How to Take Notes During Zoom Meetings Like a Pro

Have you ever wondered how to take notes during Zoom meetings? Here are some of the best ways you can do it. Whether it’s a team meeting or a client call, Zoom meetings have become an essential part of every remote worker's life. However, most people forget the discussion after the meeting ends. Not remembering the highlights of the meeting can make you inefficient, which can lead to unproductivity. So, how do you stay on top of all your online meetings? Enter meeting notes. While this isn’t a new concept, many people don’t have the right note-taking system in place to help them keep up with their calls. But how do you take notes during Zoom meetings? Let’s find out.

Meeting Notes vs. Minutes: What’s the Difference?:

Most of the time, people use meeting notes and meeting minutes interchangeably. However, they’re not the same things, and understanding their differences can help increase your efficiency. Notes and minutes are both actions that record essential points discussed in a meeting, but they’re aimed at different things. Meeting notes are shorthand information about ideas, plans, goals, actions, deadlines mentioned in the meeting. You can modify the content depending on your purpose and intention. On the other hand, meeting minutes are formal details that can serve as legal documentation of the meeting, which auditors and courts can view. Essentially, minutes capture information like meeting attendees and absentees, topics discussed, start and end time of the meeting, decisions made, and more. Minutes follow a certain structure, unlike notes that can be changed.

How to Take Notes in a Zoom Meeting

Besides personal use, meeting notes can also serve as a resource for your colleagues to use, especially if you’re willing to share yours. Since they have all the vital information discussed in a meeting, it can help boost the productivity of your team. However, your meeting notes should have a structure. Otherwise, no one will understand them. Here’s how you can take meeting notes like a pro:

1. Familiarize Yourself With the Basics of Note-Taking

When taking notes, there are several topics that you should cover. Below are the things that you should include: PRE-MEETING: Before the meeting begins, write down the details that are already available to you so you won’t waste any time. Here are them: Date and time: This will help you organize and sort your notes well. Attendees and type of meeting: Is it a client call or a team meeting? Who attended it? Agenda: Summary of what the meeting is about. Ideas: Do you have anything you’d like to share during the meeting? Write them down, so you don’t forget them. DURING THE MEETING: Once the meeting begins, you can focus your note-taking on important things mentioned during the meeting, such as: Action items: If there are any plans discussed during the meeting, write it down. Provide the details mentioned, such as the people involved, assignment and responsibilities, timeline, and due date. Facts: Any important facts stated during the meeting. Question and answer: Record questions asked in the meeting and their answers, so you can refer to them if you need to

2. Don’t Record Everything You Hear

Taking notes isn’t about capturing everything that’s mentioned during the Zoom meeting. Writing down the whole meeting is an old-school approach; pros don't do that anymore. If you try the old method, you’ll most likely fail. This is because the entire process is time-consuming and defeats the main purpose of note-taking. It will also confuse you or whoever will read it, as it will contain redundant information that’s unnecessary. Instead, record keywords and action items only. Basically, you grab keywords and create a summary of the point and anything that needs to be done with it. You can look at the basics of note-taking to keep your notes concise and easy to understand.

3. Create a Template

To make the whole note-taking process quicker, you need to create a template. This saves you time on thinking about which detail goes where. At the same time, you don’t need to spend more time on editing it after the meeting since it is formatted already. You can create a template that suits your needs, or you can also follow different note-taking strategies. For example, you can try the quadrants method and divide your notes into four sections: questions, to-dos, assigned, and notes. If you’re a visual person, a mind map can be an ideal template. Apart from strategies, you can also use note-taking apps to make it easier for you to organize everything. Some apps already have a template ready for you to use, so you don’t need to think about creating or finding one.

4. Define Your Goal

If you want to be successful in writing Zoom meeting notes, the most important thing you need to consider is your goal. Ask yourself: Why are you writing notes? Do you want to use this to be efficient and advance your career? Are you writing notes as part of your job? Do you want to share them? Are you doing it to be more organized? What do you want to get out of it? Defining your note-taking goal allows you to be more motivated to do it better. If you know what you want to achieve, writing meeting notes becomes a walk in the park, since you’ll have a clearer understanding of what your desired outcome is. Remember, your meeting notes should help you become better at your career. This isn’t just something you do; it can significantly help you progress and become much more effective at work.

Is It Practical to Always Take Notes During Zoom Meetings?

You don’t always have to take notes during meetings. However, you need to learn to assess the importance of each call you take. For example, if it’s just an alignment call and there are no important details mentioned, you can skip the notes and focus on the call itself. Still, note-taking is an essential skill you should learn to advance your career. In addition to helping efficiency, it can lead to better retention, which can improve your long-term memory. It also builds accountability and boosts the performance of your teammates, allowing them to become more aware of what they're supposed to do. Lastly, it gives direction, so you know where to focus your attention.

Leave a Comment