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Google Meet vs Hangouts: Things You Need To Know

Google Meet vs Hangouts

With remote working gaining currency as the new norm, numerous web conferencing and meeting applications have come about. Google has not been left behind either and has a massive following on Google Meet and Google Hangouts. And therein lies the confusion; Google Meet vs Hangouts, is there a difference, or are they one and the same thing?

Both tools form part of the Web & Video Conferencing offerings available from Google. And yes, there are several differences between the two. In this article, we take a look at 10 of them. Keep it here to learn more about these tools to determine the most suitable one for your needs.

Is Google Meet the same as Google Hangout?

Google Meet vs Hangouts, what’s the difference? Meet is a top-quality video conferencing software offered by Google within Google Workspace – the former G Suite. It is a paid online video chat or meeting service available at meet.google.com for all Google Workspace users. You can conduct your meetings over voice or HD Video Call.

Hangouts, on the other hand, is an all-in-one voice call, instant messaging, and video conferencing software available for all Google users. So, if you have a Gmail account, then you can access the service. What’s more, it’s free.

But which one should you opt for? To answer this question, it’s important to understand that your choice will depend a lot on your type of organization, meeting style, and the features you deem necessary.

To help you make a more informed choice, we take an in-depth look at the two services. Below is a comparative look at Google Meet vs Hangouts highlighting each tool’s salient features:

Is Google Meet the same as Google Hangout


1. Number of Allowable Participants

If you want to hold a meeting with video conferencing on Meet, you have a limit of up to 250 users. For additional participants, you’d need to utilize live streaming, which can support about 100,000 participants.

However, Hangouts is better suited for smaller meetings or personal use since it limits you to 150 chat participants. Furthermore, it doesn’t offer streaming and only supports video chats with 10 people.


2. External Meeting Participation

Google Meet allows external participants; hence you can invite people outside your organization to join in. You only need to email them an invitation link or share the meeting code. Hence, non-Google Workspace plus Gmail users can join a Google Meet meeting though only members can create new meetings.

The only way to participate in a Hangouts meeting is if you have a Gmail account. This is because Google Hangout is a part of your Gmail account. So, no Gmail account; no access to Google Hangouts.  


3. Interface and User Experience

Google Meet boasts a sleek, intuitive, and user-friendly UI. Better yet, you can choose to view everyone on your screen, either in grid form or singly. But on Hangouts, you only view a single participant with the other video participants available on a smaller horizontal stripe.


4. Screen Sharing Options

While Google Hangouts allows you to share your full screen, Meet allows better sharing via a specific tab or window. The latter option comes optimized for video sharing, so you can even watch YouTube videos from your friend’s screen.


5. Internet Usage

Internet connectivity can be quite unreliable at times, but this is where Google Meets trumps over Hangouts. Meet allows you to join a meeting by typing in the meeting code without using the internet to dial in. With Hangouts, you need to have an internet connection to dial in the number to connect you to the meeting.


6. Recording Your Meetings

record your meetings

With remote working, meetings have moved online. Thus, the ability to save, record, and safely store meeting minutes for review later is vital. Google Meet allows you to schedule, record your meetings, and saves the recording to your preferred drive storage. However, this feature is not available on Hangouts, so you might want to use an online meeting assistant like Aira.

If any key participant fails to attend a meeting, they can always have the minutes sent to them to keep them up to date.


7. Auto Captioning

If your meetings involve foreign participants, language barriers might be a challenge. But with Google Meet’s live instant captioning, this is not an issue. You only need to activate auto-captioning to view a live transcription of what each meeting participant is saying.

Unfortunately, Google Hangouts doesn’t provide this feature as yet.


8. Price Difference

Google Meet vs Hangouts, which is more affordable? Pricing is a key determinant of the choice of software for most users. Fortunately, Google Hangouts is a free service, the only limitation being the number of meeting participants and users on active video.

Google Meet, on its part, is a paid software service packaged together with Google Workspace Suite. To use Meet for video conferencing, your organization needs to be on Google Workspace. Since the bundle integrates with email, it works out as a good deal overall.


9. Extra Integrations

Google Meet boasts several integrations with Google apps like Gmail and Google Calendar and third parties such as Zapier and Fireflies. But Hangouts doesn’t have such integrations on its platform.


10. Serving Different Needs

Hangouts and Meet help meet different needs. Hangouts is best-suited for casual calls between friends, while Meet is sophisticated and suitable for large group meetings. Also, its video web conferencing makes it excellent for businesses.


Wrapping Up

And there you have it. A detailed exploration into Google Meet vs Hangouts. So which option is the ideal one for you? You now have the details to make an informed decision at your fingertips.

How To Efficiently Handle A Remote Sales Team When WFH

remote sales team

Remote working is the new norm, thanks to the global pandemic. Many businesses – especially those with no previous online presence – have found themselves grappling with this new reality. So we have a remote sales team whose main mode of selling was via face-to-face interaction.

Remote selling provides a unique opportunity to enhance the selling process while improving productivityBut how do you do ensure that your sales team is pulling their weight when working from home?

