I’m sure we’ve all seen the news and social media feeds covered with artificial intelligence (AI) products like ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and more. These ultra-powerful tools have been helping people do everything from drawing creative inspiration, creating travel itineraries, and patching code to even passing the bar exam. For busy multi-taskers, we’ve also found a way to use AI to make meetings easier. Here, we’re diving into how to leverage this cool new tech to generate meeting notes and some of the benefits this can have on your schedule.
- What are AI meeting notes?
- The importance of taking meeting notes in virtual meetings
- What can an AI meeting notetaker do?
- Benefits of using AI for meeting notes
- Helpful tools for AI-generated meeting notes
- How to choose an AI meeting notes tool
What are AI meeting notes?
AI meeting notes are when automated tooling is connected to your virtual meeting to record and transcribe the conversation throughout the call. AI tools are great at generating meeting notes for you, especially if you’re in a busy conversation like a sales demo, product pitch, or town hall. The result is quite similar to if a human took the notes—just that a human didn’t have to!
The importance of taking meeting notes in virtual meetings
- Maintaining focus and engagement. Taking notes is a great way to be an active listener in a meeting. It shows that you’re taking interest in the conversation and allows you to write down thoughts or ideas without interrupting whoever is currently speaking.
- Enhancing comprehension and retention. Being able to review notes at a later time is helpful, especially if you’ve documented specific goals and action items from the call. You might also find it helpful to recall any project specifications—like a budget that was discussed—down the line.
- Keeping the meeting on track. If you find you’re getting down a rabbit hole on your call, you can make note of the bigger talking point in your meeting notes and then agree with your meeting attendees to put this topic into a “parking lot” for another day. This shows that you still value that talking point, but you need to direct the conversation back to the meeting’s main purpose.
- Facilitating collaboration. Shared meeting notes can facilitate collaboration. If you’re working on collaborative meeting notes with your team, you can see how they’ve interpreted the conversation. This can be useful to avoid miscommunication issues.
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What can an AI meeting notetaker do?
A lot of people jump to the idea of transcription when they think of AI meeting notes. And while it’s true that many AI tools are great at creating a record of your conversation, they can now do much more than that. For example, they can summarize talking points into short key takeaways, which is a great asset to share with anyone who wasn’t able to attend the call. They can also differentiate between different attendees speaking so you can identify who provided specific contributions or determine the percentage of speaking time per employee, which can be useful for employee performance reviews.
Benefits of using AI for meeting notes
- Improved efficiency
- Enhanced collaboration and communication
- Better organization and tracking of information
- Increased accessibility
It’s pretty easy to say that AI tools can help save you a lot of time—and most AI tools today don’t even need a ton of configuration or onboarding time either. Once you have the tool set up, you’ll no longer need to dedicate a specific person to take notes throughout the call, which allows this person to be a more active part of the conversation. After the call, your meeting notes will be automatically generated, which might only require a bit of review time but won’t require any more long editing and review sessions.
2Enhanced collaboration and communication
AI meeting notes can be shared and accessed by multiple team members, facilitating collaboration and communication. Some tools will also allow you to highlight, comment, and tag other team members on the meeting notes. These kinds of collaboration features are especially great for asynchronous teams and for employees who weren’t able to make the live call but want to be part of the discussion.
3Better organization and tracking of information
When you’re working in big teams or you’re constantly switching out your meeting notetaker, you may see a variation in organization styles. Even the file name of the meeting notes document can change widely from person to person, which makes searching for the document later more difficult. Instead, AI meeting tools will effectively organize notes by date, team, department, or meeting topic. This makes it much easier to find and export notes in the future.
In a Harvard review of accessibility in remote meetings, the contributors noted a ton of areas where teams need to be more cognizant to create inclusive content. For example, AI note-taking tools can help with providing closed captions or transcripts, which participants can read after the meeting if they need to revisit the meeting’s talking points. Additionally, lots of AI tools can also read transcripts aloud, which can help team members who need more auditory support.
Helpful tools for AI-generated meeting notes
Fellow is a meeting management tool with plenty of features that help to automate virtual meetings. One of these features includes AI-suggested talking point prompts in meeting agendas based on previous notes to ensure the most efficient use of time and great conversation.
- Collaborate on meeting agendas with peers
- Automatically share notes with attendees post-call
- Store meeting notes in the agenda for future reference
- A free plan is available!
- Paid plans start at $9 per user per month
Otter.ai is an AI-based meeting assistant tool that can automatically record auto, transcribe the conversation, and summarize meeting talking points. It has plenty of integrations directly to major video conferencing tools like Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams to make it easy to record and access your meeting notes. If you aren’t using one of these platforms, you can also import an audio file to Otter.ai and it will process a transcription, including highlighting key areas it thinks are important.
- Collaborate in the live transcript
- Assign action items to team members from the meeting notes
- Generate meeting summaries automatically
- A free plan is available!
- Paid plans start at $16.99 USD per user per month
Fireflies is another AI meeting notes tool, but it specializes in tracking voice conversations only. Recently, Fireflies released a new feature called “AI extensions” where you can use a talking point from the call and generate a new piece of content from it, such as a blog post, quote, scorecard, or email.
- Translate audio immediately
- Easily access the tool from your browser with the Chrome extension
- Get meeting analytics and insights based on conversation sentiment
- A free plan is available!
- Paid plans start at $18 USD per user per month
Sembly works on a lot of areas of AI team management, including notetaking. Sembly has also teamed up with a few key voice-to-text partners, including Philipps, to keep its product up to speed with the latest AI developments in meeting notes generation. Like other AI meeting notes tools, they also have integrations on common video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams—though you can record a conversation directly in Sembly as well!
- Use the search function to find information from past meetings
- Leverage tons of integrations with videoconferencing tools
- Receive meeting summaries post-call, even if you didn’t attend
- A free plan is available!
- Paid plans start at $10 USD per user per month (a 7-day free trial is also available)
How to choose an AI meeting notes tool
With so many options out there for AI meeting tools, it can be hard to find a tool that suits your needs. Some things to consider are:
- How does the tool interact with the rest of your tech stack? Consider both the tech stack you have today as well as any new tools you’re considering adopting in the near future. Ideally, you’ll want a seamless knowledge flow between tools.
- How secure is the product? Don’t be shy about asking vendors for proof of their application’s security. You’ll want to see things like authentication methods, regular third-party security testing, and even compliance with a framework like SOC 2.
- Can you scale with this product? Look to see if the product is charging you by user or the number of meetings for which the AI tool creates notes. Depending on how big your team is or how much work you do, the pricing can change dramatically.
Whether you like it or not, AI tools are becoming so powerful and can be great to accelerate your current work! For example, using AI meeting notes tools can help you spend more time focusing on the conversation at hand while also summarizing the discussion for colleagues who couldn’t attend or who need more time to process the information. There are lots of AI tools out there to make meetings easier today, so it’s worth a shot to see how they can work for your team.