How to Take Better Meeting Notes

Ever leave a meeting feeling foggy on the details? Ineffective meeting notes can be a productivity killer, leaving your team unsure of next steps and key decisions. But fret no more! This guide will equip you with powerful strategies to take clear, concise notes that capture the essence of every discussion. From pre-meeting prep to leveraging AI-powered tools, we'll show you how to transform your notetaking into a strategic advantage.

Written by
Andre Smith
Updated On
July 5, 2024


Ever walked out of a meeting feeling unsure about what just transpired? Or scrambled to recall key decisions days later? In today's fast-paced work environment, clear and concise meeting notes are essential for maximizing productivity and keeping your team on the same page.

While traditional pen-and-paper methods have served us well for decades, they can fall short in capturing the nuances of a dynamic discussion. Keeping up with a rapid flow of information, identifying key points amidst tangents, and ensuring comprehensive notes can be a constant challenge.

Preparation is Key: Hitting the Ground Running

Before diving into the whirlwind of discussion, a little pre-meeting prep can go a long way in capturing the most valuable information. Here's how to get yourself set up for success:

  • Review the Agenda:  Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the meeting agenda beforehand. Understanding the topics to be discussed allows you to anticipate key points and focus your notetaking efforts.
  • Background Knowledge is Power: If  specific topics require additional context, do some quick research beforehand. This will help you grasp the conversation on a deeper level and capture relevant details during the meeting.
  • Template Time (Optional):  For those who thrive on structure, consider creating a note-taking template. This can include designated sections for key points, decisions, and action items, ensuring a clear and organized record of the meeting.  (You can find a downloadable template in the Resources section.)

Choosing Your Notetaking Method: Pen, Pixels, or AI?

When it comes to capturing meeting details, the age-old debate between pen and paper versus digital tools persists. Let's explore the pros and cons of each approach:

  • Pen and Paper:
    • Pros: Familiar, tactile experience, no battery worries, encourages active listening and information processing.
    • Cons: Time-consuming to keep up with fast-paced discussions, limited searchability, notes can become disorganized or messy over time.
  • Digital Notetaking Tools:
    • Pros: Improved organization through folders and tags, easy search functionality, potential for collaboration and real-time sharing.
    • Cons: Requires a device with battery power, can be distracting with notifications, may not translate well to visual learners who prefer diagrams or mind maps.

The Rise of AI Assistants: Emerging AI-powered notetaking apps offer a new twist on digital tools. These apps use artificial intelligence to transcribe conversations, automatically identify key points, and even summarize main takeaways. This can be a game-changer for capturing every detail without missing a beat.

Effective Notetaking Techniques: Capture What Matters Most

Whether you're wielding a pen or wielding a stylus, the core principles of effective notetaking remain the same. Here's how to ensure your notes become a valuable reference tool:

  • Focus on the Essentials: Don't get bogged down trying to transcribe every word. Prioritize capturing key points, decisions made, and action items assigned during the meeting.
  • Clarity is King: Use clear and concise language. Abbreviations and bullet points can be your friends, allowing you to keep up with the flow of the conversation without sacrificing comprehension.
  • Visualize Your Notes (Optional): For some, visual cues can significantly enhance understanding. Consider incorporating diagrams, mind maps, or even sketches to represent complex ideas or relationships between topics.

Leveraging AI Notetaking Apps: A Streamlined Approach with ScreenApp

For those seeking to take their meeting notetaking to the next level, AI-powered apps offer a compelling solution. Let's take a closer look at ScreenApp, a popular AI notetaking application:

  • Core Functionalities: ScreenApp leverages artificial intelligence to streamline the notetaking process. It can automatically transcribe meeting conversations, a major advantage for capturing every detail without missing a beat.
  • AI-Powered Insights: Beyond transcription, ScreenApp's AI analyzes the conversation to identify key points and summarize the main takeaways. This allows you to quickly grasp the essence of the meeting and revisit specific details later.
  • Action Item Hero:  Never miss a follow-up again. ScreenApp can automatically identify action items assigned during the meeting, ensuring clear accountability and keeping projects moving forward.
  • Additional Features: ScreenApp offers functionalities beyond core notetaking. Features like speaker identification can help you remember who contributed what, and the ability to highlight important moments allows for easy reference during review.

It's important to note that ScreenApp is just one example of an AI-powered notetaking app. Several other options are available, each with its own set of features.

Beyond the Meeting: Keeping the Momentum Going

The power of effective meeting notes extends far beyond the closing remarks. Here's how to ensure your notes become a valuable tool for future reference and action:

  • Review and Refine: Don't let your notes gather dust! Take some time shortly after the meeting to review your notes. Clarify any unclear sections, organize them into a logical format, and fill in any gaps from memory while the details are still fresh.
  • Key Takeaways in Focus: Summarize the main takeaways and decisions made during the meeting. This concise overview will serve as a quick reference point for yourself and others who may not have attended.
  • Sharing is Caring: Consider sharing your finalized notes with all meeting attendees. This promotes transparency, ensures everyone is on the same page, and fosters accountability for assigned action items.


Effective meeting notes are the cornerstone of a productive and aligned team. By following these steps, you can transform your notetaking from a frantic scramble to a strategic and streamlined process:

  • Preparation is key: Familiarize yourself with the agenda and consider creating a notetaking template for optimal organization.
  • Choose your weapon: Pen and paper offer a familiar experience, while digital tools provide searchability and collaboration features. AI-powered notetaking apps add a layer of automation with automatic transcription and key point identification.
  • Focus on clarity: Capture key points, decisions, and action items using clear and concise language. Consider using visual aids like bullet points or diagrams to enhance comprehension.
  • Review and share: Take time after the meeting to review and organize your notes. Summarize key takeaways for easy reference, and consider sharing them with attendees for transparency and accountability.

Digital tools and AI-powered apps can significantly enhance the meeting notetaking experience, offering features like automatic transcription and AI-powered summarization. However, the most effective approach often combines the strengths of technology with your own active listening and critical thinking skills.

By embracing these strategies, you can ensure that your meeting notes become a valuable asset, propelling your team forward with clear direction and a shared understanding.

ScreenApp effortlessly captures your screen recordings and leverages AI to transcribe, summarize and take notes of your videos and audio, making it simple to share insights with your team, clients, and prospects.

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