When managing a remote sales team, setting up operational efficiency can be a significant challenge. Therefore, you need an effective communication tool like Aira to collaborate more effectively with them. Read on to learn how you can lead your remote sales team from the comfort of your home.

The Pros and Cons of Remote Selling

Remote selling is also known as virtual selling. It refers to a buying cycle in which most sales conversations occur between buyers and sellers in various geographical locations. With a large part of the interactions being remote, remote selling entails virtual selling techniques.

A major benefit of working from home for you – and your team too -is increased flexibility. You can even choose where to work from and when to work.

With a remote sales team:

Pros:

  • It is cost-effective. Remote selling helps cut down on costs such as office rent, office supplies, mileage, and drastically reduces the time used on the work commute.
  • It enhances productivity. The use of digital communication tools and cloud-based software help make remote selling easier, thus boosts productivity. With no need to travel and meet clients, your sales team has more time to improve on sales pitches and selling strategies. This enables them to capture better leads, nurture prospects, and make more sales.
  • It widens the selling scope. By using the internet, your remote sales team can now reach out to a global audience. Results? More deals closed.
  • It makes the sales process more effective. With the right tools, you can grow your sales and scale your business. Remote selling provides you with a unique opportunity to use technology to organize internal and external communication, automate repetitive tasks, and manage your pipeline. 
  • It helps motivate your sales team. Remote selling empowers your sales reps and helps boost their morale. This is because they have the autonomy to run their activities, access to comprehensive resources, and the freedom to make independent judgments.
  • It helps reduce stress: The flexibility to set their schedule or choose their preferred workenvironment – within certain guidelines – also helps sales teams reduce work-related stress. Additionally, it fosters a positive attitude and helps them produce remarkable results.

Cons:

Remote selling has its downsides, such as:

  • Reduced work/life balance
  • It’s more challenging to train new sales reps
  • Increased distractions from kids and house chores
  • An increased sense of isolation due to reduced camaraderie with colleagues

Managing a Remote Sales Team Efficiently

remote sales team

Let’s now look at how, as a sales manager, you can efficiently and effectively handle your remote sales team from afar and meet your business goals.

1. Establish Clear Expectations – and Communicate Them

Set expectations that encourage your sales team to strive for higher performance. Clear sales targets set performance standards and outline specific tasks, enabling your team to feel engaged and motivates them to do their best.

They also make your team accountable, allowing you to provide relevant support and motivation. Come up with guidelines that spell out the sales objectives, systems and procedures, and effective time management tips. Such could entail:

  • How to look for leads
  • How to deal with objections
  • How and when to follow-up on prospects
  • How to close deals and onboard new customers


2. Build Trust

Building trusting relationships is a bit of a challenge with remote teams due to the lack of physical interactions. To make communication less challenging, you need to:

  • Avoid micro-managing your sales team
  • Schedule regular group calls to enable your team members to catch up, share success stories, address challenges, and brainstorm
  • Respond quickly when your team members have questions or are experiencing difficulties
  • Track your sales team’s activities and progress through a shared dashboard to ensure they complete assigned tasks and close deals


3. Avail Relevant Resources

Leverage shared resources like cloud-based storage systems to allow your team members to log in securely, share, and view data. Such systems make it possible for sales reps to access company data on the go from their mobile devices or at home. They can also update records in real-time from any location.

Make sure to use tools that provide secure access to company documents and resources and encourage the use of chat tools for regular check-ins. 


4. Simplify Sales Processes

Setting up clear and straightforward processes is vital to your remote sales team’s success. It also makes it easier for you to manage the team. Document sales processes to allow the team to work in a structured manner, know how to respond in specific situations, and minimize the need for constant support.

Final Words

While you don’t interact physically with your remote sales team, you can stay connected by keeping all communication channels open. Follow the above tips to support your remote team, keep them engaged, and you’ll reap the benefits of outstanding performance.

What Is AIRA And Why Do You Need It?

what is aira

Meeting management, scheduling, note taking, minute taking are all tasks that until a few years ago, could only be carried out by a human being. Any time you needed to schedule a meeting, you or your PA had to do it. You also needed to assign someone to take minutes during the meeting.

The problem with this system was that meeting management and minute taking are very time consuming tasks. You could easily find your entire day consumed only by scheduling this meeting or that or taking copious amounts of meeting notes. In addition, there are operational challenges that come with conducting meetings manually. Some of them include:

  • Meetings can sometimes drag on forever if the agenda is not properly managed
  • During meetings, people can speak over each other, causing the note taker to miss important points. Even a person experienced at shorthand could find it difficult to keep up in such a situation.  

Today however, there is a solution to this problem. The development of AI as an industry has given rise to applications like Aira, an AI meeting assistant that automates all your meeting-related tasks. You will find that although Aira will help with meeting management and minute taking, it is, on the whole, helping you to improve time management.

What is Aira?

