5 Ways for Better Conference Call Notes

If you’re already a sketch note-taker, try taking visual notes during your next conference call.

Conference Call NotesConference Call Notes taking is a fact of business life. It’s a critical skill that helps you understand requirements and take appropriate action steps in order to get your work done.

With more meetings taking place in conference calls, it’s not a bad idea to update your note-taking skills to better align with audio, video, and web conferencing technologies. Here are a few ways to do just that.

1 Use collaborative notes — Some web and video conferencing tools include a feature commonly called “collaborative notes.” This feature allows all of the call’s participants to contribute their notes into a single, collaborative document. You could also use Evernote or a shared Word document during an audio conference. Collaborative Conference Call Note can be helpful in ensuring that everyone is working off the same information. In addition, you can share the note-taking load amongst the team.

2 Don’t take Conference Call notes at all — What if you didn’t have to take notes at all? If your conferencing software offers a recording feature, by all means, use it! You can later share the recording or have it transcribed for future reference. As a best practice, get in the habit of letting your fellow participants know that the conference is being recorded and explain how they can obtain a copy of the recorded call or transcript.

3 Consider using a time-stamped recording app or artificial intelligence (AI) — Apps like Notability will record audio and your text-based notes simultaneously, allowing you to quickly jump to the exact point of time where you entered text. Thus, if you type or draw the word “important” at the 20-minute mark, later when you click or tap that word, you’ll be taken to that exact spot in the recording.

Another option is to use artificial intelligence such as speech-to-text software. This technology is getting better, but it’s far from perfect. For example, the AI may select an incorrect word or punctuation may be lacking, making reading the transcript difficult. If you plan on using an AI app to record and transcribe your call, consider using it as a secondary system.

4 Work off of your agenda — Prefer old school note-taking? Putting pen to paper is an effective way to reinforce information. Many people retain information better after having written it down, even if they never refer back to their original notes. To help you stay organized, use the agenda as a foundation for your handwritten notes. Depending on the topics, you could prepare a page per agenda item in a notebook before the meeting. 

5 Learn how to “sketch note” — Sketch notes are a highly visual form of note-taking that use simple sketches, callouts, containers, and connectors to illustrate important concepts. Core77.com’s Sketchnotes 101: The Basics of Visual Note-taking calls sketch-noting “content-driven” doodling. If you’re already a sketch note-taker, try taking visual notes during your next conference call. If not, numerous books, articles, and videos can teach you the basics of this note-taking technique which could serve you well throughout your career when you use Conference Call Notes.