Taking good notes cannot be overstated, yet it can be difficult to do it effectively.
While note-taking is a habit we’ve developed over the years, it can nevertheless leave us wanting more amid a hectic meeting or when we find ourselves unexpectedly needing new data for a project.
Many methods guarantee that you won’t miss any information and will be ready for whatever comes next.
Quick Tips For Proper Note Taking
But first, here are some measures you may take to guarantee the quality of your notes. Always keep in mind:
- Exercise methodical adaptability. Don’t be discouraged if a method that worked well for your friend doesn’t accomplish a thing for you while trying to memorize anything new; everyone’s memory is different.
- Use paper and pen to take notes. You can avoid the many distractions that come with using a computer or phone at your desk, and the process of writing by hand has been shown to improve memory retention.
- Do a quick summary of the main points. This will make it easier to remember what you’ve learned, put it in perspective, and find specifics down the road.
- If there is something you don’t get, write it down and come back to it later to get further information or clarification. Note the information you are interested in learning more about and highlight it.
- Don’t wait too long to read through your notes. Head back to your office chair and take a moment to reflect on the meeting or conversation immediately afterward, you may be able to pick up on any details that you overlooked at the time.
- Making use of color helps to highlight key portions for efficient access. If you don’t have the option to color code while taking notes, you may always use a highlighter to separate portions later.
Note Taking Methods To Take You To The Next Level
Consider implementing some of the following strategies whether you’re looking to enhance your note-taking in general or for a specific event or meeting. Consider your end goal for taking notes, and remember that clarity, not rigid adherence to a system, is the key to good note-taking.
The Mind-Map Methodology
The mind-map note-taking approach is particularly useful if you’re a visual learner. Here’s how it goes down.
In the center of the page, you introduce your central concept. Then, you branch out from the main bubble, one for each subtopic; inside each branch, you may write additional detailed information.
While this approach may add some extra time to the process, the resulting thoughts are well-organized and simple to browse based on the topic of interest.
A lot is going on in a creative brainstorming session, and it’s easy to lose focus. If your discussion begins to drift away from the central theme of your mind map, you may jot down a few notes on the side to remind you of the off-topic discussion points.
The method is effective because you have a lot of leeway in tailoring the notes to your needs. When researching a topic, it might be helpful to break it down into manageable chunks rather than trying to write everything down at once.
The Cornell Approach
Maybe you used this note-taking method in school and recalled it working well for you. Keywords or main concepts go on the left side of the page, while more in-depth notes are made on the right, divided by a simple vertical line. Write a brief conclusion or key point at the bottom.
It doesn’t matter if you’re taking meeting notes for a brand new project or one you’re reasonably familiar with; the Cornell Method can help you stay on top of your main ideas and the details you need to remember.
The Cornell Approach is effective because it requires you to consider both the whole and its parts. In the future, you may review your notes and rapidly absorb both the overview and the finer points. The more difficult the topic, the more you’ll need to make sense of it to take meaningful notes. Thus this might be very beneficial.
The Sentence Method
Taking as many notes as possible when working on very intricate tasks is important. The Sentence Method entails recording data as it is heard or learned, in a form as brief as possible. This strategy may be quite effective if each line represents a separate note, allowing you to review the list of topics swiftly.
Even though you may wind up with several pages of notes, it’s always preferable to have too many than too few. After the meeting, if the paper gets too long or confusing, you may put up your notes into a more organized, easy-to-read outline.
The Sentence Method is effective when learning about a new topic or processing a large amount of information because it helps you focus on digesting only the most essential points. If you try to take in too much information at once, you risk forgetting even the most crucial aspects. This approach may appear chaotic initially, but remember that your ultimate aim is to collect as much data as possible for subsequent analysis and organization. Details, not broad concepts, please.