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ai action items

5 Best Meeting Assistant Apps That Will Rule The Web In 2021

meeting assistant apps

Do you know that over 78% of meeting participants find their meeting schedules unmanageable? Upper management is setting meetings times that leave workers feeling out of control. Disorganized meetings are so unpopular in the workplace, that most employees would rather visit the dentist than attend them.

The best meeting assistant apps can change the business meeting processes. They can enhance collaboration, engagement, and productivity. Some of the best meeting apps in 2021 include;

1. Aira

Aira

Minute taking can be a significant challenge for any meeting leader or participant. For this reason, every business should have a tool like Aira at hand to handle all minute writing. This app can also record video and transcribe.

As an illustration, you could attend a meeting expecting a conversation to follow a linear pattern. Then the participants diverge from the topics at hand. Such a situation will leave the minute taker confused about what to write. They cannot humanly transcribe every word and sift through the minutes later for gems.

Minute taking is also very distracting. If the person taking minutes has a deep involvement in the agenda, it will limit their contribution. Intelligent meeting assistant tools like Aira can ease these challenges. Aira is an artificial intelligence-powered tool that records meeting proceedings.

It will transcript all conversations and produce a voice recording at your meeting’s end. The perfect meeting assistant, it uses AI technology to track the agenda and topics.

It will then make succinct notes from your meeting. Aira will also analyze the meeting’s action items and email them to all attendees. Aira increases productivity, encourages collaboration, and keeps every meeting member up to date and accountable.


2. Calendly

Calendly

Scheduling meetings can be a tremendous source of frustration. There is nothing as worse than “Sorry, can’t make it”, heard ten times over. There is always a person too busy to attend a meeting in a particular moment.

Consequently, the meeting leader has to keep going back to the drawing board to suggest new meeting times. Then, they have to undergo the whole peeving process once more. Platforms like Calendly can make meeting scheduling much easier.

This app shows other meeting members your availability and offers them meeting times that suit all parties. If you have one too many meeting requests and need to manage your replies, go for Calendly. It will connect to your calendar app, and is compatible with Microsoft Office, iCal, and Google Calendar.

Design a meeting via Calendly and send scheduling links to all people that need to attend. The app will synchronize all confirmations to your calendar and that of your invitees. To help you connect to customers and clients, Calendly integrates with Zoom, HubSpot, GoToMeeting, Salesforce, and Zapier.


3. Slack

Slack

Slack is a business messaging app that makes internal communication between colleagues effortless. Meeting members can send real-time messages to each for collaboration in an intuitive user interface. 

A team-messaging app, Slack has many useful features that include its groups and channels features. You can also video call your meeting members via Slack for quick chats. Slack integrates with a horde of beneficial business platforms.

One of its newest integrations includes the Zoom app. You can use Slack to manage your Zoom meetings or make calls through the popular meeting platform. As an illustration, the meeting leader can launch a Zoom meeting from the Slack interface.

On Slack, all meeting participants will view all meeting details, including the call’s participants. Zoom-Slack integration will enhance problem solving and decision-making. Slack has smart calendar integrations with the Google and Outlook calendars.


4. HubSpot

Hubspot

Time management and scheduling are very important skills in today’s high-stress environments. People have tons of deadlines and tasks to complete. They have to handle their core jobs and prioritize time for meetings.

They also have health, family, and other social issues to deal with. HubSpot’s meeting scheduling application is free and makes quick work of the time-consuming coordination process. Using the HubSpot CRM, you can set up a personalized meeting-booking link. Share it via email.

The link will act as an invitation and scheduler, highlighting the most suitable meeting time. Meeting members will then notify you of their availability via this link. The HubSpot CRM integrates with a wide range of useful business tools.

Of critical importance to its meeting, scheduling functions are its Office 365 and Google Calendar integrations. Consequently, you can use this 100% free tool to build contact records that you can track.


5. Arrangr

Arrangr

Arrangr is a top-notch meeting assistant tool with “intelligent” scheduling features. It has an Intelligent Spot Finder that analyzes ratings, reviews, distances, and pictures. It uses this data to suggest the perfect meeting spot.

Arrangr will also share half waypoint ideas with all meeting members to ensure convenience. This app has a flexible invite feature that sends a variety of meeting times and dates to members for choice. It also allows all members to notify each other of their online conference call or video platforms.

When the best meeting times are set, Arrangr will release the leftover slots. Some of its turnkey features include the creation of automatic meeting pins and numbers and video call links. This meeting assistant tool integrates with iCloud, Google, and Office calendar applications.


