Karthik Pasupathy (aka KP)

Visualizing a Note-Taking Feature Inside Zoom

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog post is purely based on personal experience. It was not influenced by any external factor.

Off all the apps I use on a daily basis, I love Zoom the most.

In my opinion, Zoom is one of the most minimal, yet amazingly functional apps built around its users.

It is designed like a TV remote. Anyone could figure out all the key features and start using it after playing around with it for a while.

They’ve carefully designed a ton of features such as the ability to chat among participants, run polls, the option to mark breaks, and so on. But, the one thing I wish they could prioritize is taking notes during a meeting.

As a daily Zoom user, I would say that as of now, there is no effective way to take notes when you’re on a call.

Yes, you can have the notes app open on a minimized window during the meeting. But, what if you’re sharing the screen! The experience becomes difficult. You either share the whole desktop and everyone can see your notes or you share one screen and if move on to another (in Mac), the screen sharing is paused which kind of makes the experience a little chaotic.

Of course, there are AI-driven tools such as Otter.ai and Fireflies.ai that transcribe your speech to text. But, the downside is, there is too much data to filter from.

This made me wonder.

What if Zoom had a built-in notetaking feature that allows you to take notes and share it with the meeting participants after the meeting?

So, last week, I spent some time drawing mocks to try and fit a native note-taking feature inside Zoom.

Design Criteria

Before designing the mocks, I wanted the “Notes” section to fulfill the following requirements.

I did not include functions like thumbnail preview for links and videos; Collaboration inside notes (such as highlighting portions of a note or adding comments, etc.) as I thought it would compromise the minimalistic approach the tool currently takes and will make it look more like Microsoft Teams or Slack.

Feature Placement

The current Zoom app has a lot of space (if nobody enables the video) in the center which would be an ideal place for the placement of the notes section as it would be in the eye line of the user. However, the notes module should be a floating window if one or more attendees use video or if you’re sharing your screen.

Accessing Notes

In order to easily launch and access the feature, I’ve decided the place the notes icon in the bottom toolbar.


The first thing I want is a simple, neat space for taking notes.

I wanted the editor to have basic text-formatting options as the user won’t be adding an image or video in the notes section. All they can add are plain text, bullets, hyperlinks, and perform basic actions such as text/paragraph styling.

The users can perform the following functions on this screen:

Recurring Meetings

A note is created by default when you set up a recurring meeting. This note will capture the timeline of notes taken over a period of time (can be seen next to the body of the note). You can disable this in the settings section.

Organizing notes

The notes are organized under notebooks under which you can add, edit, or delete notes. By default, your notebooks will be named with as I thought it would be easier.

I’ve also added another default notebook titled “Bookmarked” to access all your bookmarked notes. The universal search to quickly locate a note and open it during a meeting.

Sharing Notes

You can share your notes with your invitees, attendees, or other people in your company. When you click on the “Share Notes” button, you will be shown the following options.

The advanced option includes choosing the format in which you would like to share the meeting notes and also add a custom message to those with whom you wish to share the message.

As of now, I’ve shortlisted three options for the note format: TXT, PDF, and DOCX as they’re the most commonly used document formats. I’ve thought about adding Markdown (because I love it!). But, it is not commonly used by many compared to the other formats. So, I’ve kept it on hold.

Notes Pop-Out Window

During video calls and screen sharing, the notes section would turn into a pop-out window on the screen (similar to chat and participant list).

Notes in Zoom Web App

You can access all your notes from the sidebar of your Zoom web app.

You can also add notes from this screen, search for notes located in other notebooks and also share notes with others in the organization. I’ve also added a filter section on this page that allows you to filter bookmarked notes and the notes that are shared with you by others in the organization.


Since the function of the feature is minimal, I did not add a lot of options under Settings. I added an option to automatically share meeting notes when a user ends a meeting and the option to enable a timeline for notes that are part of a recurring meeting.

Major Use cases

Lessons Learned Today

#technology #ux