all articles

The Art of Taking Notes

date icon

While the modern meeting is usually portrayed as long, boring, and mostly unproductive, it does serve a very concrete purpose – a discussion of ideas and plans that will affect how the organization works. The most important aspects of these discussions will have to be recorded, either for your use or for dissemination to the rest of your team. As such, you’ll have to get very good at taking notes.

Picking the Right Recording Tool

The first thing you need to do is find a suitable method of taking notes. The two primary options for doing so are via pen and paper, or via computer. Which option to take really depends on you. Some people write too slowly to be able to keep up with a meeting, even if they use shorthand. But then others consider a computer to be too impersonal and rude, seeing it as a wall between you and the rest of the meeting attendees.

Whatever you opt for, you have to make sure that you’re a fast enough writer/typist to be able to keep up. Automatically assume nobody at the meeting will want to repeat themselves.

Pick What to Note Down

There’s going to be a lot of points to be discussed during the meeting, even if only about  20%  of them are actually useful. That said, you can’t afford to miss anything important, or get any of it wrong. That’s why you have to pick and choose what to write down, and what to discard.

Here are the three most important items you should be taking note of:
1. Decisions
2. Action Items/Tasks
3. Follow-ups

Everything else is secondary to the discussion. Only note talking points if they have some bearing on the above list.

Organize Your Notes Later, But Do It ASAP

Conversations never flow in a logical manner, especially group conversations. People will jump back and forth between topics at seemingly random times, and wreak havoc upon your attempts at taking finely outlined notes.

Advice? Give up. Take notes as items are discussed, without paying any attention to formatting or structure or whatnot. Then, after the meeting is done, stick around in the boardroom or jump straight to your desk and then reorganize them while your memory is still fresh (and while you can still ask other people to clarify/remind you).

They’re Not Just For You

You may be the one who attended the meeting and took notes, but these notes aren’t just for your benefit. Your team will probably need to know much of the information you recorded – in addition to any meeting minutes you’ll have to give to the rest of the attendees.

This is where your  writing skills come into play. You’ll have to draft a minute document that is organized, concise, and detailed. Don’t worry if your first attempts turn out badly – you’ll get better the more you practice!

 

Follow us

Find Out How Easy Project Management Can Be!
Try for Free

Related Posts

post cover
Healthy PMPM 101

5 Non-Awkward Ways to Introduce a New Team Member

post cover
PM 101

4 Common Fails of Project Monitoring

post cover
PM 101

What are Project Controls?

Nice! You just took the first step to achieving game-changing results.

To ensure your demo is tailored to your team’s specific needs, we're connecting you with a product specialist to better understand your requirements.

support illustration

Schedule a 10-minute meeting to start your trial

The calendar is loading... Please wait

It’ll take you 8-minutes to see
Easy Projects features in action:

  • Project Management
  • Financial Management
  • Resource Management
  • Custom Reporting
  • Artificial Intelligence
happy illustration

Nice! You just took the first step
to achieving game-changing results!

Create your account right now. Have a great start with your 14-day trial!

For the best experience please access Easy Projects from a desktop PC or tablet or download Easy Projects app at