3 Ways to Secretly View Speaker Notes During A Recording

When recording a screen video, many people find it useful to jot downs some speaking notes that they can refer to if needed. Having these notes can help you get back on track if you lose your train of thought, phrase key points in the most effective way, and ensure you include everything in the video you need to.

That said, we normally don’t want these notes to be visible to our viewers!

So, how can we make our notes visible to us and invisible to our viewers while recording a video?

There are three ways to do this using Screencastify. We made quick videos demonstrating each technique and then described them in more detail below.


Option 1: Hide notes a background browser tab 🗂️

When you record your browser tab only, Screencastify will capture only the contents of the tab you began your recording on – even if you switch to a different tab during a recording.

That means you can be viewing one tab on your screen while Screencastify is recording another tab in the background. So type up your notes in a Google doc, begin recording whatever tab you want to record, and then periodically view your Google Doc tab during the recording. Your audience will only see your original tab and will never know you looked at your notes!


Option 2: Record only a specific application window 🎯

When you start a desktop recording, you’ll be asked if you want to capture your entire screen or just a specific application window. If you choose a specific application window, Screencastify will only capture that window and nothing else, even if you pull up another window during your recording.

Type up your notes in either a Word doc, text editor or Google Doc, start a desktop recording and choose whatever application window you want to record. Then you can look at your notes during the recording and your viewers won’t notice.


Option 3: Use presentation speaking notes and crop your recording ✂️

If you’re recording a slide presentation (for example in PowerPoint or Google Slides), type up your speaking notes in the box below your slides and then record as you normally would. The notes will be visible at first, but you can then crop your recording so that it only includes the content of the slides and nothing else.

In general, cropping your videos is a good habit to get into because it eliminates unnecessary (and perhaps distracting) elements of your screencast. Cropping in Screencastify is a Premium feature, so in order to use it you’ll need to upgrade for $24/year.