Automatic Meeting Transcriptions

Aira is many things in one: It is a:  

  • Meeting scheduler
  • Meeting management tool
  • Minute taking and note-taking tool
  • Voice recognition app. Aira is a highly accurate conversational AI as it is trained, through machine learning, to recognize human speech.
  • Recording and transcription tool
  • A storehouse for all your important business proceedings

Aira is an important addition to your martech stack as it can integrate to your CRM, email, etcetera. This ensures that anyone from your company can make meeting notes a part of their workflow.

Features of Aira

As mentioned above, Aira is many things in one. Its suite of features are what enable it to perform all these impressive tasks. Those features include:

1. Calendar syncing

When using aira, you don’t have to worry about having to use an additional mail client. This is because Aira will sync into your current email account.

What’s more, you don’t need to do any set up for your calendar to sync. Once you log into Aira for the first time, it will sync all your calendar details. All the meetings you have scheduled will automatically be uploaded to Aira and scheduled there. 

Once your calendar syncs into Aira:

  • You can join meetings without having to log into Aira
  • Meetings scheduled on, will automatically update on your calendar
  • Your teammates can see your availability. You can say goodbye to prolonged consultations about meetings times and questions like, “When is the best time for you to have a quick meeting on XYZ?”

2. Records meetings and shares notes

You will no longer need to drag your PA into every meeting just to have him or her take minutes. Aira will do that for you, as well as provide transcripts once you conclude the meeting.

Aira also generates keywords for every transcript. When you click on a keyword, it automatically highlights in the transcript. This gives you context and also allows for quick skimming in case you are pressed for time.

3. Join meetings virtually

You can autojoin Aira meetings from your calendar. As well, when on the move, you can simply join from your mobile phone or have the Aira attend the meeting for you.  

4. Action items

Aira scans meeting notes and generates a list of action items. You can make it easier for Aira to recognize action items by actually telling it to do so as the recording is going on.

Aira also automatically generates meeting minutes from the recordings.

In addition, with the auto mail function, you can also automatically email notes, minutes, and action items to all concerned parties.

5. Meeting analytics

You can make your meetings more efficient and productive in future by analyzing trends from your meetings.

6. Integrate into Zapier

Integration with CRM helps you to find and tap into new opportunities. It also allows your team members to execute their tasks with speed. For example, if a customer complains about slow customer service, a customer service rep can reach out with an apology or implement a speedier customer support system.

How your business will benefit from using Aira?

Introducing a conversational AI like Aira into your business has the following advantages:

  • You will save time

“67% of workers say spending too much time in meetings distracts them from doing their job” (Source: CNBC). If you are one of the many professionals who echo this sentiment, would you sign up for a demo with Aira if we told you that you can save up to 15% of the time you spend in meetings? I bet you would!

  • Collaborate better

CRM integration makes it easier for everyone to access account-relevant information from one platform.

As well, a shared archive for all meeting notes gives easy access to everyone.

  • 2X your Productivity

What happens when your attention is undivided during a meeting? You focus more, you pay more attention, and, ultimately, you increase your productivity.

  • Increase your sales

You can analyze the conversations from sales meetings and make better sales decisions. Aira promises up to 4x more sales.

  • Improve your ROI by up to 100 times more

When there’s 100% visibility into client data and when that data improves team collaboration and improves customer handling, you are bound to experience more revenue growth.

  • Have at your disposal a 100% accurate AI assistant 24/7.

If you need to confirm something, you don’t need to do any guess work or consult yours or teammates’ memories. Simply refer to past meetings. 

Bottom line: Who is Aira for?

As long as you need to schedule or conduct a meeting, you can use Aira regardless of your profession. For instance: 

  • Entrepreneurs running online businesses, small and medium-sized companies, can benefit from using conversational AI
  • HR companies can conduct online interviews and access those files later on.
  • Aira is also without a doubt a great addition for anyone in sales and IT, not to mention marketing and customer service. With Aira, you will get access to customer feedback, queries, and requests. You can use this information to tailor your offering to them.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a Demo today and experience the transformation that comes with using conversational AI in your business!

10 Clever Ways You Can Save More Time at Work with Minimum Efforts

save time in office

If your job is like most other jobs, you probably work with daily targets, which must be met for your day to be considered productive and also you save time for more work deliverables. In such a scenario, every second of your day counts. Procrastination, open-ended deadlines, unnecessary meetings, water-cooler chats, too many coffee breaks, etcetera, are all culprits that could keep you from reaching your targets. 

Considering that time is your most important resource, it only makes sense to find ways to save those precious minutes so that each day is more productive than the next. Here’s how you can earn extra minutes back from your day.


1. Confirm meeting agenda beforehand

Tools like Aira were created specifically to address the challenges surrounding meeting management, such as attendance and agenda planning. However, due to human nature, it’s common for a meeting agenda to balloon when attendants raise issues they feel warrant a discussion. A lot of times though, you will find that some matters can be addressed informally between colleagues.

As such, when you schedule a meeting and you suspect that it might drag on unnecessarily, touch base with attendants beforehand and attempt to address any major issues that they’d like to have on the agenda. By so doing, you will not only keep your meeting running on schedule, but you will also gather important information which you can use to reach decisions faster during meetings.


2. Create processes to avoid repetition

Have you ever found yourself handling the same query multiple times, but each time you need to start from scratch?

