Much of what is said at meetings is forgotten. Yes, there are notes and transcripts. What's often missing, though, is a useful summary. And when we're all participating in a dozen meetings each week, who has time to summarize all of them?
Wordcab provides fast, useful automated meeting summaries
It’s the most useful summary tool I've encountered. It takes a transcript or audio recording and spits back a useful summary. It's fast and easy to use.
Wordcab has worked well in my tests 🔥
I recently tested it on meetings I was a part of and a lengthy recording I made myself. The meetings covered various subjects. Wordcab's summaries helpfully boiled things down to the key points. In my own monologue recording, I had free associated ideas about teaching. Returning to that recording much later, I wanted a quick summary of key points. Wordcab took a 5-minute section of audio and boiled it down to two short paragraphs, highlighting the essence of what I was saying.
Useful Features 👍
IMPORT You can import transcripts from other popular tools like Otter.ai and Descript.com. Both of those are terrific for generating raw transcripts from audio or video, but neither provides summaries.
AUTOMATE You can set up Wordcab to sync to your calendar and have its bot automatically record, transcribe, and summarize your Zoom and Meet calls.
PICK YOUR LENGTH You can adjust a length slider to get a longer or shorter summary. In my tests there wasn't a big difference in the length of summaries, but for longer transcripts this could be useful.
EXPORT AND SHARE You can share summaries with others. “It saves us a lot of time listening to sales calls,” Adi Azaria, Workiz’s CEO said of Wordcab. “Now it's just a couple of minutes a day reading summaries.”
FREE FOR 10 SUMMARIES so you can get a sense of how it works.
Works only in English for now, though they’re working on adding Spanish
It's still in development, so features are limited
Jargon or technical language in some fields may sometimes trip up the algorithm
Wordcab’s future 🔮
Wordcab is designed to work inside other tools, like transcription services, rather than to be used as a standalone resource. For now it's an open service anyone can use, but eventually you’ll see it baked into transcription services as an extra feature. Not only will those transcription services record your meetings and give you a transcript— they’ll also give you a summary powered by Wordcab or other new services using similar tech.
Founder Aleks Smechov told me that Wordcab is working on summarizing not just meetings and recorded calls, but email threads and chats as well.
From my perspective, Wordcab would be helpful inside services like Grain, which I’ve used to share highlights of online events. It might also be useful to have Wordcab’s summarization inside Zoom or other new meeting platforms like Butter, mmhmm, and Around to help catch up on events or conversations you’ve missed.
Otter, which I wrote about in a recent piece on the best transcription tools, recently added a new highlights feature that picks out key phrases that provide a kind of outline in your transcript, like chapters in a YouTube video. It’s not narrative summarization of the sort Wordcab offers.
Why meeting notes < summaries 📝
People may not read them, especially if they're long
If they're too short, they may miss key details
If the note taker participates in the meeting, s/he may have missed things while talking, listening or typing. I've often faced that challenge when doubling as host and note-taker.
Notes may be biased toward the interests/views of the note-taker.
Why transcripts aren't sufficient 📄
They're often too long and boring to be read in full
There's no distinction made between what's important and what's not
They require significant time, effort and attention to process and make sense of
How do you handle meeting notes, transcripts or summaries? Leave a comment to share any tips or resources you recommend.
p.s. Join my colleagues at the Newmark J-School for a series of upcoming conversations with solopreneurs about how they've developed niche ventures to fill in journalism gaps. Hosted by our Creators in Residence, Yvonne Leow and Hillary Frey. https://lu.ma/creatorconversations
Wednesday, April 13 at 12 pm ET
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