Being in charge of meeting notes can be as nerve-wracking as pressing “send” on a 500,000-person email campaign or giving a presentation to a crowd. If you miss a second, you can miss an entire section of notes that members of your organization or the public are waiting for.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of ways to get distracted during a meeting: a message from a peer, a hilarious inner dialogue, or a bird outside the window that’s far more interesting than the conversation at hand. And even if you’re listening intently, the average person speaks around three times faster than they type.
If you want to take complete, accurate, and effective notes without listening back to meeting recordings later, the best way to do so is by using smart tools. Automated meeting notes can make your note-taking process hands-free, so you can be an active participant in your meetings (and avoid internal panic when you accidentally doze off).
Here’s what you need to know about automated notes and the software you can choose from.
What are automated meeting notes?
Automated meeting notes are an instantly generated, written record of what occurs during a meeting. They’re usually created using artificial intelligence (AI) tools that can turn speech into text, so you can get the full picture of what happened during your meeting without manually typing a word.
Though different software can provide different levels of automation, these digital meeting notes often document key insights, action items, full transcriptions, and other helpful information.
5 tools for automated meeting notes
Whether you want to record formal meeting minutes or generate a basic document that you can easily share, you need an automated note-taking tool that can record all the most important information from the meetings you attend. At the very least, your software must provide a complete transcription of your meeting. However, some of the best options around have extra features to help you navigate your notes with greater ease.
In this section, we’ll introduce you to five automation tools that can help you streamline your meeting workflow and keep your entire team on the same page.
1. Microsoft Teams
If your organization uses Microsoft Teams, you can stay in the platform while benefiting from automated meeting notes. In 2021, Teams launched a live transcription feature that allows meeting organizers to record verbatim transcripts of everything that’s said during your video calls.
Once your call ends, all meeting participants will get the written transcript through a Microsoft Teams chat, complete with speaker attributions so you know who was talking and when. Sharing your automated meeting notes with others is as simple as downloading a Word document that you can send.
This note-taking software can also transcribe meetings in real time, so attendees with disabilities can read along during your meeting. However, this speech-to-text tool is only compatible with Microsoft Teams meetings and available with higher-tier pricing that starts at $6 per user per month.
2. Google Docs
Looking for a tool that supports automated meeting notes at no extra cost? Google Docs might be for you. As soon as you create a document and turn on voice typing, the word processing tool can transcribe anything your meeting participants say.
Google Docs isn’t exactly the best note-taking software out there. You’ll still need to manually type who’s speaking to avoid confusion. Plus, you’ll need to format your document on your own. However, it’s free to use, which makes it hard to complain about.
One perk of using Google Docs to automate meeting transcriptions is the fact that it makes collaboration easy. After your meeting, you can quickly share your document — no downloads necessary — and assign action items to team members using the comments feature.
If you want to generate automated meeting notes from using smartphones or tablets, Reason8 can be a helpful tool. Compatible with iPhones and iPads, this iOS app can record meetings, so you can have both transcriptions and audio playback available for review.
Reason8 goes a step further than basic transcription tools by taking note of speakers, action items, decisions, and other highlights. However, there are two key downsides to using this platform:
It only works with in-person meetings, which means you can’t record your virtual meetings on Zoom, Slack, or any other video conferencing platform.
Every person in your meeting needs to download the app and place their device nearby to record their portion of the conversation. This can work well for small board meetings, but it won’t work for town hall meetings where members of the public can participate.
Still, Reason8 can be a helpful meeting assistant that can make your notes more actionable. You can get unlimited transcriptions (up to 15 minutes) for free, or pay $19.99 per host per month for transcripts with no time limits.
Keep in mind that Reason8 is no longer available for Android devices, so it’s unclear if this automated note-taking tool will be your best option for the long term.
Don‘t want the hassle of setting up a transcription tool during your meeting? Temi can transcribe your video or voice conversations after your meeting is complete. All you need to do is record an audio or video file of your meeting — whether it occurs in-person or online — then upload your file onto Temi’s website.
Once uploaded, you can get an editable transcript complete with timestamps and speakers within five minutes. If you want to share these automated meeting notes, simply download a Word document or PDF file.
Temi doesn’t charge a subscription fee, but you can expect to pay 25 cents per audio minute to generate your notes.
5. Anchor AI
Ok, we know this is our product, but we couldn’t resist including it. Automated meeting notes should be helpful, accurate, and easy to share. Anchor AI is one of the few instant note-taking tools that fits the full bill, allowing you to get incredibly effective notes with one simple step: Invite Anchor AI to your Zoom meeting.
Once the two tools are connected, you can focus on making your way through your meeting agenda without worrying about missing any key details or quotes. Anchor AI will record a full transcript of your meeting. Then, our AI will identify speakers and keywords, separate action items, and provide timestamps so you can get more out of your meeting.
With Anchor AI, you won‘t have to listen to your meeting recordings over and over again to perfect your notes. You’ll get a searchable transcript that drives action the first time around — and you can share your notes just by copying a link. (Give us a moment to pat ourselves on the back for note-taking well done.)
Experience the future of note-taking with Anchor AI
Automated meeting notes are hands-free tools that help you record key points from your meetings, so you don’t have to worry about missing any details. As virtual meetings continue to be commonplace for us all, many software providers have developed note-taking software with different functionalities. Whether you want real-time and downloadable transcriptions offered by Microsoft Teams or smartphone-based notes through Reason8, you can find a tool that meets your needs.
With Anchor AI, you can generate meeting notes that are searchable, actionable, and easy to share. Sign up for Anchor AI to be one of the first to experience the platform.