Conclusion

Meetings are at the heart of creativity and problem-solving. Productive meetings can positively affect your bottom line and enhance your company’s culture. Use the five meeting assistant apps above to schedule and manage your meetings today.

10 Note Taking Mistakes You Really Need To Stop At Work

note taking

Bill Gates and Richard Branson are avid note takers. These self-made billionaires are often surprised that most business leaders do not take notes. Richard Branson has, for instance, noted that 99% of business executives hardly jolt down critical business insights.

The English business investor and magnate credit his ten-figure fortune to random moments scribbled on notebooks.

Bill Gates is a computer genius but he at times turns to trusty paper and pen for his notes. Truth be told; note taking is an important business process, but it is difficult. 

You can however make your note writing process much more manageable. First, have fantastic meeting notes transcription software by your side.

Artificial intelligence-powered meeting assistants like Aira will record all of your business conversations for future reference. Second, avoid these note taking mistakes below.


1. Using the wrong minute taking method

In school, you had to write your notes down, because as the lecturer said, that the content could feature in your exams. At work, you will not face such threats. Most bosses do not ask their employees to jot down notes.

For this reason, the transition from the school environment to the workplace makes the art of note taking dormant. Most office workers never get to learn the difference between office and history class note taking. 

As an illustration, students jot down notes verbatim for retention and revision purposes. At work, come up with a manageable style of taking business notes. You can use lists, mind maps, or short phrases with breadcrumbs in them.

Note specific important factors like resources, tools, figures, or names. Use transcription tools like Aira to record long discussions and use your hands to jolt down what matters the most.

Aira
Aira – Your Personal AI Meeting Assistant

2. Not knowing when to take business notes

While poor note taking is not a reason to face the sack, skipping notes can adversely affect your career. Constantly emailing colleagues and bosses for clarification on issues discussed in a meeting could hurt your work relationships and productivity.

Fortunately, you do not have to take notes in every work function. The most critical occasions are during one on one, client, or mentors meetings and during, big business conversations.

3. Not understanding why you are part of the conversation

Whenever you are in a business conversation or meeting that calls for note taking, you need to be clear of its objectives.

You also need to understand what your contribution is to the meeting and what value you are deriving from the meetup. Such clarity will lean your note taking towards development and learning topics.

4. Writing without listening

Taking business notes is a show of respect for the person taking. Writing notes shows them that what they are saying is crucial. Unfortunately, the balancing act between listening and writing can impede note taking.

You cannot write good notes if you do not understand the total concept and context of an issue. Listen, reflect, filter your thoughts, and jolt down key items.

5. Failing to specify your topics

Billionaire Richard Branson says that not all ideas count, but they are all noteworthy. Nevertheless, in a bid to capture inspiration, you could forget to cluster your notes. Such write-ups can be very difficult to comprehend later. Ensure that your note-taking process has a splendid structure.

6. Worrying about style and grammar

When writing personal notes, avoid fixating on style, grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Such worries will only distract you from the conversation. Keep writing and develop a personal note taking system as you practice.

Image Source: pexels.com

7. Not writing concise points

As mentioned, lists, mind maps, and short phrases make the best business notes. Here you can jolt down single words or sentences. Use numbered lists and bullets for flow and organization. If necessary, connect ideas using lines to lessen the need for explanatory sentences.

8. Not underlining the most important points

If you are taking tons of notes, you need a highlighting system that zeroes in the most critical points. Underline, circle, highlight, or use indentation to add emphasis and structure to your notes.

9. Panicking when you miss a point

Remember, note taking shows the speaker you are attentive to their words. It also shows that you care about your job. If you miss a part of the discussion, stay calm. Ask the presenter to reiterate the point. Besides, you can ask your colleagues after the event and add on to your notes.

10. Failing to organize your notes for later use

Most note takers have organization challenges. They might take fantastic notes but will store them so poorly that they cannot use them later when they need them. One important benefit of note taking is its ability to cement the ideas heard. Revisit your notes for this benefit to seep in. Invest in a good notebook. If you are writing on random sheets, keep them all in one location for easy future review.


Conclusion

Note taking creates not only better work relationships and increase productivity, but it shows respect in meetings. Notes will make you smarter, giving you new ideas, connections, and innovations.

Taking notes is a subtle yet potent pathway to success in the workplace. Eliminate the note taking mistakes above and enjoy the benefits of workplace note taking.

Now Empower Your Action Item List With AI

action item list with ai

Every business has visions and goals and every so often, meetings and conversations are held by employees regarding the attainment of those goals and visions. An essential element in goal attainment and vision actualization is remembering, then executing action items agreed upon during meetings.

