Work Smart Video: How to Take Effective Meeting Notes

September 2, 2010

The second season of my Work Smart video series at premiered yesterday, with a question from Suhasini Kotcherlakota about how to take better meeting notes, and some answers from me and Brad Isaac, who wrote a great piece on mind-mapping meetings at Lifehacker a few years back.

Despite the fact that I still can't watch and listen to myself on film without cringing, I am so pleased with the results. Adam Barenblat at FastCompany did an amazing job on the art and design, which is based on a fun new webapp: Popplet.

Check out the finished clip.

Some production notes: I outlined the script using Popplet, which Adam used to design the video, and that Popplet is available at for you to click and zoom around yourself. We got all the interview footage using Skype and eCamm's CallRecorder software, which is cheap and fantastically easy to use. We wanted an informal webcam look, but we wanted "the hostess" to have a plain background and professional lighting, which I set up in my home office relatively inexpensively, thanks to the TWiG headset I already have. It was really fun getting to "meet" and talk with people who sent in their questions from all over the country. Unlike the first season of Work Smart, which was just me talking to the camera, these episodes involve 3 separate shoots--one with the person asking the question, one with the expert, and one with me. Breaking it up that way adds a nice variety, and it also means I don't have to fly to New York to shoot with a director and a production crew. I get to stay home and simply use Skype with my iSight. Fun stuff, plus time and money savings.

If you want to be featured in an upcoming episode, email your question about tech and/or productivity to

What if you mind-map and record the audio of the meeting at the same time. Then afterwards you can jump to the recorded audio at the same spot as the mind map?


Sep 3 10 at 8:03 am

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