How to Take Notes on a Video Call with Surface
Every time i go to a meeting, i take digital notes. In one note, on my surface, i’ve been taking notes in onenote for 18 years now i love being able to write on the screen, because it gives me access to the visual processing and cognitive benefits that come with handwriting. But since taking notes on the surface is digital, i can combine images text and digital assets. With my note, taking my notes are searchable. I can convert them to text and i can share them instantly, but why not just type notes it’s, certainly easier if you’re on a video call. But if you want to remember process and understand things, handwriting is far superior to typing. You probably know this anecdotally that if you write something down you’re far more likely to remember it, but there’s actually a lot of scientific research that supports and demonstrates the benefits of handwriting both on paper and on the screen. Personally, i have the luxury of having a whole host of surface devices to use. So for the last nine months my preferred video conferencing setup has been to use the surface studio on my desk and the surface pro in my lap for note. Taking so i’ve got a blank canvas on my lap with one note and i’ve got my team’s call running at a good angle and i’m able to see everyone clearly when i’m in the meeting, my onenote notebooks are all in the cloud. So, as i take notes, they’re pretty much instantly on my surface studio too, but i appreciate that not everyone loves surface as much as i do.
So how can you get the same result with the devices that you already have here are a few solutions. You could use your phone or a mobile device for the call and take notes on your surface. There are solutions that allow you to turn your phone into a webcam for your pc, but they’re, mostly wireless solutions and they’re a bit complicated and laggy. I probably wouldn’t recommend that, but you can use zoom and teams on your phone directly, perhaps mount it on a selfie. Stick like mine here on the desk, join the meeting on your phone and take notes on your surface it’s a simple solution, but it is a little limited. Your phone probably has a very good webcam, but the screen is too small. So it’s not easy to see things being shared and it’s, not easy to share from your device too. A better solution might be to use an external webcam. With your surface, the surface brand has long led the market for inbuilt webcams and microphones, while other so called premium devices still have mediocre 720p webcams. For many years, surface devices have had really well optimized, 1080p webcams and excellent quality, microphones and that’s, especially true of the surface devices that you can take notes with the surface pro book studio and go. However, the one limitation is the angle of view, especially when you want to take notes. So an alternative solution is to get a webcam, but if you’re coming from a surface inbuilt camera, not any old webcam will match its quality.
So here are a few webcams that i recommend the logitech stream cam. This is a decent quality webcam with a good, clear, 1080p picture. It has a slightly wider field of view than the surface and it comes with two mounting options. The first mounting option is designed to sit on top of your monitor and the second mounts on a tripod thread. I chose this camera for that reason, as well as the fact that it connects with usbc. So i mounted this camera on my benro selfie. Stick that i’ve had for years now and i was ready to take notes. This solution worked great with my surface pro x, pro 7 and surface go 2.. The logitech brio is a very popular and slightly better webcam than the stream cam. I didn’t try it for this video but i’ve seen enough reviews to know that it’s, one of the best cameras out there logitech really seemed to own the quality webcam market. The brio is a 4k webcam which is really overkill for video conferencing, because it’s probably going to be scaled down to 720p anyway, but it is a very clear high quality, webcam and i’d recommend it. If your budget can go there and if your budget doesn’t go there, then the logitech 922 is a safe bet, not quite the quality of the other two, but still good. The last alternative that i did try was the gopro hero 9.. Now this is not something that i’d recommend for everyone as it’s a bit more complicated than a simple webcam, but a good webcam is not a cheap accessory.
The gopro hero8 black and hero9 black can actually work directly on your pc as a webcam. With a little software help, the software is currently in beta i’ll leave a link to the instructions in the download page below. Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently work for the surface pro x, but it may do soon and it should work just fine on any other surface. It does a really decent job, maybe not quite as good as the logitech cameras, but hey it’s, a gopro and i love having something that’s, not just a one trick pony the gopro is known for its very wide field of view, which is not really what you Want in a webcam, but fortunately it can be adjusted in the software to focus in on a narrower aspect. The last part of my ideal setup for note, taking on a video call, is to use an external monitor, it’s important, because i need to be able to see and connect with the people on the call to be able to see their body language and facial expressions And to see what content is being shared and discussed using the two screens together, i usually have my video conference split to the left side of the screen, some content on the right side of the screen and my notes down on the surface. For my monitor, i use an lg wide screen that i reviewed a couple of years back. I love it because it has a usbc connection and i can use it without a docking station, since the latest surface models all have usb c on board.
In fact, i could plug the camera directly into the monitor because it is effectively a usb hub and it also charges my surface. At the same time. That said, i have a surface dock 2 on my desk and i plug the webcam directly into that since it’s easy to reach. That would work great for older surface devices that did not have usb c on board. I’Ll leave an amazon affiliate link to those products in the description below, including the updated version of the lg widescreen. Monitor that i use, if there’s an upside to this pandemic, it’s that millions of people have finally got on board with video conferencing as a way to connect with people i’m sure that by now we can all agree that it’s, nothing like being there in person. In the room with others, but now that we’ve had to use this method of working with people who were usually just an arm’s length away. Many of us have realized that it was a tool that we should have been using all along to connect with people who are far away. The geographical boundaries to work really only existed in our minds, but the downside of everyone meeting via a video conference is that many people who had tried digital notetaking have had to revert back to pen and paper and that’s a shame because, as i’ll discuss in some Upcoming videos, the only true way to collaborate on ideas, is to work on them in a low formality, visual and spatial environment.
When we’re in the office. We usually do this with a whiteboard, but since many of us have been forced to work from home that important collaborative process has gone out the window, but it is possible to take it back sure. We’Ll all have to learn some new ways of doing things. Things like whiteboarding and handwritten note taking can be done in the digital world without losing any of their benefits. In fact, adopting digital tools can greatly enhance the benefits of these things that we had in the real world, and on top of that they have no geographical limits. You just need to know that it’s possible and we need to know how to get started so make sure that you subscribe and hit like on this video we’ve got a new tip like this one.