There’s definitely something to be said for writing notes by hand with a real pen on real paper. It’s hard to find anything more satisfying than the feeling of keeping a hardcopy to-do list and marking off completed items. But the moment might come when you’re called into a meeting and it’s your responsibility to get the notes out to everyone who attended. Those beautiful hand-written words add another item to your to-do list: transcription. And who has time for that?
We asked our community for their favorite note-taking tips and came up with a great list of tools and services to help with your everyday tasks.
Office pro Connie Boyer uses OneNote “for interviews or other meetings where I’m going to need to send the notes to someone or log them in an online tool.” If you have Microsoft Office, you probably have OneNote on your computer. If you don’t use Microsoft Office, you can still download and use OneNote for free.
OneNote satisfies your note-taking needs for both work and home and fully updates across all your devices at all times.
Not only does Senior Executive Assistant James Owen use Evernote for meeting minutes and notes that need to be shared, he adds, “Evernote is also where I store a few thousand business cards for my manager, it is really an amazing tool.”
Another office ninja, Nicole Leonard, loves how “notes sync between my iPad, iPhone, and desktop! It's easy to search, easy to organize, and tagging is fantastic for project management.” And if your colleagues use Evernote, you can even share your “Meeting Notes” notebook so any new notes will always be shared immediately to everyone on the list.
I loved the honesty from ninja Christina Murphy, who said, “Not going to lie. Siri. Because I'm too lazy to take notes.” I feel you, Christina. I feel you. And as an Android user, I love saying, “Okay, Google. Remind me to call Nancy in an hour” and suddenly I have a reminder set. It’s like magic!
Even with other great dictation apps like Dictate + Connect and ALON Dictaphone, you might not get the full transcriptions you’re hoping for. In those cases, you can use oTranscribe to get that transcription quickly and for free.
Smart pens are the writing of the future and Executive Assistant Suzy Smith finds that her Livescribe pen “has made taking minutes so much less stressful.” Whether your favorite smart pen plugs directly into your computer, connects to your devices via bluetooth, or even uses a receiver to visually recognize the movements your pen is making, these pens combine the best of both worlds. You can still take your hand-written notes while digitally storing them.
Whether you prefer to organize digital notebooks, hand write notes with a smart pen, or even go fully hands-free with dictation apps, using these tools can make your process more streamlined and smooth. Nothing beats the feeling of striking off a completed item from my to-do list, but these digital note-taking tools sure come close.
What about you? What’s your recommended method for taking notes and getting them to everyone who needs a copy?