When you have systems and processes, you can avoid such repetition and save more time at work. For example, say you are a manager at a guest house and it’s your job to orient new guests. Orientation means dedicating time to each guest, which is not sustainable if you receive several guests a day. A better approach would be to prepare a welcome package so that each guest goes through some sort of DIY orientation.

This applies to practically every job. When you have processes that are documented and formalized, not only will things move smoothly, but in case you are away from work, other colleagues can easily relieve you.


3. Use Templates

You also need templates just as much as you need systems and processes. Templates are a huge time saver in project management, web design, reports, content writing, etcetera. A project proposal for instance always retains most of its elements. Therefore, you don’t need to write your proposals from scratch. The same goes for websites; if you can find a template that fits your website’s purpose, go with it instead of starting a fresh build.


4. Batch similar tasks

batch tasks

How do you plan your weekly/monthly tasks?

If you find multiple similar jobs on your task list, allocate them in the same block of time. You might not expect this, but when you switch from one task to another, you take a lot of time to wind down the current task and then plan and get into the next task.

You can save time by batching together tasks that need you to use the same resources (skills, tools, systems).

For example, if you need to schedule several meetings, instead of spreading such tasks throughout the day, block out some time, log into Aira and schedule all meetings in one sitting.


5. Message or call people instead of emails

Do you have an urgent issue to be solved? Call; don’t email. Better yet, get up from your desk, walk to the person you want to email and have a conversation.

If you have other means of accessing people, opt for those before you use email. It’s generally faster to call than email a person. Not to mention, you get immediate feedback when you call, and can therefore strike off that task from your list. 


6. Unsubscribe from unnecessary notifications

Have you subscribed to receive newsletters, product notifications, latest blogs, reports, case studies and more? You probably subscribe to all these services due to the fear of missing out…and you could be right. If missing an update or report will negatively impact your work, then by all means keep the subscription. However, if all you do is archive your subscription emails, it’s time to hit “unsubscribe”.

In addition, if you have multiple emails or gadgets, manage all your notifications from one email. This way, you don’t have to switch between emails and gadgets just to read notifications.


7. Turn off Popups

Popups can be quite distracting. Every time you see a popup, you have to divert attention either to dismiss it or read it.

We aren’t just talking about online popups that come up when you are on the web; desktop popups are just as distracting, and you should also turn them off. 


8. Use mailing Lists

You probably write to the same list of people every day, a few times a week or month.  Some people get a certain report, others get updates for a certain project, etcetera.

It’s difficult to hold all these people’s names in your head and even if you could, you would need to type out their email addresses every time you email them. This will consume a lot of time, even with the autofill option turned on. Not to mention, mistakes happen, and you could leave out a recipient when typing from memory.

You can solve this problem by creating a mailing list for your different groups. 


9. Use Checklists

Checklists save time by systemizing tasks and hence minimizing the amount of mental energy you spend navigating through a task.

Every task has many parts. Traveling overseas for instance involves booking a ticket (and visa where applicable), packing, booking a hotel room, etcetera.

Each of these tasks also has other smaller tasks. For instance, to pack, you might need to:

  • Pick your black suit from the dry cleaners
  • Check your toilet bag for essentials
  • Go shop for extra toiletries
  • Buy a few t-shirts on Amazon   

When you have such a checklist, you can work through the steps of getting your tasks done more easily.


10. Take breaks

Yes. You need to take a break. Whether it’s your tea break or lunch break, take that break.

Research shows that human beings are only productive for roughly 3 hours. As such, working endlessly will not get you to achieve more, but less. Taking a break is a great way to:

  • Clear your head by being outdoors
  • Reenergize with some nutrition
  • Get to know your colleagues better through conversation
  • Increase blood flow through movement


Conclusion

Busy work, meetings and repetitive processes are some of the ways people waste time at work. You also probably waste time in a similar manner without realizing it. This list is a great place to start auditing your day to find activities that waste your time and then improving on those to increase productivity.

How To Surpass The 80/20 Sales Rule For More Sales Profit

80/20 sales rule

80/20 sales rule is one of the most rewarding principles of life, business, and time management. The Pareto Principle rule suggests that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your activities. The valuable principle is a challenge to goal setting, highlighting the need to reconsider priorities for success.

The 80/ 20 sales rule means that most of your sales, come from twenty percent of your customers, products, sales strategies, and salespeople. This leaves a massive room for improvement in lead generation, customer management, and sales team communication.

You can improve business profitability by leveraging the 80/20 rule to improve problem solving. By leveraging technology such as artificial intelligence-powered tools like Aira, your sales team can, for instance, hold highly productive meetings, increasing problem solving and idea generation.

Through robust customer management platforms, they can zero in on the most viable sales leads. This process minimizes time wasted on customers least likely to make a purchase and cuts down on expenses. Below are the ways that you can surpass the 80/20 sales rule for more profit in sales.


1. Improve problem solving and idea generation

The sales meeting is the nerve center of all sales operations. Unfortunately, like most meetings, they have become a necessary evil. These forums should be a source of motivation and inspiration for the sales team. They have instead become part of the eighty percent of efforts that bring in little or no reward at all.

