Scribe Guide (AKA Secretary/Administrator Guide)

As a forming cohousing community, we are learning sociocracy together, and we have new members coming in who appreciate clear guidelines when taking on roles. We have a “Scribe Guide” available for scribes (our name for a circle’s secretary/administrator role holder) which I share here. Anything you would add to this?


  • Develop meeting agendas with the facilitator and leader
  • Ensure the agenda includes policies and roles that are due for review
  • Arrange and announce meetings, distribute study materials and proposals
  • Take minutes (or ensure that minutes are taken) and act as timekeeper during the meeting
  • Maintain the circle’s documents
  • Interpret policies during a meeting when questions of meaning or intent arise
  • Maintain a current list of group members


  • Several days before the scheduled meeting develop the meeting agenda with the facilitator and leader
  • Send a meeting reminder message to circle members. Include the zoom link and a link to the meeting minutes
  • Include any other documents that are pertinent to that meeting. Distribute study materials and proposals as needed


  • Put a link to the meeting agenda in the chat
  • Take minutes (or ensure that minutes are taken)
  • Act as timekeeper: Alert the group when it appears we may be losing track of time
  • During meeting minute taking, highlight all decisions made
  • Compile all decisions at the end of each meeting and record in decision list


  • Maintain the circle’s documents/folders: keep organized and remove duplicate texts
  • Maintain the circle’s calendar
  • Maintain a current list of circle members on the current agenda
  • Present the circle’s recent activities at our monthly membership meeting

This list of tasks is followed by “Scribe Wisdom,” advice from past and current scribes. They answer questions like this:

Q. What do you consider when prioritizing items on the agenda?
A. We consider what is time sensitive, and when the people necessary to a discussion are available. We also consider the meeting agenda as a whole: If the meeting includes an agenda item that is complex and will likely span several meetings it is a good idea to include any simple, quick items that are easily resolved in that meeting as well (if there is time). They can be fitted in around the major item as needed. In this case a major item helps you prioritize the simpler items.
A. It is helpful to consider:

  • Items that have deadlines or need to be completed in a timely manner.

  • Specific proposals that have already been made (or are close to being made). Are these developed to the point that they likely will require a quick round of comments followed by consent, or will they require more detailed exploration through several rounds of consideration and then consent?

  • In the course of the meeting, when items begin to take up time that will interfere with getting to other items of importance, we can put these “on hold,” assign them to a group member or members to consider and make a proposal for the next meeting, and move ahead to things that are more pressing.

Our community plans to make a “Facilitator Guide” next. As a facilitator, what information would you recommend sharing?

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