How to Take Notes from a Video

Learning or getting key information from videos is incredibly common. Whether you're a student, researcher, professional, or content creator, taking effective notes from video content can improve your work. Sadly, traditional note-taking methods often don't keep up with the challenges of learning from videos. Luckily, several strategies and AI-powered tools are here to revolutionize your approach!

Written by
Andre Smith
Updated On
April 10, 2024

Challenges of Traditional Note-taking from Videos

  • Keeping Pace: It's exhausting to listen, understand, and simultaneously jot down clear notes at the speed of a video. This often leads to missing key points.
  • Distractions and Rewinding: Whether it's your environment or needing to clarify a complex point, pauses and rewinds break your flow. This makes your note-taking fragmented and time-consuming.
  • Organization and Review: Traditional handwritten or typed notes from videos can end up a jumbled mess. It's then tricky to review the information effectively later.

The Value of Effective Video Note-taking

Investing some effort in mastering note-taking from videos is definitely worth it:

  • Improved Learning and Retention: Your comprehension and ability to recall information get a major boost when your notes are clear and well-organized. This is true whether you're studying or picking up skills.
  • Enhanced Research: If your purpose is research, notes with accurate timestamps and searchable text streamline finding data, quotes, and ideas – you don't need to rewatch the whole video.
  • Professional Development: Notes from webinars and training videos are handy refreshers for applying new knowledge and improving your workplace performance.
  • Content Creation: From planning lessons to grabbing impactful quotes, educators and content creators use video notes as a rich resource.

AI-Powered Note-taking Solutions

This is where technology has made fantastic strides! AI-powered note-taking tools address many frustrations and help you unlock the full potential of video-based learning:

  • Speed and Accuracy: Transcription becomes a breeze – the AI does the typing for you. No more battling to keep up!
  • Search and Navigation: Need to find that one specific fact or a quote for your report? Keyword searches within your notes will pinpoint it. The time saving here is amazing.
  • Integration and Organization: Seamless interfaces in these tools help you capture notes, highlight important parts of the video, and keep everything organized within one system.

Taking Notes from Videos with AI

This guide introduces ScreenApp, a tool designed to streamline video note-taking, and outlines a step-by-step process to turn videos into valuable, well-organized learning resources.

ScreenApp is a cloud-based solution that makes it remarkably easy to extract detailed information from videos. Here's what it offers:

  • Intuitive Screen Recording: Whether it's an online lecture, a software demo, or a meeting recap, ScreenApp can record specific portions of your screen or your entire screen with ease.
  • AI-Powered Transcription: It transforms your video's audio into a searchable text transcript with impressive accuracy.
  • In-Video Note-taking: Jot down notes within the video player itself – timestamps ensure perfect syncing of notes to video sections.
  • Highlighting and Summarizing: Draw attention to vital points with highlighting or let ScreenApp's AI create a concise summary of the video.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Accessing ScreenApp: It's web-based – visit the AI Notetaker and create your account.

2. Uploading or Recording a Video: Use the 'Upload' button to bring in a file, or 'Record' to capture new content – adjust settings as needed.

3. Using the AI Note-taking Tool: Once the video is uploaded, the notes will automatically be generated for you.

4. Additional Features: Highlight crucial transcript areas or have the AI provide a condensed summary.

5. Organizing: Use tags and categories to systematize your notes for easy retrieval later.

Why ScreenApp Is a Winner for Video Note-taking

  • Accuracy: ScreenApp's AI-driven features excel in reliable transcription and summary generation.
  • Time-saving: Ditch the old pause-and-type; automate elements of note-taking to increase efficiency.
  • Integrated Search: Find what you need across both transcript and personal notes.
  • Shareability: Collaborate seamlessly by simply sharing videos and notes via link.

Traditional Video Note-taking Methods

If you're a student, a researcher, or simply someone who enjoys learning from online video content, mastering note-taking techniques can supercharge your learning. If you're not keen on AI, here are some traditional and manual methods

1. Traditional Pausing

This is the classic method. Watch a short chunk of the video, then pause to jot down your notes. Resume playing, and repeat the process throughout.

