OneNote and a new way to improve meetings

I recently had the opportunity to try out a new way to manage and a record a meeting using my Tablet and OneNote, here is how it went:


  1. First I created a main page for the meeting, where I recorded the location, attendees, objectives etc
  2. The I created sub pages with all of the material that I had been sent about the meeting, embedded as background images, (drag and drop word documents onto OneNote and it provides this as an option).  I was then able to quickly jump to these and mark them up if I needed to
  3. Then I created a sub page to keep my hand written notes
  4. Finally, I plugged in a $10 microphone on an 8’ lead, put it in the middle of the room, and recorded the whole meeting. As the recording proceeded, I made short handwritten notes when key points were made.  The key thing is that I did not try to take thorough notes, just jot down a memory clue that I could use later.
  5. Because I did not take extensive notes, I could remain focussed on the discussion, which is a major benefit
  6. On the way home (I travelled in the by Train in the first class “quiet zone”, which by the way is really cheap if you book 7 or 14 days in advance) I listened to the whole meeting again and made more thorough notes, jotted down action points etc. The great thing was I could pause the replay of the meeting at any time if I wanted to make some detailed note, or to think something through.


Now maybe you don’t always have the luxury of sitting in first class (although second class probably makes headphones even more attractiveJ) and replaying the meeting. (for important meetings it maybe a very useful technique to remember). However, the fact that you have a full record of the meeting and all those memory clues that let you jump straight to the point in the audio record where the key point was being discussed is a major innovation.


In case you are interested, the 2.5 hour meeting was only about 8MB in size!  The only downside to the whole thing – I realised just how often I say “you know” in conversation!!


I have yet to try the same idea with video.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I won’t make comments about tablets and hand-writing; you know that this is not something that excites me. I do like the idea of associating notes (anyway recorded) with speech recording but never found a good way of doing it; i.e. associate a certain point or period of speech with notes pertaining to it. How do you do it, so that you can then index the notes and navigate to the right point in the speech? Onw could use this to attach motions passed in an assembly or conference.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The association of notes and the audio timeline is a feature of OneNote, its automatic and really useful.

    The handwriting issue is interesting, of course in many circumstances a keyboard is the best option. But there is a place for the handwritten note especially in some meeting situations where you don’t want to interupt the flow of the meeting by clicking away on the keyboard. I also find annotating presentations and word documents when reviewing easier with the pen than the keyboard. That said you won’t find me writing many documents with the pen!

    The final time I use the pen is on conference calls, its a silent way to make notes.

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