Fellow vs. Using Google Docs for Meeting Notes: Why Fellow is the best alternative

Today, we're diving into Fellow vs. Google Docs. We'll discuss the importance of meeting notes and explain why Fellow is the best meeting notes solution for teams.

The Hugo Team
The Hugo Team
The team transforming meeting productivity
Fellow vs. Using Google Docs for Meeting Notes: Why Fellow is the best alternative

Do you ever find yourself aimlessly searching through your Google Drive for information from the last team meeting only to find a document filled with disorganized details and no actual actionable items? If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.


Today, millions of teams are using Google Docs for meeting notes. And although the G Suite serves many practical purposes within an organization, there is a better alternative for creating, sharing, and storing your team's meeting notes. 


Today, we're diving into Fellow vs. Google Docs. We'll discuss the importance of meeting notes and explain why Fellow is the best meeting notes solution for teams.


Here is a brief overview of what we'll cover:


Let's dive in.

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Why are meeting notes important?

Meeting notes, also known as meeting minutes, are a written record of what happened during a meeting. They help teams keep track of meeting attendees, discussions, decisions, and action items. In an informal setting, meeting notes allow teams to collaborate in real-time and track meeting information in place. In more formal settings, like board meetings or budget planning meetings, meeting notes serve as legal documentation and organizational records.

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What are the benefits of using meeting notes?

Regardless of meeting size or purpose, meeting notes have numerous benefits for teams and organizations. Some of those benefits include:

Adding structure to meeting prep and execution

Studies have shown that more than 60% of all meetings occur without a plan or meeting agenda. The resulting consequences are unprepared attendees, disorganized meeting discussions, and little to no follow-through.


The meeting agenda is the foundation for successful meeting outcomes – providing structure and process to your team's meeting workflow. Before the meeting starts, attendees can create, share, and collaborate on agenda items so everyone is prepared for the meeting. The agenda helps guide meeting discussions and keep everyone on track during the meeting, so sessions are timely and efficient. And last, once the meeting concludes, attendees can reference their shared meeting document and easily keep track of assigned action items.


Keep everyone accountable for meeting action items

Meeting notes drive action and accountability. Notes help teams collaborate in real-time and create an organized action plan. In one shared document, teams can map out what decisions were made, what actions are required, and what individual(s) are responsible for bringing the meeting decisions to life.  


Meeting management software, like Fellow, makes meeting action and accountability even easier. With Fellow, teams can record, delegate, and assign tasks directly on the platform, so no decision or action item ever falls through the cracks.


Improve information recall and meeting engagement

Studies have shown that taking notes improves performance and information recall. When someone is actively engaged with the information (e.g., the meeting contents), they are more likely to remember what was discussed and retain critical information over time.

Not only does note taking improve information recall, but it also increases employee engagement during meetings. It is a simple, symbiotic relationship: more preparation → more engagement →  more recall → and ultimately more investment in positive meeting outcomes.


Provide legal documentation and protections

Meeting notes serve as an official record of the actions taken during a meeting. In formal settings, meeting minutes document attendance as well as an adherence to any procedures or protocols required by the organization. In the event of any litigation or legal dispute, meeting records can be used to provide legal documentation and protection to any parties involved.


Promote transparency within the organization

Sharing meeting notes across the organization is a simple yet effective way to cultivate a culture of transparency in the workplace. Think of your notes as an information channel between teams and departments where knowledge, decisions, and opportunities are freely shared. Transparent communication prevents communication breakdowns and promotes an aligned company culture.  

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Why is Fellow the best Google Doc alternative for meeting notes?

If you are one of nearly four million G Suite users, you've probably created meeting agendas or recorded meeting notes using Google Docs. While this might seem like a simple strategy for creating and sharing meeting notes via your team's Google Calendar, there are more effective ways to prepare for team meetings and drive successful outcomes. 


This section will look at the key differences between Fellow vs. Google Docs and examine how Fellow helps teams be more productive before, during, and after their meetings. 

Before the meeting

Let's start by comparing Fellow vs. Google Docs as it relates to meeting prep. It is no secret that successful meetings require careful planning and preparation. These preparations include managing the calendar event, creating an agenda, reviewing past meeting information, and sharing the meeting agenda with attendees.

Scheduling the meeting

Fellow automatically syncs with your team's Google Calendar so you can view upcoming calendar events, meeting participants, and meeting notes all in one place. The meeting organizer can also schedule meetings, invite attendees, and even add video conferencing links directly from the Fellow note. Fellow's calendar features help teams streamline their meeting prep by making the process of managing event details effortless and synchronized.


In contrast, teams cannot schedule meetings directly from a Google Doc. Instead, they need to navigate to their Google Calendar to create a new google calendar event and invite attendees.

Creating the meeting agenda

The process of creating a meeting agenda can be tedious and time-consuming. With Fellow, teams have access to 400+ pre-built meeting agenda templates. These templates help teams save hours each week by eliminating the hassle of creating a meeting template from scratch.  


With Fellow's extensive library of one-click agenda templates, teams can quickly customize a meeting agenda template and add advanced sections like surveys, Figma files, Slack channels, and video content. Once you've customized a template or created your own, you can save it for future use to make your meeting prep repeatable and efficient.


