Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Need Tips for Taking Notes in Meetings. Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Need Tips for Taking Notes in Meetings.

    My preferred note taking tool is OmniOutliner, and I'll sometimes use MindManager for brainstorming during meetings. My OO notes are pretty much "stream of consciousness", just capturing what's said as it's said. I go back after the meeting and review the notes for action items. MM and OO have worked pretty well for me, but I'd like to hear how other people take notes in meetings. Thanks!

  • #2
    Meeting Template

    I use this paper template I created that was inspired by the Cornell system. It works great and provides a nice reference for meeting minutes or for my action items later.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by unhinged View Post
      I use this paper template I created that was inspired by the Cornell system. It works great and provides a nice reference for meeting minutes or for my action items later.
      I use a similar one which can be personalised and customised. Here's the link.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice topic!

        I use a simpler form, adapted from the Cornell method. The left third is a one column, the right third is another column, and the bottom fourth is a single row. The left column is headed "My Actions". The right column is headed "Notes". The bottom row is headed "Summary." At the very top are little labels for "Topic:" and "Date:"

        So, as the meeting begins, I write down the topic/subject at the top of the page, and the date. I then take notes in the large column on the right. If I'm assigned or take on any work, I note that in the "My Actions" column. At the end, if needed, I rewrite the notes into a concise, well-worded summary in the row at the bottom.

        The paper goes into my inbox, of course.

        Comment


        • #5
          A couple of links...

          Michael Hyatt on Notetaking:

          http://www.michaelhyatt.com/fromwher...ring_the_.html

          Manager Tools (podcast) on Notetaking:

          http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/07/how-to-take-notes/

          Best Wishes,
          Gordon

          Comment


          • #6
            Livescribe pen suitable for some notetaking situations

            I'm looking forward to the Livescribe pen being released in Canada. One of these things where technology will probably start to change how we think about how we relate to our written notes.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am a total digital geek for processing, but for me taking notes with paper is the way to go. I don't know, there is just no replacing taking notes for me with a pencil. It seems to set me in the right mood to open my mind and not try to judge the merits of anything.

              I use a standard letter sized padfolio with ruled paper. For each item i consider worth noting, I skip a line and write it down. I could care less if the notes use 10 pages for a half hour meeting. I used to try to cram everything in as small a space as possible, but since I got used to capturing one idea per page in capture mode, I got over that and now leave ample room for added ideas. I also only strike items with a single line. I find it useful later to read the thought process and not just the final thing decided on.

              I use a simple coding system in the left margin during the meeting lulls. I put a star next to action items for me, and and arrow next to action items delegated to others, a question mark for items that I need to get more information about. I use a square for dated information (such as boss will be out tuesday). Someday/Maybe Items I am a little fuzzy about. Sometimes I use a circle, and sometimes I use nothing. The last thing is I put a check next to anything relating to what I consider my currently active big projects. I have lots of projects going, but only 3 or 4 that are my main focus at any given time.

              This simple coding makes it really easy to enter everything into my system. I use thinking rock combined with lotus notes and google calendar.

              -nj
              Last edited by njones4213; 05-09-2008, 08:52 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks to all of those who responded. You've given me some great ideas I can use at my next meeting.

                I noticed that most of you are using paper and pen to take meeting notes. I tried that for a while, but I've converted to digital for a number of reasons:
                • I can type a lot faster than I can write
                • My hand gets crampy after writing for a while, even after trying every ergonomic pen and writing utensil out there. (This problem is probably due to my very limited range of wrist flexion, an anatomical quirk I was born with.)
                • Since I got a laptop, I've made a goal of going as paperless as possible. If my notes are going digital eventually, why not just take them digitally?
                • If I have to draw something by hand in a meeting, I can simply scan the drawing and stick it in my OmniOutliner document.
                Just a few reasons why digital works better than paper for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do whatever works for you; I certainly appreciate the time savings while typing.

                  However, I do want to note for everybody's reference that using a laptop during a meeting--even if you insist you're only taking notes--is often seen as unprofessional or disruptive. It may hurt your ability to advance...or it may be absolutely fine at your place of work. Just be sensitive.

                  I will also suggest that, if you're taking so many notes that your typing speed vs. your writing speed is a factor, you may want a different way to take notes. Ever noticed that even highly effective executives don't type away on laptops during meetings? You may not need to record as much data as you're recording.

