Note-taking: unless you’ve got an infallible memory, it’s a particularly vital skill when you’re attending meetings in London or a conference in the City. Taking notes allows you to list the key information that you might need later on, accurately and without racking your brains. With just a little effort you can very quickly optimise your note-taking for company training sessions or meetings. Let’s start with the obvious: you need to get rid of anything that might be a distraction.
Put anything that might distract you out of reach
It’s something that you don’t necessarily think about, but that can play a key role in improving your note-taking: putting your mobile to one side can save you from a considerable number of distractions. So that’s the first step to take if you want to optimise your note-taking in meetings: put away your mobile, and any other gadgets that are likely to disturb your concentration. Remember, that also includes your tablet (unless you are using it to take notes) and the Internet connection on your laptop. Trust us: once you have cut out all the things that are most likely to make you lose your concentration, you will immediately notice a marked improvement in your note-taking efficiency.
What you use to take notes during meetings
Next comes the question of which tool you use to take your notes during meetings.
- Perhaps the classic method (notebook and pencil) no longer really meets modern-day demands in terms of productivity. While this method makes it difficult to restore order to your notes, it offers unrivalled flexibility in terms of supplementing them with diagrams, graphs and so on. So the notepad and pen still have a bright future ahead of them.
- Laptop: for employees with a good typing speed, taking notes on a computer in meetings is probably the most efficient option. One of the advantages of this technique is that you can easily reorganise the content when you are back at your desk.
Choice of laptop
The most important advice we can offer concerns the keyboard, first of all. It is very important to ensure that the keys are well spaced out. Otherwise, taking notes becomes particularly difficult, which will reduce your productivity. You should also try to get a compact machine that is specifically designed for work. This goes back to the point about distractions: the more compact your computer, the less temptation there will be to turn it into a distraction. This will lead to an improvement in the quality of your note-taking, as well as the quantity.
The vital importance of summarising
To take notes effectively during your business meeting, you need to find the right balance between the body of text and the information presented. This generally results in texts that are somewhat sloppy, but that should be conceptually rich. You can also develop your own system of abbreviations. Learn to shorten the words that you use most frequently.
Optimising your note-taking: it requires advance training
In conclusion, if you really want to optimise your note-taking, you need to spend a bit of your spare time training. This will help you to develop good keyboard habits, and consequently save a considerable amount of time on your typing, which is exactly what you need in a meeting. We therefore strongly recommend spending some time using software designed to optimise your typing speed. If you follow our advice and put in a bit of effort, you will very soon see an improvement in both the quality and efficiency of your note-taking.