By Bob Sadowski, APR, Public Relations & Social Media Manager, ACCO Brands
Throughout every facet of life, note-taking plays a role. What better reason to make sure your note-taking techniques are optimized because, after all, what good are notes that contain information you can’t understand or retain?
While everyone has their preferences on how to keep notes, we always like to point out one simple fact. Studies have consistently shown that when you write things out on paper, such as your notes, your retention of that information skyrockets versus typing or audio recording them as you go. Again, you may have your own technique for note-taking that is equally effective—we encourage you to use whichever works best for your style.
No matter the method you use, there are certain steps you should take to help you record better notes. First and foremost, take notes as you go. Don’t wait until after a meeting or the end of the day. Waiting to jot down your ideas and important information can lead to the omission of key points or great ideas. Don’t let these slip through your fingers.
In addition to recording your notes in a timely fashion, here are some additional actions you should include in your note-taking process:
- Keep your notes all in one place, like a journal or business notebook
- Don’t write down everything you hear—focus only on the core ideas, and make certain to listen carefully in order to identify those key points
- Maintain a “flow” of information—keep things in chronological order as much as possible to avoid jumping around from subject to subject
- If the information pertains to a date or event, add it to your planner or calendar
- When appropriate, use subheads to group sets of related notes together (e.g., holiday planning, staff meeting)
While this is not an all-inclusive list of note-taking techniques, it gives you a good sense of what you need to do in order to produce useful and meaningful results. Be sure to make a note of them!
[photo by starmanseries]