Taking Meeting Notes On & Offline

By: Verbit Editorial
Online meeting notes

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More than 4.7 million people are working remotely at least half the time, making consistent communication trickier at times. Taking effective meeting minutes is one item business leaders can encourage and facilitate to make sure their employees’ calls are productive and that communication and tasks remain clear. Leaning on technologies like transcription to produce call notes and sending summaries with key takeaways are two action items employees should promote to keep remote work running smoothly.

Why taking meeting notes effectively is now more critical

people in a conference room with a woman who joined thru video call

Having detailed and accurate notes from calls with peers, customers and potential clients is crucial for today’s businesses to be successful. Technologies are coming in to make the meetings themselves more engaging and also helping to do the word-for-word note-taking so business leaders can stay focused on the conversations and have actionable takeaways from discussions.

With meeting technologies, you can use meeting notes to:

  • Increase engagement: People spend 75% of their time distracted, preoccupied, or forgetful when in a meeting. Writing good meeting minutes can therefore prove to be challenging for many. To keep participants more engaged in the conversation, adding technologies which generate word-for-word transcripts automatically, such as Verbit’s, can help keep distracted participants focused. These captioning and transcription tools not only help to produce meetings notes to reference later, but they also help individuals better understand information shared live during meetings by reinforcing what’s being said visually. Finally, these tools offer the accessibility needed for consumers and employees with disabilities, including those who are Deaf or hard of hearing, to participate with equity.
  • Share valuable information: Not everyone you’d like will be able to join every meeting. Having meeting minutes to reference can provide a useful overview to those who need to skip a meeting. Notes that can also be shared to provide relevant information to other stakeholders who may need to take action from meetings they didn’t attend can be especially helpful. Preparing meeting notes can avoid the need to schedule additional debrief meetings to catch others up.
  • Save time with searchable meeting notes: Transcription technologies like Verbit’s also allow meetings to become searchable via word-for-word notes taken. Stakeholders can then search a key term they know was discussed and need to reference and then be directed to that exact spot in the video itself. This process avoids them needing to watch the whole meeting to reference one part they want to rehear.
  • Legal backing: Taking meeting notes can help ensure leaders have written evidence of dialogue and discussions being held. Whether it’s interview quotes or client promises, having meetings recorded and transcripts as notes can save your company from the potential ‘he said’ ‘she said’ headaches later. 
  • Deliver accurate meeting summaries: 51% of employees take their own notes, but their interpretations related to a project or specific details can vary. To avoid miscommunication on important action items, notes can serve as useful impartial meeting summaries that cover the agenda and tasks to ensure employees are given a clear picture of all project objectives.

Traditional note taking methods vary

2 people working on their laptop in a meeting room

While technology can help to rid your employees from many of the ‘old school’ note taking practices, the process of taking meeting notes will continue to vary based on preferences. These are some of the most common types of note taking styles which continue to be used in business settings:

  • Traditional sentence note taking: This method uses full sentences to transcribe as much information as possible from a meeting. Those who use traditional note taking find it time-consuming and difficult because it requires quick typing or writing skills to effectively capture what is shared in a meeting. Writing meeting minutes manually can also lead to difficult-to-read notes, as ideas written down are often less organized.
  • Shorthand note taking: Shorthand can cut down on the amount of time typically used when writing out full words and phrases. The process of writing in shorthand is sometimes called stenography, referring to professional stenographers that are trained to use special keyboards that have typing shortcuts. Some people take shorthand notes by using systems like the Gregg and Pitman, but they can be time-consuming to learn due to the complexity of their symbols. To take quicker notes, most individuals who use shorthand make up their own systems, incorporating tactics like dropping vowels or making abbreviations in their notes.
  • Topical note taking: Individuals use topical note taking to organize their notes by separating ideas into different categories. Instead of taking notes word for word, people use this method to outline key concepts and points of reference from their meetings, focusing on the main ideas shared over smaller details. Leaders can implement this method by asking each of their participants to take notes on a specific topic and then ask them to organize and share them with others after the fact.
  • Transcription for note taking: Transcription note taking tools offer participants a visual format of everything said in a meeting, allowing them to listen and read along at the same time when live or watching the recording. Transcription solutions like Verbit’s take accurate word-for-word notes of meetings that can also be used in platforms like Zoom to support remote work and global business settings. This method is considered by many leaders as one of the best ways to take meeting minutes because it removes the need to write down rushed notes and makes meetings searchable and actionable, helping participants better engage in real-time.

Use digital tools to transform note taking

38% of meeting issues stem from not offering effective follow up information or notes. To avoid ineffective meetings, consider using meeting transcription tools to deliver more detailed and useful notes to your teammates and clients faster.

Verbit’s transcription and captioning tools are designed for business’s needs – covering anything from live meetings and events to recorded videos of private sessions where insights shared need to be referenced. Reach out to learn how our word-for-word transcripts and captions can help accelerate and enhance your meetings and note taking needs.