Taking Notes in Meetings

I have written about this before, but it is always good to add a few additional points on what I think is a useful personal productivity tool.

I like to make notes in meetings. The notes service five purposes for me:

  • They help me stay focused on the meeting. When I make notes, I am not distracted.
  • I do not have to remember thoughts in sequence. The notes help replay conversations if needed. I can keep the mind free as I listen, and not have to worry about making mental lists as the conversation flows.
  • Often when I am in back-to-back meetings, it is easy to forget the actions that need to be taken after a meeting. The notes work as a short-term reference to ensure that follow-up is done.
  • I find that there are good ideas that come during conversations. So I make a note of them in the same flow of notes. These I prefix with a bulb so I can refer to them later and think more.
  • If I need to refer back to a conversation and the specifics of what was discussed, I now can go back to the notes.

I have been doing this for many years, and find it very useful. My tools: a 240-page spiral book (which lasts about 15-20 days) and a pen.