Did you know that 71% of meetings are meaningless and are only held because “this is the way we do things”? Over 65% of senior managers say that meetings keep them from realizing their goals. 64% of them say that a meeting often stands in the way of deep thinking.

That said, 62% of senior managers realize that meetings hold massive potential for the sales team. To improve sales, hold a productive meeting that leads to collaboration and sales ideas generation. To achieve this goal, follow the tips below.

  • Ensure that your meeting is a necessity. Avoid redundancy by making sure that you only hold meetings for challenges that require upwards of ten minutes to solve. If you can answer a question, resolve a problem, or access information in a few minutes, hold a one-to-one chat instead with your salesperson. If your meeting is not helpful to the sale steam, then you are wasting precious time on the meaningless effort.
  • Plan and prepare an agenda for your sales meeting. Your sales meeting should focus on sales activities, data, and feedback. As part of your agenda, start the meeting by celebrating your successes. Are there new customers or accounts? Is there progress on your targets or improvement on your bottom line? Celebrate the wins and then get to uncovering obstacles or insights on prospects.
  • Study your data and that of your competition and optimize your sales strategies. Focus on quality leads and nurture them to turn them to loyal paying customers for higher customer lifetime value. Use virtual assistants such as Aira to take meeting notes and transcriptions. After the meeting, Aira will share all action items with the sales team to preserve accuracy, encourage collaboration and accountability.


2. Trim your costs

If the vast majority of your sales strategies and salespeople produce a fraction of your top performers’ efforts, then your business is not self-sustaining. Eventually, you will run out of good money to throw at bad. Your top performers produce eighty percent of your results because they have honed vital sales skills.

They know how to ask reflective questions that uncover pain points from customers. Second, winning salespeople are naturally good at it. Data shows that 55% of salespeople could excel in doing something else besides sales. More revealing research shows that another 25% of sales professionals can become top performers while selling a different product or service.

This means that at least half of your sales team comprises unfulfilled individuals who only got the offer because they excelled in an interview. Interviews provide useful subjective data, but you need objective information to get the right hires.

Have specialized sales assessments that pinpoint sales talent. If you have team members least suited to sales, shuffle them to areas in your business, where their talents can shine. If you do not have open alternative roles, encourage them to re-enter the job market with the newfound interests and talent knowledge so they can succeed in their careers.

These tests can also pinpoint areas that talented salespeople need to work on for success. Sieve your bloated sales team and cut down on the redundant eighty percent to minimize HR, sales, and space costs.


Conclusion

In 1895, the principle’s founder, Vilfredo Pareto, noted that society has a two-way division. On one side are the successful “vital few” and at the bottom of the pyramid are the “trivial many”. In time, Pareto noted that the wealth of his country was in the hands of the elite 20% of the population. Leverage the 80/20 sales rule to reap more from your workforce, budgets, and products using the tips above.

Image credits: Unsplash.com

How To Write Effective Board Meeting Minutes

board meeting minutes

The board meeting is an important business meeting, which brings together an organization’s directors. In their capacity as the overseers of a business entity, directors will come together in a board meeting with board meeting minutes for strategic deliberations.

This forum helps them to review the organization’s past performance. They will then endorse any new plan of action and issue guidelines for the support of various growth initiatives. The chairperson of the board presides over the board meeting while the secretary writes the minutes. So how can a secretary of the board write effective board meeting minutes?

Make adequate preparations for the meeting

First, you need to develop a meeting agenda and then distribute it to the directors. Artificial intelligence-powered meeting assistant tools such as Aira can ease sharing your meeting agenda with your directors.

Aira helps not only in the minute writing process but can transcribe your board meeting. It will automatically join your online meetings, listen in, and list all action items. It will then send your board meeting minutes to all your directors at the end of the meeting.

Why is the agenda so important? Most meetings cannot meet their objectives because of poor preparation. To ensure that the boardroom does not fall into chaos during a meeting, sufficient groundwork is vital. First, you need to understand that your directors are a “brain trust”.

They make some of the most challenging decisions for the best interest of your business. To meet this need, they have to have access to all information. They need to be in tune with the meeting’s agenda before D-day.

Prepare the agenda document early so you have enough time to share it with the stakeholders for feedback. The basics of an agenda should include:

  • The meeting starting and stopping time
  • The names of the participants
  • The location of the meeting
  • The objective of the meeting, the topics of discussion, and the outcomes that the directors should expect

The final agenda document should have topics in order of importance. All topics should have key points and allocate time for each discussion for time management. The agenda should also outline all the material that the participants need to review before the meeting kicks off.

Enlist their roles and responsibilities in the meeting to keep your minute writing task as smooth as possible.

meeting-preparation

Use the agenda to write the board meeting minutes

With your agenda at hand, writing effective board meeting minutes will be a walk in the park. You can use the meeting agenda as a template to make the process as straightforward as possible. The secretary should take the meeting minutes as per the format that the board approves.

To ensure that your method of taking notes is consistent with that of the board, review any past minutes for confirmation. One good tip to apply when writing board meeting minutes is the use of an objective voice. 