Action items may seem like one-off tasks, but viewed from a wider scope, they usually tend to be “projects” or components of a bigger project. Even sub tasks ca evolve into projects, for which separate meetings need to be planned and held. The point is, you may not anticipate this whole evolution of meetings and action points, but when it does happen, having previous records of everything keeps everyone accountable and goal-focused. With smart meeting records, you can ping-pong back and forth into your records and trace the origin of everything.

It’s so important to record action items and tools like Aira, with its automatic note-taking and transcription capabilities, help you do that. But what happens after taking action items? How do you ensure that everything on the list of action items gets done? More so, how do you manage resources and prevent things from falling through the cracks?


Where AI comes in

Human communication is seldom associated with Artificial intelligence; this is a new area of AI that when harnessed, can lead to better collaboration, more efficient communication and properly-managed projects. Phil Goldstein, web editor for FedTech and Biztech, echoes this sentiment in BizTechMagazine when he says, “AI-enhanced collaboration tools have the potential to increase efficiency, speed up the discovery of new ideas and lead to improved outcomes for teams that are working together in disparate locations”. (source: BizTechMagazine)

We are already seeing aspects of this with AI tools like Aira, that allow you log into different meetings no matter where you are.

Whether you work in logistics, finance, retail, sales, or marketing, you no doubt have meetings and action item list with ai from those meetings. Managing post-meeting tasks can however be complicated particularly when dealing with tools that are

  • Complex
  • Don’t have inbuilt capabilities to alert you of potential risks
  • Cannot introduce efficiency
  • Make time management more difficult

We are all human and despite best intentions, employees will drop the ball every now and again if meeting action items isn’t always top of mind. It can be difficult to stick to tasks if you don’t have the necessary tools to support you with that.

Simple, easy to use AI tools to help you stay ahead of tasks in the following ways:


1. Automation

One of the main ideas behind embedding AI into meetings is to eliminate the mundane, allowing people within organizations to channel their energy towards creating meaningful output with their time.

By automating meeting management with AI tools, we see:

  • Better collaboration workflows
  • Better and smarter transmission of information
  • Improved attention, more brainstorming and meaningful conversations
  • A better user experience
  • Tae away repetitive tasks. Automation leaves managers with enough time on their hands to manage parts that require the human touch.
  • Automation also reduces errors.


2. Risk management

Some tasks are interdependent. As well, despite your best planning, tasks are often susceptible to external changes, some of which are unpredictable or beyond your control. This introduces an element or risk, and as you may well know, human brains cannot always assess risk with certainty, especially when there are many probabilities involved. Knowing the possible existence of risks makes it easy for you to anticipate and manage them.

Tools that have AI capabilities learn from historical data to estimate or predict the likelihood of completing tasks on time. A tool like Aptage, for instance, has such capabilities and can actually identify possible sources of risks. Integrative capabilities with common project management tools like Trello or Microsoft project, analytics power tools like Salesforce or PowerBI, and CRM like Zapier, make AI-based meeting managers a valuable addition to your technology stack as they essentially give you the power to manage everything from one platform.


3. Time management

Action point management and achievement is all about:

  • Ensuring that goals are clear, and everyone knows what they are supposed to do
  • Ensuring that tasks are smoothly moving towards their completion dates
  • Coordinating between teams

AI-powered scheduling bots can assist managers to not just schedule meetings but to also manage their time around task completion.


4. Reminders and data management

Data shared in meetings can be difficult to manage. Some possible scenarios around data management include:

  • Some documents need collaborative work, making version management important
  • Some files need approval at certain milestone points
  • Team members also need reports on updates done on current documents.
  • Old documents need to be archived and/or retrieved

With AI bots, you can track meeting documentation and issue alerts if files or data isn’t updated as per schedule.


Conclusion

The days of playing scribe in meetings are over, thanks to AI-powered meeting management tools. Moving from desk to desk to follow up on action item progress should also be a thing of the past. There is a lot more efficiency to be gained from simply using AI to improve meetings. Tools like Aira are so simple to generate action item list with ai that even for those who aren’t technology-savvy, it’s simply a matter of plug and play.

How AIRA Works

Paul Axtell, Author of Meetings Matter, summarizes the importance of meetings in these words, “Meetings are really just a series of conversations — an opportunity to clarify issues, set direction, sharpen focus, and move objectives forward. To maximize their impact, you need to actively design the conversation.” The power to design and steer your conversations today lies with AI.