Google also has a template library with a few meeting agenda templates. However, there are a limited number of Google Doc templates available and the provided meeting agenda templates do not have space for advanced fields or blocks. 


Searching for past meeting notes

One of Fellow's most unique and powerful features is its searchability functions. Fellow makes it easy to find any meeting note, task, or decision in seconds. Fellow auto-organizes all your meeting notes by attendee, company, and event details so you can effortlessly search and find past meeting notes without leaving the app. Once located, you can review them side-by-side or import them into your existing meeting agenda.


On the other hand, the Google Workspace requires teams to use folders to store meeting information. This storage solution is problematic because it creates information silos and makes searching for past meeting notes cumbersome and time-consuming. Instead of linking past meeting notes to existing calendar events, attendees must know where to find past information and spend the time searching through folders to access it.

Sharing the meeting agenda

A critical part of meeting prep is ensuring that everyone attending the meeting is informed about the meeting's purpose and objectives. Fellow makes it easy to share meeting agendas with attendees and collaborate on agenda items before the meeting. Teams can view, edit, and share feedback on the agenda items directly in the agenda doc. Fellow also automatically shares the agenda with all invited team members. Teams can also share agendas with non-Fellow users via Slack or email.


Similarly, teams can collaborate on agenda items in a Google Doc. However, Google Drive sharing settings require various view and edit access permissions for meeting participants inside and outside the organization. Additionally, Google does not automatically attach meeting notes or agendas to the Google Calendar event.

During the meeting

Once the meeting starts, teams need to organize their meeting notes and decisions in one central place. The meeting agenda helps teams collaboratively record notes and hold each other accountable for the next steps. Let's see how Fellow vs. Google Docs compare as note-taking tools during the meeting.  


Collaborating in real-time

In Google Docs and Fellow, teams can collaborate in one shared meeting notes template. During the meeting, Fellow operates much like a Google Doc in that more than one person can view and edit a document at once. With both tools, teams can collaborate in real-time on the agenda and record meeting outcomes.


Delegating and assigning tasks

Another defining difference between Google Docs and Fellow is the ability to delegate, assign, and manage tasks directly in Fellow. During the meeting, teams can create and delegate action items with due dates. If desired, teams can automatically push tasks from a Fellow agenda to other task management apps like Trello or Asana. 


In comparison, teams can only mark follow-up items within the Google Doc comments section. To delegate and assign tasks directly from meeting agenda, the meeting organizer must connect to a third-party application. 


After the meeting

Now that the meeting is complete, the real work starts. In this section, we'll dive into the differences between Google Docs and Fellow regarding post-meeting follow-through.


Sharing meeting notes

As mentioned above, transparency is key to creating a healthy company culture and driving successful business outcomes. Sharing meeting notes and decisions after the meeting concludes is an excellent way to ensure that everyone is in the loop.


Teams can circulate meeting takeaways and insights with colleagues and customers via email, Slack, or other popular team chat apps with Fellow. Fellow does not require outside users to create or use a Fellow account to access meeting notes, this can be done with a public link.


Similarly, a Google Doc can be shared both internally and externally. However, to share a Google Doc with someone outside of your organization, you need to set up sharing settings within the Google Drive manually. Also, the Google Workspace does not include any native app integrations to share meeting notes across apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams.


Managing meeting tasks, docs, and upcoming events

Throughout the day, teams are constantly juggling pre-meeting preparations, post-meeting tasks, and ongoing projects. Fellow was built for this exact purpose – to help teams manage meeting tasks, docs, and events on one easy-to-use platform.


In the Fellow dashboard, users can view a summary of upcoming events, access meeting notes, and docs, and keep track of individual and team tasks. With Fellow's Chrome extension, teams can access their Fellow dashboard from their browser with one click. 


In contrast, a Google Doc does not have a space for users to manage their tasks and view upcoming Google Calendar events. To view upcoming calendar events, users must navigate to a separate Google Calendar tab. Additionally, to track and monitor team tasks, users must manually create and assign tasks via a third-party task management application. 


Accessing notes and information

You've completed your pre-meeting homework, taken detailed notes, and assigned the right tasks to the right people. Now, what happens to the meeting notes? 

Ease of access to information is where Fellow really shines. Fellow uses meeting "objects" (i.e., meeting title, meeting attendee, doc author, doc mention, doc tag, and doc text) to create a fully searchable meeting note and information database. With this advanced search functionality, you can effortlessly find meeting notes and pin searches to your dashboard for quick access.


Unlike Fellow, Google Docs does not provide this type of advanced multivariate search. Users must navigate to their Google Drive and use specific keywords to access meeting details. Similarly, sharing settings in certain file types can restrict who has access to the document.

Getting Started with Fellow

Are you struggling to keep track of important meeting details and action items? Are you tired of attending unorganized and unproductive meetings? Then it's time to make the switch to Fellow.


In minutes, you can sync your team's calendar and start enjoying a seamless meeting workflow from start to finish. Get started with Fellow for free and join more than 100,000 teams and professionals who save time and host more productive meetings with Fellow.


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