Avoid being caught up in contentious votes or controversies. Avoid arguments and debates that crop up by sticking to the facts. Follow the agenda’s principal topics and document their discussions as the meeting progresses.

Second, remember that board-meeting minutes are legal documents. They can act as official proof of a meeting and its deliberations. You should therefore note important details such as:

  • The time, date, and venue of the board meeting
  • All attendees in attendance, their titles, and rationale for being part of the forum
  • A write up of all motions and the seconds and the outcome
  • The director’s decisions and focus

Write meeting minutes that capture the meeting’s events to keep the organization safe from any liability that scant minutes can cause. To make board meeting minute writing more manageable use Aira. This AI meeting assistant is not only a powerful minute taking and transcription tool, but is great for scheduling too.

It will help in the setup of your meeting and share your meeting’s agenda before the meeting to ease the minute writing process for you.

Aira
Aira

Post-meeting analysis

After the meeting, go through the meeting minutes, reviewing the agenda. Using Aira’s records of the meeting, add any notes that can enhance clarification to the topic and agenda. Go through the director’s votes, motions and actions, and review the decisions noted down for clarity.

Make sure that the official record of the meeting is clear, to the point, and legible. Where possible, affix the documents and handouts that were part of the director’s discussions.

Sign, file, and share the minutes

The board meeting minutes are still not official documents of the organization until the board secretary has his signature on them. Some companies may also require the president’s signature on the minutes.

The best practice is to review your organization’s policies, protocols, and bylaws regarding signatures. Share the official board meeting minutes with all directors. A meeting assistant tool like Aira is best suited for sharing minutes and any action points.

Conclusion

The purpose of the board meeting minutes is to display the director’s intentions in a legal and official document. This makes the need to write effective board meeting notes a critical business need. Use the tips above to document the proceedings of the board. Enhance the minute writing process using the best artificial intelligence and machine learning tools.

How To Create Better Action Item List From Meetings

action item list

An action item list is an important tool for task management. Without an action items list, you could very easily overlook important tasks that need to be accomplished or go about your day quite inefficiently.

Using an action item list, however, doesn’t automatically make task accomplishment easier. It’s not uncommon to find teams that end their workday with pending actionable tasks on their to-do lists.

If you or your team are struggling with task deadlines, we will show you how to overcome this problem by creating better action items lists. We will also introduce you to a tool called Aira, that eliminates the hustle of minute taking and plans your action items for you.

Before we go into that, let’s first define “action item”.

What Is an Action Item?

During meetings, team members come up with tasks. A couple of steps need to be taken for that task or project to move smoothly. Those steps are called action items. Each action item has a person assigned to it, and that person is responsible for completing it.

The completion of each action item moves the project closer to a specified deadline (you could envision this as a finish line). To accomplish all project tasks, you must complete every action item properly and on time. For this to happen, you must set action items to properly. This means:

  • Every team member knows exactly what they are required to do
  • Each member can easily monitor and track project progress
  • Keeping deadlines realistic hence easy to meet
  • As a result, productivity will be high as tasks will be more seamlessly completed

It’s not enough to have the intention to complete a task Even merely stating that things need to get done doesn’t necessarily mean that they will get done. With an action item list, you create a map that will guide you towards your success by following simple steps.

What should an Action Item List look like?

At this point, you are probably wondering what a good action item list looks like. To answer that question, let’s consider an example of what your action items shouldn’t look like:

Example: Sample action item list

  • Vendor shortlist
  • Purchase models
  • Sales meeting

So, what’s wrong with this list?

For starters, it is vague. It’s difficult to know what those details mean. In fact, it looks just like any other list.

Great action items should be

  • Actionable
  • Clear: Complete and well-stated to remove vagueness
  • Easy to understand and manage

Here’s how to create an action item list that has these qualities.

The 7 rules that will help you create better Action Items from meetings

Rule 1: Tasks aren’t action items

tasks are not action items

A list like the one in the example above is made up of tasks. Each of these tasks is accomplished by taking a series of steps.

To make tasks actionable, you need to figure out the what, who and when of each task:

E.g Vendor search:

  • What steps exactly, need to be taken?
  • Who will take those steps?
  • When?  

Rule 2: Use verbs

Verbs are action words. “Vendor shortlist” on its own doesn’t say much. However, when stated as “prepare a vendor shortlist”, that gives a clearer picture of what needs to be done.

Using verbs not only defines what needs to be done, but also makes you mentally ready to take action.

Verbs also make it easier to recall details of tasks, which is important when handling projects that contain multiple or complex tasks.

Rule 3: Make them SMART

Teams that work with all the information they need are more likely to complete their tasks than teams that don’t. When you make your action items SMART, it means that you have included as much information as possible to make them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timebound.

An added advantage of using this approach is that it helps with future recall. Action items usually make sense in context, therefore going to greater lengths to provide SMART details helps with better recall in the future.

Rule 4: Reduce the focus of action items to the most minimum unit

An action item should be minimal in focus. That is, it should focus only on one thing. If you can break down your action item into smaller steps, then it is too complex and broad in focus.

