Tips, best practices & clarity on using the Microsoft stack for meeting notes

In Episode 61 of the Microsoft 365 Voice, we answer a listener question about how to effectively take and share meeting notes using the Microsoft stack of products. We know everyone has their own style and preferences for meeting notes. While there’s no right answer, we share a few ideas and meeting note processes we’ve seen work well.

Using OneNote

We usually use our personal OneNote notebooks for capturing meeting notes. If we want to share those notes after the meeting, we’ll use the OneNote “Email page” option, move the page to a shared OneNote notebook, or copy/paste the meeting notes into a Teams channel conversation.

Using Outlook

When work is exceptionally busy, we’ve been known to use Outlook emails to capture meeting notes and action items. This is the least effective means of capturing meeting details – the email notes generally look like hieroglyphics. But when you have no time between meetings and need the shortest possible path to type up shorthand notes, an email works. We do recommend circling back to these meeting summary emails quickly (preferably same-day). There’s a good chance I won’t be able to understand my own meeting hieroglyphics after a day or two…

Capturing tasks discussed in meetings

I still love using Outlook tasks to manage my day-to-day action items. If I’m capturing meeting action items for my own benefit, I’ll often type the notes directly into an Outlook task. As we discussed in our A conversation about Planner episode, I regularly use Planner to facilitate daily or weekly stand-up’s for projects and small workgroups. When I’m capturing group action items during project calls, I’ll often type those actions directly into new Planner tasks.

Using paper

No matter how many tools we have, we still use notebooks and scrap pieces of paper to jot down ideas or action items during meetings. This option becomes more prevalent the busier we are. (If we’re running from one virtual meeting to another, it can be faster to jot down notes on paper and then move them to OneNote at the end of the day.) This isn’t an optimal process, but busy is sometimes the enemy of good practice.

Targeting meeting notes to the audience

When you’re delivering meeting notes to key audiences (e.g. executive sponsors, IT leadership, Human Resources), you should consider how those audiences want to see the meeting notes. In some cases, an email summary of the email notes may be preferred. In other cases, you may need a formal meeting notes template in Microsoft Word.

Listen in for more tips, ideas, and best practices for meeting notes. We hope you enjoy this episode!

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