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Can anyone suggest a good way of formatting minutes from business meetings?

[Update:] I'm particularly looking for an easy way to have an 'action items' column at the right side, and possibly a left-most agenda column — much like printed minutes' books do.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 14 down vote accepted

One good way is to use the minutes package. For a simple meeting though it maybe a bit of an overkill.

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I've had a play with the minutes package, and yes it certainly does a lot! I was more looking for the traditional columnar layout though, where action items are in a separate righthand column, and I couldn't see how to do that easily with this package. I think I might just be going with the no-specific-macros approach. Thanks though! –  Sam Dec 17 '10 at 2:35
    
I'm also looking for a way to do this in TeX. Our current layout has two columns: one for the "heading" and the other larger one for the text for that section. So effectively it's a table -- similar to your right-hand column for actionable items. Doing tables like that manually in TeX with multirow and manual line-breaks would be a disaster. –  SabreWolfy Jan 28 '12 at 8:31
    
I've compiled the Sample.tex file from the minutes package. It does not include any examples of "columns" to the left or right of the main text. –  SabreWolfy Jan 28 '12 at 8:39

I created the following by modifying various other examples I found. It provides three columns in a table (Item, Notes and Action) with line-wraps within each table cell.

\documentclass[a4wide,10pt]{extarticle}
\usepackage[margin=0.5in]{geometry}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\setlist{noitemsep}
\usepackage{color}
\usepackage{array}
\usepackage{hyperref}
\usepackage[compact]{titlesec}
\titlespacing*{\section}{0pt}{6pt}{6pt}
\titlespacing*{\subsection}{0pt}{6pt}{6pt}

\begin{document}
\thispagestyle{empty}

\begin{center}
\textbf{Example Industries\\Monthly Meeting Minutes}
\vspace{0.33cm}
\end{center}

\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}{| m{2.8cm} | m{13.6cm} |} \hline
\textbf{Date and Time} & Saturday 02 June 2012 at 12:00 \\ \hline
\textbf{Venue} & Meeting Room \\ \hline
\textbf{Participants} & A. Nother, A. N. Other \\ \hline
\textbf{Apologies} & Y. A. N. Other \\ \hline
\end{tabular}
\end{center}

\subsection*{Minutes of the Meeting}
\begin{center}
\begin{tabular}{| m{1.8cm} | m{12.6cm} | m{2cm}|} \hline
\textbf{Item} & \textbf{Notes and Discussion} & \textbf{Action} \\ \hline
Matters Arising & The water-cooler is still broken. & \textbf{A.N.} \\ \hline
Progress on Projects & The large project is up and running and should be completed by the end the month. However, the smaller project has not yet started and has been placed on hold for now. The tiny project is complete and should start generating results this week. & \textbf{A.N.O.} \\ \hline
\end{tabular}
\end{center}

\subsection*{\color{red}{Next Meeting: Friday 08 June 2012 at 12:00.}}

\end{document}

Here's a screenshot of the rendered document:

enter image description here

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I don't think this is what the OP is looking for. Proper meeting minutes are much more than just some action items beside a running text. –  Martin Scharrer May 31 '12 at 23:05
    
After noticing that the OP also wanted a left-column, I've updated my answer. –  SabreWolfy Jun 2 '12 at 6:23

Use Emacs' org-mode with a relative timer on description lists (type C-c C-x - in an org buffer to start and M-<RET> to insert a new item). Once finished export the buffer to LaTeX, or directly to PDF.

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My experience exporting an Org-mode document to LaTeX was not good. The text ran off the bottom of the page (no page break for some reason) and blank pages were inserted for some reason. I'm not saying it's useless of course, just that it may require a little more work than simply exporting from Org-mode. I haven't yet searched for a solution to this myself. –  SabreWolfy Jan 28 '12 at 8:35
    
FWIW, the reason for the problem I mention above is here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/57857/… –  SabreWolfy May 30 '12 at 11:07

Regardless of the latex packages you use, I would use emacs or another editor that is highly script-able so that I could have a keystroke enter the current time for you. For an example of how to do this, our big-sister site is much better source. See for example here

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The current time can easily be obtained with TeX using \time which is defined as the time that elapsed since midnight in hours. But as you probably want to also get the seconds that elapsed you will need to use \pdfcreationtime. There is a big advantage in using a good customized class for minutes as they are normally highly structured documents. –  Yiannis Lazarides Dec 16 '10 at 10:30
4  
@Yiannis: wouldn't \time give you the time at which the document was compiled? Whereas I suspect that for minutes you want the time at which the sentence was written, and I can't see how TeX can detect that without being told. –  Loop Space Dec 16 '10 at 10:33
    
@Andrew agreed that if you need to capture the time of the meeting the TeX commands are irrelevant. My response was in respect to Yossi's comment that you can easily do that with other editors, which has the same limitation as you mentioned. If you only want to capture time as you mentioned - it is just a simple typesetting problem. –  Yiannis Lazarides Dec 16 '10 at 11:05
    
@Yiannis: I was utterly confused by your responses, until I re-read my answer...I had a typo. I wrote "emails" instead of "emacs"....corrected now... –  Yossi Farjoun Dec 16 '10 at 11:24
1  
The point is that with emacs you can easily add a keyboard shortcut so that when you press ctrl-T (for example) you get the timestamp...see my updated answer for other options. –  Yossi Farjoun Dec 16 '10 at 11:39

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