Ensure that action items are broken down into their smallest tasks. For example, “prepare a vendor shortlist” can be broken down into many steps and is therefore a very complex action item. Minimizing it so that its steps become action items will make it more manageable.

Rule 5: Watch out for dependencies

Some actions are dependent on other actions. For instance, if Julie from marketing doesn’t compile a list of known vendors, June from sales cannot set appointments with those vendors. Dependencies are best managed when everyone knows exactly what they are supposed to do and by when they should do it.

  • Point out dependencies where they exist to makes team members more conscious about holding back other colleagues from completing their actions.
  • Prioritize tasks with dependencies to allow other members to accomplish their tasks.  

Rule 6: Turn your process into a template

Your first attempt at creating a better action item list is going to feel a bit cumbersome. It might even consume a lot of your time. However, being meticulous with details the first time around will give you a template to work with in future.

This process can become even easier when you use Aira to automate minute taking for your meetings. Aira creates action items from your meeting discussions, thereby reducing the amount of work you need to do.

As Aira integrates with CRM and other platforms, you can easily import the action items into that software to set up and track your project workflows.  

Conclusion

Action items guide teams on what they need to do and helps them achieve those obligations by a certain deadline. If your team members still have unaccomplished items on their schedule by the end of their workday, watch out for these problems:

  • Is the focus of the action items too broad?
  • Can teams easily find action items assigned to them or do they have to comb through long lists?  
  • Are your team members overwhelmed by too many tasks?

Then, follow the process outlined above to create better action item lists.

How To Extract Minutes From Google Meet With AIRA

extract minutes from Google Meet

Zoom’s quick rise from obscurity to international stardom has been the talk of the year. A conspicuous move, it has caught the eye of rivals like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Consequently, all virtual meeting apps are responding to Zoom’s meteoritic rise in various ways.

Google is also cashing into the year’s vast online meeting, yoga classes, and birthday party needs. It is tapping into the online get-together space using Google Meet. An enterprise-only product, it is now free to all Google account owners.

This makes Google Meet a perfect meeting tool for businesses. Leverage the power of artificial intelligence meeting tools like Aira for productivity, and you have the perfect meeting setup. Unlike Zoom, Google Meet is free from privacy and security concerns. 

This app will support a free hour of meeting time for a minimum of 100 people. Its view displays sixteen meeting participants. To enhance security, your team members will need to log in to Google to join your meeting.

No Zoom like invite links. This way, the hosts have total control of the meeting’s privacy. Goodbye Zoombombing. Additionally, you can join a Meet meeting via a calendar invite. If you do not have one, the app will take you to a green room, until the host allows you in.

Google Online Meeting might soon become a more popular online meeting app for businesses. This begs the question; can you draw meeting minutes from the meeting platform?

How to extract minutes from Google Meet

Image credits: unsplash.com

Video conferencing tools have become a critical part of everyday life. For this reason, businesses need to make the content that their employees create within them easily accessible. Schools, on the other hand, have to ensure that students, teachers, parents, and the authorities can review these items at the drop of a hat.

Any person without a video or internet connection should access Meet’s transcriptions. You can put your Meet content in writing by allowing your app’s advanced features to record the meeting. The G Suite or Google Workspace members can record all meetings through the process below:

  1. Start the meeting and go to the screen’s right-hand side. You will see three vertical dots. Click on them.
  2. A few settings features will pop up. Choose “Record Meeting”
  3. The app will ask you to consent to the recording. Follow its instructions and accept.
  4. A “REC” red rectangle will appear on your screen’s top left. This is a sign the Meet is recording your app.
  5. When the meeting is over, go back to the right-hand side and click on the three dots.
  6. Select “Stop Recording” from the menu
  7. The app will save the recorded content to Google Drive
  8. Google Meet will inform all meeting members when a session is recording.
  9. To transcribe your meeting minutes, you can either listen in and type or pay for transcription services.
  10. To reproduce your recordings in writing, upload your files to a transcription app of choice
  11. Set up all the in-app parameters
  12. Check out and wind up the order
  13. Review and download your transcripts

Google Meet
Google Meet

Extract minutes from Google Meet with AIRA

Aira is an intelligent meeting assistant that will manage all your business’s web meeting needs. Powered by AI and machine learning algorithms, Aira will write meeting notes and capture action items. She can intelligently pick up a meeting’s keywords and can join a meeting automatically.

All she needs to arrive on time, every time, is access to your calendar app. Aira also records all the meetings she is in attendance. Need transcription services? No problem, leave it to Aira. She integrates with amongst other tools, Gmail.

Accessing meeting notes via third party transcription services is not a seamless process. Aira can make this process straightforward in both Google Meet and Zoom. Synchronize your Meet’s recordings to Aira and she will automatically extract meeting notes from them.

Aira
Aira

Why should you extract meeting minutes from Meets using Aira?

  • To enhance collaboration

If any of your meeting members misses the meeting, they will receive the meeting minutes to keep them up to date. They will not need to scroll through the whole recording for enlightenment.

