Nick Cerda

Live well. Lead well.

How I use Evernote in Meetings: A Peek Inside My Personal System

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If you are an adult you are in meetings. Some people love them, some loathe them. Me? I believe a meeting is what you make of it. The key to enjoying a meeting is to make it a productive one.

A meeting is most productive when it has a few things.

1. A clear direction.
2. A competent leader.
3. An agenda.
4. A scribe.

When I’m on my game and hoping to get the most out of the experience I take meeting notes. In the past before each meeting I found myself scrambling in my document folders looking for the last relevant meeting notes template and trying to revive it for the current meeting’s use. Sometimes the document wasn’t where I thought I put it and while I’m almost always able to locate it I couldn’t help but think- “surely, there is a better way.”


There is. Evernote is incredibly useful for meeting notes.

*I’m assuming you have an Evernote account and that you use it as or in place of your online notebook. For a fairly thorough Getting Started Guide to Evernote I recommend you go here-

Here’s how I use Evernote for Meetings

*disclaimer- I use mac osx mavericks all features may not be available for windows users.

  1. Create a meeting template. You can google evernote meeting notes templates but I found them all a bit odd and not a good fit for my line of work. So I created my own- in Evernote. Create this just like you would a regular note.
  2. Set a time for the meeting template. I have a few standing meetings that I know I will scribe for. One is tuesday at 9am. By clicking the alarm clock on the top right toolbar I can set a reminder for that meeting note to go off at 9am on Tuesday. No more searching. No more wondering what folder I put those notes in. The template arrives as I need it.
  3. Right click the note. Select copy to notebook and then select the notebook you file your meeting notes. You will want to copy the note each time the meeting recurs to preserve the formatting of your meeting template.
  4. After the meeting it’s generally a good practice to send the meeting notes to those in attendance with action items and assignments earmarked in some way. Evernote does that too. 1. You can share specific notes with individuals you select. 2. You can place the notes in a shared folder that you have shared with meeting participants. I prefer the first option but choose what is best for you. To share a notebook beside the name of the notebook there is a notebook with an arrow pointing right. Click that and enter the individuals you want to receive the shared notebook.

Do you use evernote for meetings? What are some tips and tricks I missed?

And in case you’re curious- what hardware do I use for my meetings? Funny you ask. I’m still sorting that out. For our larger staff meetings it seems appropriate to take out my laptop computer and take notes. With the full keyboard this is the fastest way. I attend another smaller meeting and the laptop seem obtrusive so I opt for my iPad. When I’m in one on ones I prefer the small legal pads. After the meeting I either transfer my notes or take a photo with my iPhone and store it in Evernote.

About Nick Cerda

I'm Nick Cerda; I help people take the next step to fulfill dreams and live better lives. My wife and I live in Asheville, North Carolina with our 3 children. Follow me on twitter, friend me on facebook, or email me.

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