HomeRoom made the switch from Zoom to Vowel to easily record meetings and make them more accessible. They ended up saving 5-6 hours a week and $180 per team member — all while promoting a culture where video calls are focused, inclusive, and easy to go back to.
The old way: Zoom gloom
When Arjay Ruggles started HomeRoom, a full-stack community management SaaS platform, he wanted to be able to record meetings to make them more accessible for his distributed team. From discovery calls with clients to brainstorming sessions, he knew the information would be valuable as the startup grew.
But recording calls on Zoom was a bad experience: Arjay was left with massive MP4 files and no way to organize or search them.
This issue led him to Grain, a Zoom add-on that records and transcribes meetings. He loved being able to capture video calls, but there were two big problems with using an add-on: the team still had to run meetings on Zoom (which they found buggy and uninspiring) and their meeting "stuff" — agendas, transcripts, recordings, chat — was stored in two separate tools.
Intrigued by the idea of an all-in-one video conferencing platform, Arjay decided to try out Vowel after hearing about it on Twitter.
“Everyone on the team loved it within the first week — it was night and day,” says Arjay. “Our clients are also obsessed with the fact that when we finish a meeting, they instantly have the recording, the link, and the notes they can copy and paste.”
The new way: Saving time and $$ with everything in one place
The HomeRoom team started using Vowel for all their meeting-related tasks, from prepping and sharing agendas to summarizing notes and finding action items to follow up on.
We save between 5 and 6 hours of admin time a week simply by using Vowel. It really is that significant for us,” says Arjay, adding that the switch also saves them $180 per team member per year compared to using Zoom and Grain.
While HomeRoom uses Vowel for all their internal meetings, it’s also become an indispensable tool for external calls. The team interviews target community members for their clients. In the past, it was a time-consuming process: even with a transcript, they’d have to review the full interview to find key information.
Vowel bookmarks have been a huge time-saver, allowing interviewers to mark time-stamped moments during (or after) these calls to easily find them later. The meeting summary is another way the team keeps track of important knowledge.
“The biggest plus is when you’re brought to that summary screen after a call: here’s the transcript, here are the notes, here are the links, here are the bookmarks,” says Arjay. “It organizes it for us automatically, which is a huge stress reliever — it’s a big thing off of our shoulders.”
Delivering accessibility for a global remote team
Like many companies hiring global talent, HomeRoom wants to make it easy to communicate across time zones. Vowel makes it simple to share cloud recordings with people who can’t always attend meetings.
But beyond that, Arjay cares deeply about making information as accessible as possible. “I’m neurodivergent, and myself and another team member, we have to externalize everything,” he says.
Vowel is a dream because it introduces all the tools that allow us as individuals who need a bit of assistance organizing our thoughts, to have all the various ways to do that. During our brainstorming sessions, we’re both copying and pasting in the shared notes, we’re bookmarking, because we know we’ll be able to remember everything.
On the topic of shared meeting notes: it’s the Vowel feature the team was most surprised to love. Everyone pitches in on notes during calls and uses them to share links and track questions. In fact, Arjay says shared notes make the chat feature in every other video conferencing app feel unnecessary.
Finally, Arjay says it’s the ability to quickly go back and look at past meetings that makes Vowel an invaluable tool for the team.
“When we're doing client follow-up and figuring out what our tasks are, we can easily search the transcript to find anything that they mentioned,” says Arjay. “I’m also obsessed with recurring notes — now we’re able to just click that dropdown, go to a previous meeting, and say, ‘here’s what we talked about and here’s what we decided.’ It’s huge.”