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5 Tips to Take Great Meeting Notes & Why Use A Virtual Meeting Assistant (+Free Templates)

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Are you struggling to take meeting notes during your team meetings? Follow these 5 tips to get it down to a science and ace your next meeting!

Dan Huru
5 min read
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Taking notes – when done right – can make your meetings more effective. Keep reading to learn more about meeting notes and how an AI assistant can increase your productivity.

Why Are Meeting Notes Important?

During meetings, people are eager to share their opinions and find solutions together. However, when no one takes meeting notes, it becomes difficult to remember key details, tasks, deadlines, and other practical aspects. 

For most of us, this scenario sounds all too familiar. An effective team meeting should end with an action plan that helps participants follow through. But how can you create a plan if you rely solely on your memory? Just as the experience of a meeting is particular to every attendee, memory is subjective.

The solution is to keep accurate notes for each meeting and share them with your teammates. 

What Are Meeting Notes?

As the name suggests, meeting notes are records kept throughout a meeting to record information, key takeaways, important decisions, and any other relevant data. 

Download Our Free Meeting Notes Template:

Meeting notes can be manual (written by a designated note-taker or each participant individually) or automatic (recorded by an AI assistant).

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Let’s delve deeper into why note-taking is important and how a virtual meeting assistant can help your team create the best meeting notes.

Meeting Notes vs Meeting Minutes

The difference between meeting notes and meeting minutes is subtle, as it mainly depends on the purpose and the importance of the meeting. 

Here is what makes meeting notes and meeting minutes different:

  • Meeting notes are used in informal environments, while meeting minutes work best in the context of formal gatherings.
  • Notes are commonly used in meetings like daily stand-ups, where it’s not necessary to keep official notes. Meeting minutes, on the other hand, are necessary for high-stake situations, such as stakeholder meetings, board meetings, or steering committee meetings.
  • Both meeting notes and meeting minutes contain key points of the discussion, list action items, and focus on the specific topics listed in the meeting agenda. However, it is mandatory that meeting minutes contain the names of all attendees, absent people (when applicable), start time, date, purpose, and other logistical aspects.
  • Meeting notes can be as comprehensive or concise as needed, whereas meeting minutes are a more in-depth and structured version of meeting notes.
  •  Unlike meeting notes, meeting minutes can serve as legally binding documents, so participants sign their names on the meeting minutes in some organizations.

Benefits of Taking Meeting Notes

If team meetings are the heart of collaboration, good meeting notes are the brain of a productive meeting.


Here are the advantages of taking meeting notes:

  • ‍Highlights valuable exchange of information and stores relevant details established during a meeting.
  • Summarizes the discussion for future reference and refreshes your memory whenever needed.
  • Offers across-the-board transparency for an organization.
  • Assigns tasks and defines actionable items.
  • Increases productivity by following through after the meeting.
  • Produces a written record of all planning decisions.
  • Tracks the progress made and the milestones from the lifecycle of a project.
  • Recaps meetings and provide updates for people who were not present.
  • Verifies information and settles arguments.
  • Quotes the meeting attendees verbatim.
  • Provides legal protection to quickly solve legal disputes.
  • Gathers information valuable for feedback sessions.

PRO TIP: Since we know it’s not always easy to take notes during your meetings, MeetGeek is coming to your rescue. Our tool was specifically designed to allow you to fully engage in your meetings. 

Let our Virtual AI Meeting Assistant do the hard part and record, transcribe & summarize your meetings!  Start using MeetGeek for free and improve your team meetings in no time! 

5 Tips to Take Great Meeting Notes

Especially if you’re new to the game, the note-taking process can seem intimidating. We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. 

Here are 5 tips to help you take better meeting notes:

  1. Assign a designated note taker
  2. Use your meeting agenda as the meetings note template
  3. Know what is worth writing down
  4. Learn how to write meeting notes
  5. Share the meeting notes.

1. Assign a Designated Note Taker

While anybody in a team meeting is welcome to take their own notes, it is critical to designate a note taker. This person will be responsible for taking notes and sharing them with the other meeting attendees at the end. This creates a reliable source of truth for any decisions that need to be made after the meeting.

As the discussion progresses, the designated note-taker is also responsible for clarifying anything they are unsure about. For instance, if two contradictory statements are made, the note-taker should determine which is correct before writing it down.

2. Use Your Meeting Agenda as the Meeting Notes Template

There's no need to start from scratch when creating meeting notes, as long as you’re familiar with using a meeting agenda. 

When taking notes without a guide, it can be challenging to make sense of your notes AFTER the meeting. Under each agenda item, highlight the key points you discussed and outline the next steps for that specific topic.

This will also save you the trouble of constantly having to switch between the meeting agenda and a blank piece of paper for note-taking.

Download Our Free Meeting Agenda Template for Your Next Meeting:

3. Know What Is Worth Writing Down

It can be tempting to try to write down as much as possible during your meetings, but that is not the point. This may come in handy later, you may think, but usually, that’s far from the truth.


Here are the aspects you should note down during a meeting:

  1. Key points
  2. Action items
  3. Questions
  4. Decisions 
  5. New ideas.

1. Key Points

Summarize the main points made for each topic on your agenda. Try to keep it short and simple, a maximum of 3-4 sentences or bullet points should suffice. 


2. Action Items 

Action items turn your meeting from a casual sit down into a prolific conversation focused on producing outcomes. 

3. Questions

Did any questions come up during your meeting? Write them down, as well as any answers provided by other team members. Make a special note of any open-ended questions that require follow-up on your part.

4. Decisions

Decision-making is the ultimate goal of most meetings, so make sure you record any decisions made, as well as any other details that can help put things into motion. 

