protection and proof: it records all the discussed topics and activities that have been discussed; therefore, if any legal formalities are required, it acts as legal protection. 
  2. Provide Guidance: it guides as it contains detailed information about all the activities and topics and the decisions taken in the meeting.
  3. Helpful while making the necessary changes required after discussing all the aspects.
  4. It saves a lot of time as everyone knows their respective roles.
  5. It is helpful for those who, for some reason, missed the meeting. Therefore, they acquire all the knowledge through it.
minutes

Main Differences Between Agenda and Minutes

  1. Agenda is the detailed list of the sequence of events of the meeting; it is a statement that contains the subjects that have to be discussed, whereas the Minutes are the record of the intersection of all that has been discussed.
  2. The agenda is helpful for the chairman and the members as they know all the topics for the discussion in advance. In contrast, Minutes of Meetings are substantial evidence and proof of whatever has been discussed.
  3. Agenda is prepared before the meeting by the secretary and sent to the member after approval by the Chairman. In contrast, the Minute of the Meeting is ready after the meeting by the secretary, approved by the members, and finally confirmed by the Chairman.
  4. Agenda does not have any book of its own and therefore is recorded in the notice of the meeting, whereas minutes is a book of recording known as the minutes’ book.
  5. Due to its preparation, Agenda is always written in the future tense, and as minutes are prepared at the end, it is always written in the past tense.
Difference Between Agenda and Minutes
References
  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0170840608096388
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Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Agenda vs Minutes: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The practical uses and detailed explanation of the Agenda and Minutes are quite commendable. This article is a great resource for understanding their roles.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the comparison table was particularly insightful. The debate over the tense in which they are written was quite fascinating.

      Reply
    • Agreed. This article provides valuable insight into why both of them are crucial in conducting productive meetings.

      Reply

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