The best meeting minutes software must satisfy two criteria
The best meeting minutes software fits the way business is actually done, in the real world.
Broadly speaking, that means two things:
- It fits the way business is really done – which is, one way or another, through meetings.
- Allows the continued use of productivity tools your team already uses. It doesn’t require your team to learn an all-or-nothing enclosed system of unitary (and nonstandard) platform.
Some may dislike meetings, because they’re run inefficiently, due mainly to poor software solutions that force them into structures and bottlenecks that don’t fit with the way business actually works.
Others find meetings highly productive and creative, because the team has the tools to use meetings efficiently, tie meetings into overarching business goals, and to use them to make important decisions.
Either way, meetings are an essential part of running any business which is not a sole proprietorship.
Meetings become exciting opportunities, embedded in the natural flow of the entire business’s strategy and operations. Meetings are encounters where teams engage, make decisions, create new directions, and move ahead together.
In this article we'll discuss:
Doing the research
The reality is that there are a few options to consider when choosing a meeting minutes software. In this article we'll lay out some alternatives followed by how our favourite tool, Fellow, best fits those two crucial criteria above:
- Fits the way business works.
- Allows the continued use of productivity tools your team already uses.
Fellow is also not just the best meeting minutes software, but also one of those simple, transformative technologies that fit into reality as it is, and yet innovate in important ways, and transform the way business is done.
The “runners-up” for best meeting minutes software
Fellow is the top-rated meeting management app designed to cultivate excellent meeting habits within your team. This app streamlines both in-person and remote meetings by enabling real-time note-taking, action item tracking, and collaborative agenda-setting. It has an expert-approved library of ready-to-use templates and unique features for organizing ideas effectively. Beyond meetings, Fellow facilitates seamless feedback exchanges and meaningful one-on-one conversations across your organization, driving continuous improvement and productivity.
All these features keep your team on the same page, meaning you’ll all move through your tasks and create action plans much more quickly. The result is more efficient workflows – precisely what you want with workflow management.
2. Meeting Booster
MeetingBooster is meeting minutes software that enables you to organize meeting minutes, schedule meetings, edit agendas, track time, follow up on action items, auto generate meeting minutes, and more. A strength is allowing meeting participants to review and discuss meeting minutes. It’s one of the best competitors to Fellow, but introduces complexity that some find undesirable.
3. Magic Minutes
Magic Minutes is a solid app for note-taking. It allows you to set up agendas for meetings in advance, take minutes during the meeting, and create action items. So that’s par for the course.
Further, it even allows you to create action items that can be tagged to specific individuals. However, in a sense, some feel it has either too much automation, or not enough. It can either automatically send minutes out after a meeting is finished, or wait for approval. You’d also need to granularly decide which attendees get which parts of the meeting minutes. With the complexity (and limitations) it can require a bit of time to get up to speed, and may disappoint even then.
We recommend both more simplicity and a more transformative approach to design – which goes hand in hand with Fellow.
Tadum is a “meeting agenda and minutes app that helps teams get organized and stay accountable.” In fact, some would say it’s rather overly focused on accountability. At press time, one of its headings is “Force Accountability”, with a referee’s whistle as the icon for that feature – not exactly the tone we would recommend for getting the most creativity and productivity from team members. Tadum also has some clunky limitations, such as the lack of PDF export. If you need a PDF version of the agenda or meeting minutes you have to use your browser's print function!
(Fellow's export to PDF is straightforward and as easy as it should be.)
Beenote is billed as designed for board meetings, executive meetings, and team meetings. There’s a reason “board” and “executive” meetings are front loaded in their own literature – it comes in a free version and in two paid versions. Tellingly, the two paid versions are for “teams” (Beeteam, not an uplifting app name, for most people) and Beeboard (for board or executive meetings, purportedly with better security, which causes some to wonder if the Beeboard security is up to par).
Beenote allows board and executive admins to plan a meeting agenda, take notes, organize follow-up, integrate with Microsoft Office 365 or Google Calendar, and distribute the agenda and the minutes. More features, and more complexity, include a timekeeper, decisions registry, private meeting modes, and apps.
Hypercontext is billed as an app that combines meeting management, goal-setting, and morale-boosting into an all-in-one workflow that “gets you the results you need.” If you feel that’s a bit of a grab bag, you’re not alone. Some feel that it’s such a catch-all attempt of an app that it forces too much juggling and customization onto managers who may, quite sensibly, have more specific, focused desires for an app.
Hypercontext is interesting to explore for leaders or managers who have plenty of time to suss out the details and see how the app can fit into, or be mapped onto, the way they already do business. But be prepared for some long, critical, creative thinking as you evaluate how well it can fill your needs. Hypercontext attempts excellence at all kinds of things. Some say it succeeds.
