Art: Charter

By one estimate, executives spend nearly 23 hours a week in meetings on average, and few of them believe that time is totally well spent. One of the tangible workplace promises of artificial intelligence is to improve the quality of meetings, through automated transcription and other features.

Charter tested seven different AI meeting-notes tools, some that take notes by adding a bot to virtual meetings and some that rely on data from your computer’s speakers and microphone without the use of an in-meeting bot. (We’ll cover the differences between these two types of tools, as well as advantages and drawbacks of each, later in this review.)

Our pick for an in-meeting note-taking bot was Circleback for its excellent summarization and speaker recognition, while our pick for external note-takers was Krisp, for its ease of use and detailed notes. We also enjoyed using Granola, a tool better suited for individuals who want to rely mostly on manual note-taking, with additions or reorganization by an AI assistant.

(We’ve previously covered AI transcription services—some of these, like Otter.AI and Fireflies, also include a meeting note-taking feature and are included in this review. Read our full review of AI transcription services if you’re looking for a tool that generates transcripts, rather than a live note-taker and summarizer for meetings.)

Sign up for Charter's newsletter to get the handbook for the future of work delivered to your inbox.

Beyond saving time and helping teams stay on the same page with information-sharing and clear followups, outsourcing note-taking to an AI bot could make the distribution of labor on your team more equitable. Note-taking, meeting follow-up, and other supporting tasks not explicitly included in one person’s job responsibilities are often “non-promotable tasks” (NPTs). In many workplaces, NPTs often fall disproportionately to women, eating up their time and limiting their ability to secure raises, prestigious assignments, and promotions.

Our picks


Our top pick for an in-meeting note-taking bot for its excellent summarization and speaker recognition features, as well as streamlined interface and premium features. Although it’s among the most expensive of the tools we tested, we think its stellar performance and features make it worth it.


  • Meeting transcripts are accurate and detailed, summaries and action item sections accurately capture the key moments and decisions of meetings, and speaker recognition is stellar.
  • Integrates easily to work calendars, making it easy to add the Circleback bot to meetings. Also features integrations to Slack, Notion, HubSpot, Salesforce, Zapier, and CRM softwares, among others.
  • Includes premium features such as automatic notes and action-item sharing to all meeting attendees, AI-powered search across all meeting transcripts, and an AI copilot that can answer questions about past meetings.


  • Circleback was among the most expensive tools we tested, at $25/month for an individual subscription.
  • Out of all the tools we tested, Circleback took the longest to generate the meeting transcript and summary. The difference was only a matter of minutes, however, and did not impact our experience using the tool.


Our top pick for note-taking apps that do not use an in-meeting bot (although its pro version does include a beta version of bot recording). We chose Krisp for its excellent usability and premium features, as well as competitive pricing.


  • Krisp records meetings using your computer’s own microphone and speakers, which means that there’s no need to add a bot to meetings that may distract attendees.
  • Generates accurate summaries and transcripts for meetings, with stellar speaker recognition.
  • The desktop app features a widget in the toolbar, which allows users to easily turn the note taker on and off, edit microphone and speaker settings, and even view and join upcoming meetings
  • The free version offers a generous number of transcriptions and meeting notes/summaries, and its pro plan is just $12 per month for unlimited notes and summaries.


  • Unlike Circleback, Krisp doesn’t offer an extensive set of integrations to other workplace apps beyond work calendars.
  • While testing, we did encounter an error generating action items, but after refreshing the app, they appeared.


Our pick for users who prefer to manually take meeting notes but want an AI assistant to reorganize their notes, add anything they may have missed, or generate a transcript to reference after the meeting. Although it does also take automated notes, the feature didn’t capture the highlights and action items as accurately as some competitors. Like Krisp, it doesn’t require a bot to record meetings.


  • When connected to a user’s calendar, the app automatically opens a notepad for users to take notes. After the meeting, users can generate AI-enhanced notes that add in missed points or reorganize the meeting notes for flow.
  • The notepad also includes a live transcript, controls for recording, and attendees for the meeting.
  • The interface features a chat interface, “ask Granola,” which allows users to ask about themes, action items, or quotes from the conversation.


  • The interface is almost too streamlined—it can be confusing to find the full transcript after meetings are over.
  • If users are not taking detailed notes, the AI won’t be able to fill in all the gaps.

Read the full review at

Read more from Charter

The handbook for the future of work, delivered to your inbox.