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Manual Note-Taking vs. AI-Notetakers: Pros and Cons

November 24, 2023
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Last updated
February 15, 2024
Manual Note-Taking vs. AI-Notetakers: Pros and Cons
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The changing landscape of notetaking

Taking notes during online meetings has become an essential part of remote work. With the increase in online meetings, note-taking has become more critical than ever before. However, the traditional method of manual note-taking may not be the most efficient way of taking notes during online meetings.

Are you tired of constantly scribbling down notes during online meetings? Do you have a handwriting that even doctors would be envious of? Or have you not mastered speed-typing with 10 fingers?

With advancements in technology, AI-notetakers have become increasingly popular, and they offer an alternative to manual note-taking. In this blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of manual note-taking and AI-notetaker via several discussion point.

Note-taking: bot vs. human


One of the significant advantages of manual note-taking is that it allows you to customize your notes to meet your specific needs. You can use symbols, shorthand, and abbreviations that make sense to you. This customization can improve your engagement with the material, making it more likely that you will remember it later. Writing notes manually can also improve your memory and retention of information. When you take notes manually, you are engaging in an active learning process, which can help you remember the information better.

AI-notetakers, on the other hand, do not provide an opportunity for self-learning. Since the notes are generated automatically, you do not have the opportunity to customize them to your needs. While AI-notetakers can provide you with a summary of the meeting, they do not provide an opportunity for active learning. This lack of personalization can lead to a less-engaged learning experience.


AI-notetakers are more accurate than manual note-taking. Since they use artificial intelligence, they are less likely to miss important information. AI-notetakers can identify and highlight the most important points in a meeting, reducing the risk of missing essential information. They can also provide you with a quick summary of the meeting , allowing you to review the information quickly.

However, manual note-taking can be challenging to keep up with the speaker, leading to incomplete notes or missing essential information. It can also be challenging to read your handwriting or decipher your notes if you do not have good penmanship. This lack of accuracy can lead to a less reliable learning experience.

Engagement with Others

Engaging with others during online meetings is an essential aspect of remote work. However, taking notes can often be a distraction and can detract from the quality of engagement. Manual note-taking requires you to divide your attention between taking notes and actively participating in the discussion, which can result in a less connected and less engaged experience during the meeting. Juggling between these two tasks can be overwhelming and can lead to a lack of focus and disengagement.

On the other hand, AI-notetakers can provide a solution to this problem. With AI-notetakers, you can devote your full attention to the discussion and actively participate without any distractions. The notes are generated automatically, allowing you to focus on active listening and engaging with others without the need to worry about taking notes. This can lead to a more connected and engaged learning experience, as you can fully immerse yourself in the discussion and focus on building relationships with your team members.

A figure writing down something


AI-notetakers are more efficient than manual note-taking. They can summarize meeting notes in real-time, saving you time and effort. Since they identify and highlight the most important points in a meeting, they allow you to focus on critical information. AI-notetakers can also provide you with a summary of the meeting, allowing you to review the information quickly.

On the other hand, manual note-taking can be time-consuming, especially during long meetings. It can also be tiring and may cause hand cramps or fatigue. Which might not be as rare of an occurance as you might think!


AI-notetakers make collaboration easier not only because the notes are generated automatically, but also because they can be easily formatted and made more readable. The AI notetaker software can recognize different speakers and assign labels, highlight key points, and create summaries. This makes it easier for team members to quickly scan and understand the notes, even if they were not present during the meeting.

In contrast, manual note-taking is often more personal and may be more difficult for others to read and understand. If the writer has poor handwriting, uses shorthand or abbreviations, or writes in a way that is not easy to follow, it can be challenging for others to decipher the notes. This lack of readability can lead to misunderstandings, confusion, and inefficiencies. The writer often needs to spend 30-60 minutes to convert their own notes into something more digestable for the rest of the team.


Both manual note-taking and AI-notetakers have their advantages and disadvantages. Manual note-taking is better for self-learning, while AI-notetakers are more accurate, efficient, and collaborative. The choice between the two will depend on your personal preferences and needs.

In conclusion, AI-notetakers are becoming increasingly accurate and efficient, making them a viable option for many people. They can save time and effort and provide a quick summary of the meeting. However, if you prefer to customize your notes and improve your memory and retention of information, manual note-taking may be the best option for you. Ultimately, the choice between manual note-taking and AI-notetakers will depend on what you value more- personalized learning or accuracy, efficiency, and collaboration.

Wudpecker: The Best of Both Worlds

If you want to have the best of both worlds, you might want to check out Wudpecker. We use ChatGPT to summarize online meetings and still allows users to edit the result. This means you'll get the accuracy and efficiency of AI-notetakers while still having the option to customize your notes to your needs.

Wudpecker uses artificial intelligence to identify and highlight the most important points in a meeting, making sure you don't miss any essential information. The summary is generated automatically, saving you time and effort. However, unlike other AI-notetakers, Wudpecker allows you to edit the summary so you can tailor it to your needs.

This hybrid solution is perfect for those who value accuracy, efficiency, and collaboration but also want to customize their notes. Give Wudpecker a try and see how it can improve your online meetings!

Automatic quality online meeting notes
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