  • Pros: Offers full control over pacing and allows for thorough understanding. Promotes focused concentration on smaller units of information. Doesn't require specific tools.
  • Cons: Can be very time-consuming and hinder video flow. Reliant on accurate note-taking during pauses, which can introduce errors or gaps later. Might cause issues in organizing various fragments of notes.

2. Timestamps to the Rescue

With this method, you note down the specific time markers where important points occur in the video (e.g.,  05:38).

  • Pros: Extremely precise for quick reference back to video sections. Works seamlessly with handwritten notes.
  • Cons: Timestamping itself disrupts the viewing experience. Provides limited organizational value on its own.

3. The Power of Split Screens

If you have the luxury of two screens or can split your larger monitor, try this method.  Have the video playing on one screen while you dedicate the other to note-taking.

  • Pros: Drastically reduces pauses, facilitating a smoother experience. Creates a strong visual link between the video content and your corresponding notes.
  • Cons: Requires proper setup (multi-monitor or split-screen). Splitting your attention could make focusing harder in some cases.

Best Practices for Video Note-taking

Taking notes from a video can seem more challenging than from a live presentation or traditional text, but it's crucial for learning and retention. Here are some top tips to maximize your results:

  • Pre-viewing: The Warm-up  Before pressing play, give the video a quick scan. Check the title, description, headings, or chapter markers to get a sense of the overall topic and how the information is organized. This pre-viewing builds a framework for your notes, so you're not just transcribing information blindly.
  • Focus on Key Concepts: Separate the Signal from the Noise Instead of writing down every single word the speaker says, actively listen for the core ideas, important data points, and essential arguments presented. This keeps your notes streamlined and helps you focus on the truly crucial information.
  • Paraphrase and Summarize: It's Your Brain Doing the Work  Using your own words as much as possible is important because it aids comprehension. Try to rephrase the information from the video using your own language and style.  The act of paraphrasing forces your brain to engage with the material on a deeper level.
  • Visual Cues: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Notes Not everything needs to be written down in perfect sentences. If the video content lends itself to visuals, integrate diagrams, mind maps, or flowcharts to capture relationships and flow between concepts.  For some people, the visual note-taking approach reinforces memory even better than standard note styles.
  • Review and Organize: Consolidation is Key Once you finish the video, don't just toss your notes aside. Give them a once-over, fill in any gaps, and clarify confusing sections. Consider making a well-structured summary or outline to reinforce your understanding of the material.

Additional Tools and Resources

Taking notes from videos can be even smoother with dedicated resources and tools.  Let's break down a few that can significantly cut down your work and improve your notes:

  • Other AI-Powered Note-taking Apps  Besides ScreenApp, several powerful AI companions help with video notes. Popular options include,, and Evernote. Explore these to find the best fit for your style and needs.
  • Note-taking Templates Avoid starting from scratch! Ready-made templates provide structure and efficiency for your video notes. Search online for "video note-taking templates" to find options specifically suited to lectures, webinars, or even creative brainstorming sessions based on videos.
  • Video Transcription Services If you're working with exceptionally long or complex videos, consider outsourcing the transcription process. Professional transcription services (consider services like Rev or Temi) save you tons of time and ensure accuracy. This gives you a ready-made text document to highlight, process, and use for note-taking.


Taking notes from videos is a valuable skill in this era of online learning, research, and information. Efficient note-taking during a video streamlines knowledge retention and ensures you have those critical details easily accessible in the future.  And thanks to some incredible advances in technology, taking great video notes no longer has to be a struggle. With tools that range from transcription services to specialized note-taking software, it's easier than ever to turn those videos into well-organized summaries.

The most important lesson here is to remember there's no single "right" way to take notes from a video. Explore different methods, play around with some of the tech tools out there, and keep track of what works best for you. Your perfect note-taking system is one that feels natural and supports your learning process.

ScreenApp effortlessly captures your screen recordings and leverages AI to transcribe, summarize and take notes of your videos and audio, making it simple to share insights with your team, clients, and prospects.

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