Let’s face it: Whether you work in an office or are trying to be more productive at home, chances are you’ve been spending a lot of time using tools like Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular tools for virtual meetings out there, right up there with Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack.
When it comes to note-taking during your meetings, you can use the built-in Microsoft Teams meeting notes tool to type up your notes. Or, you can use a third-party tool like Anchor AI, which can automatically transcribe your meeting and take notes for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about Microsoft Teams meeting notes, including how to share your notes and access meeting notes made by other team members.
How to take Microsoft Teams meeting notes
If you want to take notes using Microsoft’s built-in features, the best way to launch the tool will depend on whether the meeting has already started.
However, you can start a new note either before or during your meeting, and both options will store your note in the exact same place.
Option 1: Before the meeting starts
First, make sure that everyone who will need access to the notes has received a meeting invite. This will save you from having to manually grant them access later.
Then, you can open the notes tool to share the agenda with participants and take pre-meeting notes. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Click on Calendar.
Select the meeting.
Choose Chat with participants.
Click Meeting notes.
Select Start taking meeting notes.
Be sure to add a title and any other meeting details, such as the facilitator or meeting organizer. You can also @mention people in the notes and delegate action items.
Keep in mind that these steps only work if you aren’t in a channel meeting. Otherwise, they’ll simply take you to the channel your meeting is happening in.
Option 2: During the meeting
If you haven’t launched the Microsoft Team meeting notes tool before the meeting starts, it’s not too late! You can still open it up during a meeting by following these steps:
Join the meeting if you haven’t already.
Select More actions.
Go to Meeting notes.
Click Take notes.
You can insert the meeting agenda, @mention other participants, and format the text so it’s easy to follow along in the meeting notes tab.
If this is a recurring meeting, then Microsoft Teams will add a new section to your notes, but it won’t generate a new set of notes for each new meeting. Keep that in mind if you prefer to keep each set of meeting notes separate for organizational purposes.
Access meeting notes after the meeting
Once the meeting is over, how do you access and share your notes? If the notes are part of a channel meeting, then you can click Show notes in full screen. Otherwise, you can look in the calendar event to find the meeting notes, transcripts, and/or recording.
Microsoft Teams meeting notes are displayed in a wiki tab so anyone with the right set of permissions can access and edit them.
You can adjust settings such as Allow shared notes and Allow PowerPoint sharing to determine who can access what during and after the meeting.
Why you should take Microsoft Teams meeting notes
What if everyone on your team had a photographic memory and instant recall of every workplace discussion you’d ever had? You wouldn’t need whiteboards, PowerPoint presentations, or meeting notes!
However, we’re only humans, and there are bound to be times when two of your team members walk away with a different recollection of an important decision.
Here are three reasons why taking accurate meeting notes is so important:
The meeting chat isn’t enough of a record. Sure, you might have a text chat going on in a Teams channel alongside the meeting window. But those messages don’t necessarily reflect what’s being said or even what’s relevant. A good note-taking tool helps you record the most important details.
They’re easier to review than a recording. If you need to go back to verify an important point or decision, you won’t have to relisten to the entire recording. By creating a new note for each meeting – and a new section for each item on the agenda – your records will be better organized and easier to navigate.
They’re secure and shareable. Microsoft Teams makes it easy to customize the meeting controls and sharing permission for each meeting. Whether it’s a private meeting, a recurring meeting, or an all-hands meeting, you can access meeting notes from your Teams channel and share notes with the right people.
Limitations of Microsoft Teams meeting notes
Using Microsoft Teams’ built-in note-taking functionality can be handy, but it does have a few limitations that may make it less practical for some organizations:
Only 100 people can be in the meeting. Ok, so this may not be a problem for all types of meetings, but if you’re hosting an all-hands meeting or town hall meeting with more than 100 people, you’ll need a different note-taking tool. (You’ll also be limited to 30 hours per meeting, so no filibusters or hackathons!)
You’ll need to be in the same organization and receive a meeting invite to access meeting notes. This is actually a good thing, because it means your notes will be protected from snoops! But this can make it harder to view notes for a meeting you missed. You’ll need to request access from the meeting organizer if you want to view the notes after the meeting is over.
Notes are only available within the Teams channel. One downside to using the built-in note-taking tool is that notes are only accessible within Teams itself. Some people get around this by using Microsoft OneNote instead, but you can also use a third-party note-taking tool like Anchor AI. This can make it easier to share your notes outside of your meeting software and organization.
The benefits of using a third-party tool
The main reason to take notes within the Microsoft ecosystem is that you can integrate your notes with other collaborative tools like OneDrive and SharePoint.
But you’ll also be limited to the functionality found in Microsoft Teams, and you may find that the built-in transcription tools aren’t what you’re looking for.
With Anchor AI, you can take notes regardless of which platform you use: Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, and even live meetings.
Simply invite Anchor AI to your meeting or upload the recording to get a time-stamped transcript, complete with speaker names and action items to follow up on later.
Use Anchor AI to take Microsoft Teams meeting notes
While Microsoft Teams has a built-in note-taking tool, a third party program can help you more easily transfer your notes to other apps.
Taking Microsoft Teams meeting notes doesn’t have to be a chore with Anchor AI can do it for you. Not only can Anchor AI identify speakers and action items — it can also provide a searchable, time-stamped transcript for you to review.