Google Calendar auto-adds shared meeting notes

If, like me, you often find yourself hunting for the notes you took in an online meeting – and then for those that your colleagues also took on the same call – you might like the new feature we spotted in Google Calendar this week.

It won’t be there in existing diary appointments (nor if you’re using a free Google account – it’s only in paid Workspace and GSuite accounts, according to this recent Google blog) but now when you create a meeting and click ‘more options’, you’ll see a button in the description field to ‘create meeting notes’. If you assumed this was just another description format, check again.

Click the button and save the meeting, then go in to the meeting details. You’ll see a paperclipped link to a Google Doc called “Notes – Meeting name”. Click on this and the doc opens up, already with some pre-filled data, such as the attendee list and the seeds of a list of action items. As usual with Gdocs, this is a shared document, with all attendees able to add and edit.

Of course you’ve been able to add file attachments to calendar items for some time now, and there was nothing to stop you creating a shared online document – a meeting agenda, say – and attaching it, even on a free Google account (type “@” and use the drop-down menu to insert the meeting notes template into your own doc). But automating this and all the sharing is a nice touch. It certainly makes it all easier.

I’m looking forward to making more use of this, the only caveat being whether I can limit the sharing or not. I’m not sure I always want a client seeing what notes I actually take during a briefing!

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