                  That said, when I have taken notes digitally, I've used either Wordpad, or in one case Excel for a complex set of shared tasks that we were meeting about every week; the Excel spreadsheet was saved on a shared drive so everyone could review it throughout the week.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    Ever noticed that even highly effective executives don't type away on laptops during meetings? You may not need to record as much data as you're recording.
                    I've been reading an interesting book about personal power and business effectiveness recently, and one of the underlying themes that the author touches on has to do with the impressions we create in our interactions with others. One of my focus areas at the moment is being mindful of those impressions in my own business interactions, and so I'm paying a lot more attention to the impressions I have of others as well. It feels to me that, rightly or wrongly, scribbling/typing away endlessly during a meeting tends to undermine the impression that the person I'm meeting with has my full attention.

                    Translating that back to the topic at hand, I've definitely noticed that my natural tendency is to record a whole lot more information than is really needed, and that I don't end up doing anything with the majority of that information anyway. So I've been trying to only record commitments (deadlines, deliverables, price quotes, action items, etc.) in my notes. And so far, 4 weeks into the experiment, I'm not finding that I'm missing anything significant that way.

                    Just food for thought.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wordsofwonder View Post
                      One of my focus areas at the moment is being mindful of those impressions in my own business interactions, and so I'm paying a lot more attention to the impressions I have of others as well. It feels to me that, rightly or wrongly, scribbling/typing away endlessly during a meeting tends to undermine the impression that the person I'm meeting with has my full attention.
                      I think that depends on the meeting. If the purpose of the meeting is information transfer, then the more notes you take (and the more questions you ask), the more confident in your understanding the other person is likely to be.

                      Katherine

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kewms View Post
                        I think that depends on the meeting. If the purpose of the meeting is information transfer, then the more notes you take (and the more questions you ask), the more confident in your understanding the other person is likely to be.
                        True, and this is to some extent also a personal style thing. For the kinds of work I do, asking questions (and restating my understanding of things) helps with confidence more than notetaking. For others, I'm sure this is not the case. As I think about it, I think a useful question might be what percentage of one's notes, taken during meetings, are actually referred to later on. If you're filling pages of a notebook creating a written record you never refer to, or if you're missing critical information in your notes, it might be worth looking at whether you're taking an appropriate number of notes or not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wordsofwonder View Post
                          So I've been trying to only record commitments (deadlines, deliverables, price quotes, action items, etc.) in my notes. And so far, 4 weeks into the experiment, I'm not finding that I'm missing anything significant that way.
                          This is exactly what I picked up from the Manager Tools podcast referenced earlier in this thread and have been practising for the past 6 months. Works very well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kewms View Post
                            I think that depends on the meeting. If the purpose of the meeting is information transfer, then the more notes you take (and the more questions you ask), the more confident in your understanding the other person is likely to be.
                            Oh, not necessarily. I take it as a sign that the person I'm with is just good at transcribing spoken words to written text, not that they're necessarily listening or learning anything. I've been in plenty of meetings with folks who scribble like mad, then demonstrate lack of comprehension. They're so focused on transcription that they miss what's being said.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Some people have made some valid comments about the perception I might create in a meeting by typing on my laptop. Others have asked the fair question, am I taking too many notes. Both are important issues that I've given much thought.

                              My taking of detailed notes in meetings has put me in good stead with my boss, the head of one of the two major divisions in our corporation. On a number of occasions he's asked meeting attendees what we decided in a previous meeting, and, more importantly, why we made that decision. I was the only person able to answer the second question because of the notes I took. Because my notes have proved so useful, he's asked me to send copies to everyone after the meetings to remind them of what we decided and who is responsible for taking action. In short, far from making an unfavorable impression, my detailed note taking has made a very favorable impression and given me the reputation of being detail oriented and someone who doesn't let anything slip through the cracks. It would be impossible for me to take those notes by hand and still remain involved with the meeting.

                              Nor do I stand out by typing on a laptop during the meeting. Everyone, including the boss, has a laptop open. The boss is the one checking his email on his laptop and his blackberry every few minutes. Drives me nuts, but what can you do: he's the boss.

                              I do understand that my situation may be different than what most people face in meetings, and I do appreciate all the tips people have provided. There are a few I plan on using at my next meeting in a couple of weeks. Thanks!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X