How to Take Notes Effectively for Online Meetings
An integral part of meetings that is note-taking, remains unchanged despite the diversification of meeting types. Remote meetings in addition to the traditional face-to-face meetings is a new norm and a growing trend. People still need to condense the essence of a meeting into written form for archival, informing or follow-up purposes, albeit with new challenges brought on by the digital setting.
One of the common challenges during remote meetings is about the gap in communication. It is more difficult to get your points across and understand the points of others for note-taking due to the limitation of conveying non-verbal communication such as body language, facial cues and gestures through a virtual meeting.
Moreover, in a virtual setting where digital distraction is abundant, it is much harder for one to pay full attention to the meeting, which in turn, potentially makes one missing out on some crucial information and insights, a serious challenge to taking notes effectively for online meetings.
The phenomenon of meeting fatigue occurring when one participates in multiple meetings consecutively or for a prolonged period is another challenge to effectively capture the core ideas and insights for note-taking purpose.
With an understanding and empathy of the problems that modern day professionals face with note-taking for online meetings, we at Hetki will share our best tips on how to create better online meeting notes to hopefully make our life collectively easier:
Tip 1: Start with the meeting agenda
Tip 2: Codify keywords or repeating terms
Tip 3: Make templates for notes
Tip 4: Try not to capture everything
Tip 5: Use collaborative documents to take notes
Tip 6: Get Hetki’s Automatic Note
1. Start with the meeting agenda
As part of pre-meeting preparation, plan a general structure for your meeting and share it with your team. By doing this, the participants can have a better sense of what to capture for their own notes and what to prepare for their contribution to the meetings.
Some essential information to be included in your agenda:
Key objectives and goals
Timeboxed discussion topics
Information on attendees and their roles, or at least key attendees if there are too many participants
2. Codify keywords or repeating terms
A great way to keep up with the pace of an online meeting while taking meeting notes manually is to codify keywords and repetitive terms. For example, for words such as — important and maximum — you can codify them into ‘imp’ & ‘max’.
You can also use asterisk, exclamation mark, hashtag, caps lock, etc. to specifically mark important points, urgent items, etc.
3. Make templates for notes
The outcomes of most meetings usually revolve around a few core takeaways and highlights — topics, issues, decisions and action items. Recognizing the pattern of your meetings and make a template out of them would help you take notes more efficiently as you now have some anchor points to focus on.
Some key points that make up most meetings you can refer to are:
Major topics discussed during the meetings
Issues and challenges being faced
Action items to focus on
Decisions and next steps
4. Try not to capture everything
Forget the idea of having everything discussed during the meeting in your notes. It’s impossible and unnecessary to try to capture everything. You only need what will be important to have handy after the meeting. Don’t try to take word-by-word notes of the meeting. Stick to the key points. That's all you need.
5. Use collaborative documents to take notes
A meeting, at its core, is a platform for people to collaboratively work on the same project or idea. Moreover, with the digital setting of the meetings, it only makes sense if your team keeps notes in collaborative digital documents.
The idea is that if one misses some points, others might be able to capture it. Moreover, it would be easier having an easily accessible note to share with the absentees or late comers.
6. The secret to taking more efficient notes with less effort — Hetki’s Automatic Note
No matter how many tips or hacks you know to take meeting notes, at the end of the day, everyone gets frustrated with manually keeping a bunch of online meetings on top of a schedule already full of tasks to do.
Worry not, Hetki’ve got this. Hetki is a great tool to use to take online meeting notes without doing anything. With automatic meeting highlights and insights, Hetki keeps you, your team, your client on the same page while enabling easier collaboration and better decision making. Join our waitlist at Hetki to secure your early user offer and you can focus on the things that matter - the actual conversations that drive impact and ideas during the meeting.
Meeting notes and meaningful insights ensures you are getting the best out of your online meetings. We hope that these tips will reduce the stress of online meetings by helping you create more efficient and effective meeting notes. Ciao!
Sign up to Hetki's waitlist to be among the first to experience a better online meeting experience.