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How to make Zoom better with automated meeting transcriptions


Otter is already one of my favorite utilities – I find it invaluable in my work. Now it’s developed a new feature that turns it into an essential tool for Zoom meetings and makes it useful for any enterprise seeking solutions for hybrid meetings.

Transcription while you talk

Available to Otter Business users, Otter Assistant offers the same automatic transcription tools we already use, but links these to Zoom. The app integrates with your Google or Microsoft calendar, which means it can automatically join your meeting, create transcripts of what takes place, and share these with others at the meeting or anyone else on the distribution list.

The Assistant can also join meetings hosted by others, as when it is enabled to do so it will automatically join the meeting on your behalf. This is particularly useful when people don’t necessarily need to take part in the entire meeting but could still use some overall insight. It’s also helpful if you are focused on the discussion, rather than keeping notes. (You can even send your assistant when you can’t make the meeting.)

Send the assistant so you can do something else

Sam Liang, co-founder & CEO of Otter.ai puts it this way: “You can send your Otter Assistant to meetings on your behalf so you can focus on what’s most relevant without worrying about missing anything.”

[Also read: 7 Zoom tips for working from home]

The company hired YouGov to gather feedback concerning Zoom meetings from more than 2,000 remote workers. It found that 42% have experienced Zoom fatigue since the pandemic began and discovered 26% of people think meeting notes should always be shared with attendees. It doesn’t reveal how many are aware of all the available Zoom keyboard shortcuts.

What can you do with Otter Assistant?

Notes created can be annotated in real time, including the addition of highlights, comments, and images. The app also lets you create a custom vocabulary to accurately identify industry metalanguage and jargon. 

The tool is enabled in the meeting schedule (Otter calls this ‘My Agenda’) in your app. Beside each meeting you’ll find an Auto Join button; enable this and then tap the add to Live Meeting control, add the Zoom meeting link, and Assistant will automatically join the meeting.

The meeting transcript includes highlighting and sharing tools, and lets you share to pre-defined workgroups or individuals on an ad hoc basis.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.


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