Live Notetaking Explained for Business 

By: Verbit Editorial

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Not many businesses consider live notetaking as a viable option for their meeting or discussion needs, but keeping a thorough record is business-critical. 

Although many professionals overlook this option, live notetaking can save significant time, resources and effort. This service can give you instant detail and near-verbatim transcripts that can serve your business in many ways. Whether you want records of a meeting to share with those who missed it or safeguard your business against legal disputes, a live notetaker could help. 

In this article, we’ll cover what live notetaking is and the ways in which it could benefit your business. Armed with this information, you’ll be ready to pick the right live notetaking services for you. 

What is a live notetaking service? 

A live notetaking service involves professional typists who travel to your premises or join your conference call. These typists will typically be able to type a minimum of 100 words per minute (WPM). Thanks to their high-level typing skills, they’ll be able to create an accurate record for you. Whether it’s the transcript of a meeting, discussion, a legal meeting or a market research focus group, you’ll leave with useful information ready and in hand. 

Most services type ‘near-verbatim.’ Verbatim transcripts include the exact words that each participant says. Professional typists will create lengthy, readable transcripts that contain all of the rich information in full sentences. The transcript will also clearly identify the speakers, so you’ll know who said what. 

Why use a live notetaker? 

Now that you have a good understanding of what a live notetaker is, it’s important to look at the benefits associated with this service. If you need someone to take notes quickly, using a member of your own team is likely inefficient. Taking notes will mean that they won’t be able to contribute to the discussion or focus on other tasks. Plus, if you don’t have a professional typist in your midst, it’s unlikely that they are going to be able to type quickly enough to capture everyone’s statements. That’s why using a live notetaker will saves time, effort and resources. Using a professional means your team can focus on more important matters. 

Person taking notes on a laptop computer

When can a live notetaker help? 

There are seven main scenarios where a live notetaker can assist, including the following. 

Reliably record meetings 

The number one value that live notetaking delivers is the creation of an accurate and reliable meeting record. This might seem obvious — it’s why we take notes in the first place. What a live notetaker brings is diligence and impartiality. There is a single, clear record of decisions. Department priorities won’t slant what is recorded, and you can update attendees and non-attendees alike with the exact course of events. With this reliable record, your team can make sure that nothing gets lost. 

No one has to be distracted by taking notes  

Live notetaking removes the burden of taking notes from everyone in a meeting. As a result, everyone can focus on the discussion and give their full attention to problem-solving and communication. Without a notetaker, someone is often just scribbling down what other participants said rather than focusing on the subject. With a fast, efficient notetaker, you can shorten meetings and make more informed decisions. 

Analyze discussions for research purposes  

An accurate record of your meetings allows you to go back over discussions, enabling you to analyze everyone’s points. Data is imperative to businesses today, yet professionals deliver a lot of important data and information through spoken words. The result is that it’s often impossible to track and assess that information. A live notetaker can make reviewing past statements quick and easy. 

Ensure no one misses a discussion 

With a live notetaker, you’ll be able to share all information with anyone who is not in attendance. From conflicting work commitments to being unwell, there are numerous reasons someone might be absent from a meeting or discussion. A live notetaker can ensure that they don’t miss out on anything critical. 

Safeguard your business against legal disputes 

Live notetaking can provide thorough, accurate and impartial records. These records can serve as reliable evidence if a legal dispute arises. 

Ensure there’s no friction during sensitive HR meetings 

During certain types of meetings, having a notetaker can ensure the atmosphere is professional and that there is no friction. This environment is especially important during disciplinary hearings. The notetaker’s presence can ensure that volatile situations don’t get out of hand. 

Guarantee impartiality 

Live notetaking ensures there’s an unbiased person who can create unbiased notes. This keeps the peace during business discussions. It’s why live notetakers are valuable for HR reasons. However, it can also bring clarity to departmental disputes. If you use an in-house team member to take notes, they may only jot down information they feel is important, potentially creating bias. 

people talking in an office

How do you pick a live notetaking service? 

Now that you know more about live notetaking, you’ll need to choose a business with care to experience the above benefits. Here’s a look at the different factors you need to consider. 

Three levels of notetaking 

A quality notetaking service will deliver three distinct levels of service, and the ability to choose between the three. Here are three levels.  

  • Delivery of immediate notes: With a live notetaking service, you will get an immediate copy of the notes delivered directly after. These may be a little rough, but if you’re in a rush, they let you hit the ground running. 
  • A cross-checked redraft: Once the notes are complete, a quality notetaker can go away and quickly cross-check those notes for accuracy. That means proofreading, including checking the spelling of acronyms and names. It’s possible to complete this process immediately afterwards and deliver the results by around 9 the next day. 
  • Minutes: Professional notetakers can transform notes into proper minutes. This process involves including timestamps, direct speaker accreditation and formal structure. Converting notes to minutes often requires an extra fee and takes about 48 hours to complete. 

Professional services won’t struggle with multiple speakers — they’re able to identify every contribution throughout the discussion. Therefore, you don’t need to worry if you have a big meeting with lots of key players. Your professional notetaking service will be able to effectively transcribe it all. 

Impartiality 

Impartiality is key when it comes to recording the contributions from all the in a meeting or discussion. That’s why you need professional notetakers. Taking unbiased notes can be important in a lot of businesses. You simply can’t achieve this if you use an internal team member. There will always be bias, whether intended or not, which is why professional services are so highly recommended. 

Confidentiality 

Confidentiality is a massive issue for businesses today, and so it’s important that you pick the right professional notetaking service. After all, you don’t want your data to fall into the wrong hands. A professional service will have non-disclosure agreements with their notetakers as standard. You can even request extra NDAs if necessary. 

Professionals will also use secure connections, such as encrypted log-in portals and storage to ensure the safety of your data. If the transcriptionist is going to be taking the data off-site, you should look for companies with ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 accreditation. 

People in a meeting talking

Get the right live notetaking service for your business 

All in all, there is no denying that there are a lot of benefits that are associated with using a live notetaker for your business. While these individuals can ensure the accurate transcription of your meetings and discussions, their benefits extensive. They will also free up resources at your business while making sure that there’s no bias when it comes to your notes and records. 

The only thing you need to do is make sure you choose a live notetaking company with care, and with the above advice, you can make certain that you pick the right service for you. Contact Verbit to learn more about how our solutions, including live notetaking, transcription and captioning can support your company.