About 10 years ago I used to manage 12 Committees as part of my role at the time. I absolutely loved the job but it did mean that I had to write 48 sets of minutes each year. These minutes were just from the main Committee meetings – I also had to attend and minute other meetings throughout the year. It was a constant challenge to ensure that the minutes were accurate and delivered in a timely fashion. I also got very bored of writing minutes! This was before we had apps or smart phones or the rise in technology that we have seen over the years. I just had good old fashioned pen and paper. More recently I’ve heard from assistants that have tried a few different apps and bits of tech which have really helped with their minute taking so I thought I would give a few examples of what is out there.
Noteshelf – Notes & PDF £3.99
This is an app for the iPad. It is a digital notebook with 15 different note book covers and 20 different page designs (lined, graph papers, shopping lists, etc). The user can type their notes using the iPad keyboard, add photos, import and annotate PDFs, organise pages and tag each notebook. The app supports a host of Stylus pens so that the user can write directly onto the notebook.
Beesy – £3.99
This is again an app for the iPad. It is designed specifically for people who handle tasks and need to follow up on actions from meetings. Again it is a digital notebook but it also has an automated To-Do organiser which syncs with calendars and address books. This would be handy for assistants if they want to simply take action points for their managers because it can sync with their task list.
Meeting Gold – £6.99
This app makes meeting preparation, participation and follow up easier. Through Meeting Gold meetings can be created, sent to the participant’s calendars, agendas can be created and changed prior to the meeting. During the meeting the app can be used to take a roll call, take and organise notes and add images. Following the meeting, the notes and action points can again be emailed to the participants and synced with their task lists. The app also has Dropbox backup so all participants can access the notes whenever they want.
Less Meeting – Free
This app allows users to email the notes immediately after the meeting has taken place and also has a fully automated to-do system. There is integrated audio recording and playback and real-time collaboration and sharing facilities. Plus it is free!
Meeting Pad – £2.99
This app is also available on the iPhone. This app allows the user to type notes but also record audio simultaneously. The app has a keyword search which can be really helpful for assistants. A seating plan is also available which allows the user to record who is seated where in the room – good if you haven’t met them before!
Livescribe – £119.99
If you do prefer writing out your minutes the Livescribe smart pen could be a good option for you. Using the Livescribe pen and paper the user can write their minutes as normal and then transfer everything onto their computer. The programme will convert all of the writing into text. This can be done automatically using the Livescribe WiFi pen or by connecting the pen to the computer with other models.
Minutes.io – free
This is a quick and easy online minute taking system. Simply sign in and the user can start taking digital minutes straightaway with a simple tab system for sorting the notes and assigning tasks. It is useful if you do not take minutes often or you do not need to take formal minutes.
After The Meeting – Free or $12 per month for the pro version.
This system allows the user to track actions from each meeting and check they have been completed. It also has a useful report system which allows the user to see how effective the meeting actually was!