5. New Ideas

Just because the meeting you’re taking notes in is not dedicated to brainstorming new ideas doesn't mean you shouldn’t write them down. This way, you’ll be able to come back to them as needed.

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4. Learn How to Write Meeting Notes

While everyone takes notes their own way, there are definitely a few things you can do to improve your note-taking process. 

Follow these steps to take good meeting notes:

  1. Choose a note-taking method
  2. Begin taking notes before the meeting starts
  3. Clean up the meeting notes.

1. Choose a Note-Taking Method

Because we all process information in different ways, your notes should reflect what feels most natural to you. Some people, for example, prefer to color code their notes, whereas others prefer to jot things down in a list. 

Here are some popular methods that you can use to take effective meeting notes:

  • The Cornell Method

The Cornell Method consists of a systematic approach for summarizing and organizing notes without having to recopy them afterwards. Essentially, you write your notes in the main space, while leaving the left-hand space empty for keywords to label each idea. 

  • The Quadrant Approach

This method takes your linear approach and splits it in 2 categories, based on importance. Then, each category is divided into 2 subcategories, based on urgency.

  • The Mind Mapping Method

This is a visual approach used to structure information into a hierarchy, showcasing connections between different parts of a whole. It's a way to help you retrace your thought process, and improve your ability to understand and retain information.

2. Begin Taking Notes Before the Meeting Starts

Taking a few minutes prior to your meeting to make sure you’re prepared will go a long way. Filling in the sections dedicated to date, time, participants, and more before entering the conference room allows you to stay more focused on how the discussion goes. 

3. Clean Up the Meeting Notes

Especially if you’re new to the note-taking game, it can be hard to keep your notes organized. You might end up with a few of them scattered on your desk, a few of them somewhere on your desktop, and the rest of them missing. 

It’s important to take time after the meeting to systematize and organize all of your meeting notes, keeping them in one place. To make things easier, consider doing the following:

  • Type up any handwritten notes
  • Convert all action items into tasks and assign them to the responsible people
  • Add due dates to the tasks
  • Store your notes in the relevant folder.

Want to learn more about summarizing your meetings? Check out our article on why every meeting needs a summary to get the insights that you need!

5. Share the Meeting Notes

While only one person should take meeting notes, they should be accessible to all relevant team members. After all, the goal is to get everyone on the same page regarding what was discussed and what will happen next. 

Make sure to tag team members in your notes or send them straight to their email. 

PRO TIP: A virtual AI meeting assistant like MeetGeek will allow you to share the meeting notes to all attendees in just a few clicks, saving hours of your work!

Whether you want to share a few key points of the discussion or the entire video conference,  MeetGeek can perform these tasks for you in just a few clicks. Change the way you do meetings with MeetGeek!

How an AI Assistant Can Create Better Meeting Notes 

Despite being a valuable tool, meeting notes can take a lot of time and diminish your active participation in any meeting. 

The person in charge of keeping notes is unable to fully engage in the discussion, they are preoccupied with writing everything down. Sometimes, they have to interrupt the natural flow of the meeting to take notes or ask for clarifications, which disrupts the momentum.

In certain meetings, the minutes are kept by an assistant or another employee invited with the specific purpose of documenting everything. This task can waste hours of their working day that could be allocated elsewhere. 

If each participant takes their own notes, they could unwillingly ignore key parts of the conversation.

Why Give Up Traditional Note-Taking

These are the most energy and time-consuming aspects surrounding meeting notes: 

  • Finding the meeting agenda in advance, defining topics, and creating a template that suits the meeting type.
  • Assigning a note taker.
  • Transcribing the meeting notes from your notebook onto a computer.
  • Organizing the notes, so you can put together shareable materials.
  • Focusing on topics or agenda items that are relevant.
  • Concentrating on note-taking instead of participating in the discussion.
  • Asking people to repeat and missing important details because you still need to write down previous talking points.

Keep All Your Meeting Notes in One Place with MeetGeek

Automated notes make these issues redundant. With a virtual meeting assistant, you can record and transcribe your meetings, so you can have a verbatim record of what was discussed. 

A highly responsive AI assistant performs note-taking tasks with accuracy, saving you time and effort. As a bonus, you have all of your notes stored in one place, making them easier to access. 

With MeetGeek, you have all of your meeting notes in one place, so you never have to worry about not knowing where to look for them ever again!

How an AI Assistant Can Help 

  • The AI assistant provides a transcript of the meeting, so you won’t have to consult the agenda and prepare in advance (more than you would for a regular meeting).
  • The AI Assistant is responsible for keeping notes.
  • The meeting transcript is created automatically, there is no need to spend time copying handwritten notes.
  • You can easily search in the meeting transcript to find relevant information, skipping over unnecessary details.
  • You can use voice commands to capture key items in real time.
  • Since the whole meeting is recorded, you don’t have to worry about missing crucial information.

Meeting Notes: Worth the Struggle?

To put it short, definitely! Regardless of how you choose to do meeting notes, they are the easiest way to turn all-over-the-place-meetings into productive ones and set your team up for success. 

Once you master the art of keeping effective meeting notes and experience all the added benefits, you will never be able to go back to how things were.

Try MeetGeek for Free!

The MeetGeek virtual meeting assistant takes care of your note-taking needs, so you can focus on running productive meetings. Our AI creates automated notes based on keywords and phrases spoken during the meeting. It also captures highlights of the conversation, like key ideas, decisions, concerns, or facts.

With the right tools, you can start maximizing the outcome of your online meetings. Try your own virtual meeting assistant for free!

Article updated on 
May 31, 2023
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