10 Tools to Make Writing Meeting Summaries Easier
Notes are essential to retaining critical information. They’re particularly helpful for summarizing meetings. These meeting summaries give attendees an overview of what was discussed and what they should bring to future meetings.
But note-taking can be extremely cumbersome. It can even detract from the discussion at hand. Thankfully, with modern technology, this process can become much easier. Here are 10 tools to make writing summaries a breeze.
1. Voice Recording Applications
Voice recording applications are some of the most basic tools you can use. Instead of feverishly scribbling notes, you can record the entire meeting on your smartphone, preserving each detail of the conversation as soon as you start recording.
Later, you can convert the meeting recording file into a more comprehensive summary. Today’s voice recording apps often come with built-in transcription tools. They can record and transcribe meetings to text, streamlining the summary-writing process.
2. Cloud-Based Collaboration Platforms
Collaboration platforms are transforming the way we hold meetings. They allow team members from across the world to gather and exchange ideas. In addition to providing a digital space for real-time conversation, these platforms often allow team meeting participants to record details.
With multiple people making a record of the meeting, summary writing can be greatly simplified. Cloud-based collaboration platforms typically come with integrated features that enhance meeting efficiency. They may enable automated reminders, action item tracking, and storage of all past meetings in an organized, centralized location.
3. Automatic Meeting Summarizers
Sometimes, it’s helpful to have a broad, big-picture overview of a meeting. Rather than trying to sift through pages of fluff, you may want to just pull the most critical highlights from the conversation. Those highlights can help you write your summary.
Doing this by hand can be incredibly time-consuming. Automatic meeting summary tools are designed to focus on the most pertinent points from the conversation.
By employing natural language processing (NLP), they can identify key topics discussed, decisions made, and action items assigned. Needless to say, this can aid tremendously in meeting minutes transcription and creating meeting agendas for the future.
4. Virtual Meeting Platforms With Built-In Transcription
With the rise of remote work, virtual meeting platforms have become a staple for many organizations. Some of these platforms now include features to automatically transcribe Zoom meetings and other similar virtual meeting tools.
This means that as soon as the meeting concludes, a full transcription is ready to go. Built-in transcription tools ease some of the burdens on meeting attendees. They allow teams to focus on what really matters at the moment instead of taking detailed notes. This can help save time and energy for everyone involved.
5. AI-Powered Note-Taking Assistants
AI is shaping all facets of businesses in today’s world. It is especially prevalent in automation because it allows teams to simplify routine tasks. There are also options for configuring AI-powered note-taking assistants to listen to meetings and take notes.
These advanced tools are capable of distinguishing between general chit-chat and key points. Some can even be programmed to recognize specific prompts or keywords. AI assistants are much more than just passive listeners. They can structure and categorize information and even generate preliminary drafts of meeting summaries.
6. Speech-to-Text Mobile Applications
For professionals constantly on the move, relying on heavy-duty software might not be feasible. Instead, many opt to use mobile applications. Speech-to-text mobile apps can be useful for transcribing meeting audio to text.
Designed to be lightweight yet efficient, these apps offer a surprisingly accurate transcription. They’re ideal for impromptu meetings or when one is away from their primary workstation. Using your phone's microphone, you can capture the discussion, and the app will instantly generate the conversation in a written format.
7. Integrated Digital Notepads
Digital notepads bridge the gap between traditional pen-and-paper note-taking and the need for efficiency. These devices allow users to jot down notes in a meeting manually with a twist: the written content can be digitized in real-time.
Leveraging OCR technology, these handwritten notes are then converted to editable text. Some advanced versions even feature the ability to tag specific sections of the note, set reminders, or integrate with other productivity applications.
This hybrid method retains the familiarity of manual note-taking while incorporating the advantages of digital documentation. Look for a digital notepad with a stylus for even greater convenience.
8. Real-Time Language Translation Tools
In today’s increasingly globalized world, businesses often find themselves collaborating across borders, meeting with participants who speak different languages. Real-time language translation tools are built to handle the challenges that come with foreign exchange.
These tools can accurately transcribe audio to text while simultaneously translating them into your desired language. They’re invaluable for international corporations and multicultural teams where language barriers hinder effective communication.
9. Interactive Whiteboard Solutions
Interactive whiteboards are digital boards that can be used to sketch, write, or illustrate concepts during a meeting. They are often touch-sensitive, allowing users to interact directly with the content displayed.
What sets them apart from traditional whiteboards is their ability to capture whatever is being written or drawn in real time and store it digitally. After the meeting, people can integrate these digital captures easily into written meeting notes or transcripts. Doing so preserves any visual aids or illustrations used during the discussion.
10. Dedicated Transcription Software
While many solutions have built-in transcription features, those looking for a robust transcription service can benefit most from actual transcription software.
There are many different types of transcription software available on the market today, including:
- Automatic Transcription Software: Uses AI to convert spoken words into text automatically.
- Manual Transcription Software: Provides a platform for users to manually type out transcriptions.
- Hybrid Transcription Software: Combines both manual and automatic features, allowing users to auto-generate a transcript and then edit or refine it by hand.
- Medical Transcription Software: Tailored for the healthcare industry, medical transcription tools often include specialized dictionaries and terminology recognition.
- Legal Transcription Software: Designed for the legal profession, it offers features such as time stamping and specialized dictionaries for legal terminology.
- Real-Time Transcription Software: Provides live transcription as someone speaks and is popular for live broadcasts or presentations.
- Video Transcription Software: Specialized for transcribing video content.
- Mobile Transcription Apps: Optimized for smartphones and tablets.
Transcription software usually has sophisticated algorithms capable of discerning context and differentiating between speakers. Some tools can even correct common speech inconsistencies.
Maestra’s leading artificial intelligence technology can translate content into over 100 languages and can generate subtitles, voiceovers, and written meeting transcripts. Upload an audio file and see how Maestra can take the hassle out of your meeting summaries.