The five best ways to take notes in a meeting

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Pimp your iPad

Do you have an iPad? If not, here's a little nudge. iPads are extraordinarily useful in meetings. Check out the Penultimate app, which lets you take notes, make sketches and share ideas. It has that old school feel with bold gel ink and a paper background.

Evernote is another classic. Pitched as your 'personal digitial assistant', Evernote lets you make notes, clip web pages, store PDFs and take photos, and then bolt your data together for a clear picture of your meeting or brainstorm.

Get a digital pen

Digital pens let you take notes or draw sketches in ink on special 'smart' paper while a tiny camera captures your work, storing up to 10 metres of writing at a time. You can then load your notes onto your Mac or PC to edit and review.

Use a digital recorder

You could do away with pen and paper completely and just record all your meetings wholesale. It means less faffing about with paper and pens that invariably run dry. The only downside: transcribing the meeting notes later. There are options on the market that can convert audio to text automatically, but they take a lot of training, and will usually only record its master's voice (yours) well.

Hire a virtual assistant

Through the miracle of outsourcing, you could do away with taking notes yourself and let someone else do the hard graft. Wire in your personal assistant via Skype or online conferencing software and let them take the minutes, send out the round-up email and whizz up a Powerpoint presentation from the meeting's findings. Tasks Every Day charges from $6.98 an hour for the service.

Invest in a Papershow product

So, this nifty piece of kit does more than let you take notes. It allows you to run presentations and annotate them live. You can pass the Papershow pad around at meetings and let everyone make a contribution. Check out the Papershow video for a full overview.

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