How to effectively take notes in meetings

Effective note taking is essential in a corporate setting – there will be times when encounter speakers will talk too fast or when comprehensive topics will be just too hard to summarise.

Man Working on Laptop and Writing in a Booklet

To better cope with these situations, you will need to fine-tune your listening and writing skills.

Use pen and paper
In a generation that has been brought up to depend on laptops and tablets, the oldest known way of taking notes still reigns supreme. A recent study, published by the Association for Psychological Science, shows that using laptops to take down important notes is a less effective method; due to shallower mental processing.

It is all too easy for your sole attention to wander away from the meeting with a laptop – social media, emails, games, etc. This can totally distract you from your key focus.

Learn how to write in shorthand
Writing in shorthand may not be easy but it is an efficient way to take notes. It is particularly applicable when a speaker is someone who naturally talks fast. Here’s our little shorthand masterclass!

• Study it in a slow but certain way. Do not try to write fast immediately, as you might get all the letters jumbled up.
• Take some time off to practice daily; this will ensure that the letters are kept in your mind every single day.
• Use a pen that is comfortable to use, as this can help you to write a lot faster and easier.

Use the agenda

Someone Writing in a Book

Make use of the physical agenda that will be distributed before the meeting commences. Agendas usually have a list of the topics that are going to be discussed – use it to take some ideas; by writing down the key points beside the topic that will be conversed. This can help save time, as you will only need to focus on what’s not included within the agenda.

Try Mind Mapping

Someone Typing on a Laptop

If you are the type who finds visuals or graphics much easier to decipher, then you may opt for this approach. Mind mapping allows you to take notes out of the main topic through ‘branching out’ ideas that are related to it. You may draw as many branches as you want, as long as you know how the map flows.

Alternatively, you can take the visual note taking route. For instance, you can circle important points in red to indicate that these are urgent tasks. Through this, you will have more freedom to jot down your notes.

The bottom line – you should always ensure that you understand everything you write down— no matter how messy or muddled your notes may look. For meeting rooms in London that can further enhance your productivity, simply dial 0800 073 0499.

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