  • To save time

Minutes are more digestible and allow their readers to quickly zone in on matters that concern them the most.

  • For multipurpose use

You can send the meeting minutes to all stakeholders to keep them up to date. The error-free notes can also work as training or educational content.

  • Accountability

Meeting minutes keeps every meeting member accountable. Aira intelligently highlights action items for review before and during the next meeting.

Conclusion

Google Meet is not a new kid on the block. It has been there for ages, under its old title; Hangouts Meet. In the past, Google only lets in educational and enterprise users. The American multinational tech firm has now made Google Meet free for Google account owners. Use it alongside intelligent meeting assistants to enhance productivity and collaboration.

Image credits: Unsplash.com

How To Take Better Meeting Notes From An Online Meeting

meeting notes

Have you ever thought to yourself while in a meeting, “I’ll jot down the meeting notes when I get to my desk.” At that moment, you probably thought that you were going to retain all the content discussed in the meeting. But, later, you may have been surprised to realize just how much information passed you by.

This is quite normal because in a typical workday, you are probably juggling a lot of activities and deadlines, including meetings. For this reason, it is possible to attend a meeting, sit through it and yet not retain important details.

If this sounds like something you have gone through before, we have some tips for you. In this article, we’ll show you how note-taking doesn’t have to be this arduous task that you have to dread. We will also show you how with Aira, you don’t have to put off note taking till later.

Before we begin, let’s define meeting notes.

What are meeting notes?

People usually confuse meetings and meeting notes; one is often taken for the other. While both meeting notes and minutes are somewhat the same, meeting notes serve as a quick summary of ideas discussed during a meeting. Meeting notes are also informal.

Meeting notes are important when you want to record information in a way that you will understand, or that is unique to you. some people also take notes as part of their creative process.

Minutes on the other hand, are structured, formal records of a meeting, and their job is to note down:

  • Meeting attendance (present and absent)
  • Meeting start and end times
  • Broad topics discussed
  • Decisions arrived at during a meeting

How can you take better meeting notes during an online meeting?

Even though meeting notes are formal, following a structure when writing them is important for future recall. The last thing you want is a scrap pad filled with cluttered meeting notes that you cannot make head or tail of.

Great meeting notes should be simple and have the following qualities:

  • Provide context
  • Have relevant details
  • Be legible, whether expressed in full sentences or shorthand 
  • Have ideas that flow logically into each other 

What details should you include in your meeting notes?

For your online meeting notes to be exhaustive and complete, they should include the following details

  • Main discussion points. A lot is said during a meeting, but not all of it is worth noting down. Therefore, to avoid ending up with copious amounts of notes, first, note down important points. Second, expound on those points in a few sentences.  
  • Action items. What is the task? To whom is it assigned? What is the deadline for completing the task?
  • Questions. Write down any points you want to clarify and ask them during the Q&A session.
  • Follow ups and ideas. Ideas may start coming up during a meeting. Such ideas may be the beginning of new projects therefore it’s important to write them down.

Manual and automated note taking  

There are two ways to take manual notes:

  • Manually, either by writing or typing
  • Automated note taking

Manual note taking: Laptop vs pen and paper

Some people prefer to write down their notes while others prefer to use a laptop. There are downsides and upsides to each method.

Research shows that people tend to type verbatim. The upside of typing however, is that organizing and editing points is a lot easier. When using a pen, you will note down the main points. The downside of course is that if you need to send out the notes to people, you have to type them out later.

Therefore, what it comes down to when deciding whether to write down notes using pen and paper or to type them out on your laptop, is preference.

How to take better meeting notes manually

Manual note taking requires skill. If you don’t have those skills, you will fall behind during the meeting and important information to pass you by.

Here’s how to take manual notes easily:

Use shorthand

Shorthand is a writing system that is mostly used by administrative assistants who normally need to type a lot of notes throughout their day. It is a good system to use if you already possess the skill. If you don’t, you first have to learn how to do shorthand scribbles before you start using it.

Codify

Another way to keep up the pace when taking meeting notes manually is to codify some parts. For instance:

  • Use abbreviations. For example, use “max”, instead of maximum
  • Use an asterisk * to mark important points
  • Use an exclamation mark (!) to note urgent items

Automated meeting note taking

Automating the note taking process can make work easier for you. There are many tools for automating note taking, and all of them have different capabilities.

One of the reasons why we favor Aira is because of its audio recording capability. Not only does Aira’s audio recordings ensure that nothing is missed, the meeting app notes down keywords, making it easier to pick out important details that were discussed in a meeting. 

What’s more, you don’t need to jot down the notes yourself because you can print the transcript from the meeting and circle or underline whatever you need to refer to.

  • The notes are organized and clutter free
  • The app provides context for the meeting notes

Conclusion

Online meetings happen between people who cannot be in the same room or location. If you are then stuck taking notes, it’s possible to appear aloof or even rude to other participants. Not to mention, internet lag time can make it almost impossible to follow and take notes at the same time. Thankfully, with a meeting note app such as Aira, you can reduce the hustle of note taking and improve note accuracy while conducting online meetings.

Image credits: Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

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.

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