Tactiq deserves a mention for its hyper focus on one important purpose: live transcription of Google Meet and Zoom meetings. It’s easy to use, not expensive, in some versions even free, and it creates instant speech-to-text transcripts that are fairly accurate.
Paired with a dedicated meeting management app such as Fellow, or others mentioned here, it can increase the efficiency of your team meetings, especially for small teams, because no singler person has to “check out of” (or be essentially excluded from) the real conversation in order to take down notes of everything said.
Another advantage is the speed of creating minutes. Although they need some correction from a human, the notes are immediately available for editing, formatting into your meeting minutes app, and thus for immediate distribution.
Apps such as Fellow and others have one bottleneck: humans’ speed (or slowness) at taking notes or transcribing recordings. With Tactiq, that’s not an issue. The person responsible for notes needs only to look over the real-time speech-to-text transcript, correct any mistakes in it, and then format it in abbreviated fashion for the meeting minutes.
Lastly, Tactiq provides a searchable record of everything that was said during a meeting (not just the text that makes it into the minutes), in case such a search is needed in the future.
8. Google Docs
For those who love the DIY satisfaction of cobbling together free, simple tools from software providers, Google Docs is a fine choice. Not everyone knows, but it provides “easy” integration into Google Calendar (as with all things Google, some users report some mysterious clunkiness at some times), and it offers a set of simple meeting notes templates.
To experiment with this barebones solution (perhaps at least until you decide on a more elegantly designed, more feature-rich app, check out this link that can help you get started.
The Fellow difference
With all the choices of apps available for helping to organize meeting agendas, notes, and accountability, how is it that we argue one could stand above the others?
What makes Fellow great is that it's not just a productivity tool or note-taking platform. With Fellow, planning, running, and following through on meetings is only the start. You’ll enjoy access to a treasure trove of meeting templates that can help you create format-fitting minutes and distribute them widely. You’ll also get tools for collaborating on agendas, noting action items as they emerge, setting OKRs, and sharing and receiving real-time meeting feedback. It's a tool purpose-built to help you and your team have better meetings!
Before the meeting
Before the meeting, Fellow enables you to see your current calendar, notes, and tasks, all in one meeting app. Because of the way Fellow is organized, you'll easily be able to see notes for past meetings in one long stream. And if there were a few points that you didn't get to cover last time, you can easily carry them forward to the next agenda.
Even better, you get professionally designed agenda templates, so you never have to start from scratch. (Sure, you can design your own – but when writing a meeting agenda, most people’s creativity and bandwidth are focused on the meeting, not on design. It’s just one small detail of how Fellow has imagined the processes from end to end.)
Collaboration and sharing are intuitive and easy, right from within the app. Everyone you decide on can get the agenda, and they even can add to the agenda – whether they have a Fellow account or not.
During the meeting
Fellow makes it easy for attendees to collaborate in real time during the meeting. You can designate a single note-taker, or allow multiple people to take notes. All attendees can edit the note in real time, leave comments and reactions, and check off talking points as they get discussed.
Fellow also enables easy, intuitive creation and tracking of tasks – which can even be pushed out to other apps which are already used at your organization. This ability to export to other apps, without over-complexity, is a central pillar of Fellow’s integration into the way businesses and organizations really operate.
After the meeting
Immediately after the meeting, you communicate takeaways and next steps with the right people. Crucially, you can do this without app bottlenecks – you can share documents and notes in the apps that colleagues and other attendees already use. This eliminates friction and tight bottlenecks of meeting notes distribution.
You’ve already assigned the tasks. Now, after the meeting, you can track them, keep the right people accountable, and the right people informed. Critically, you can send tasks to the project management tool which your colleagues already use.
You can even sync notes and other information directly to your CRM, share with stakeholders via email, or keep everyone informed by posting in Slack or MS Teams. All without leaving Fellow.
Conclusion: Meeting minutes software should fit the way business is done
Choosing meeting minutes software can be highly consequential.
There are two ways of making a mistake in the choice. One is to choose an app that’s too simple – which paradoxically can bring its own complexity. Some would day Google Docs is an example of that simplicity which, in practice, can bring more troubleshooting and integration headaches.
The second way to get it wrong is to onboard a highly powerful, but highly complex, all-in-one, rigid platform. These often require, in practice, people and teams to give up the tools they’ve already deeply integrated into their workflows. This second way of making a mistake can be disastrous for efficiency, and even for relations between people as they deal with the stress of giving up beloved tools and learning the limitations of the One Big Thing that was pushed onto the team.
As in much of life, a third way is best. You can get the choice right – with an app that’s designed to be flexible, powerful, and yet simple, fitting the way your team already works. Fellow is designed to be that tool which makes your teams immediately more efficient, integrated, and creative, without forcing them to give up any of the tools which they already love.
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Using a meeting productivity tool like Fellow to share and collaborate on meeting agendas, notes and action items.Get Fellow Today