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Taking Notes in Meetings

September 22nd, 2011 · 18 Comments

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.

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18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ashwin Roy // Sep 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Nice post Rajesh.
    Another good article on taking notes and maintaining to-do list . by Bhavin Turakhia of Directi
    http://bhavin.directi.com/my-todo-list-the-most-powerful-weapon-in-my-productivity-arsenal/

  • 2 srinivas krishnaswamy // Sep 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Nice post. We often underestimate the power of such a basic idea. So it is great to hear that you take notes even though you run the company & can easily pass it down the food chain.

    240 pages in 15-20 days is copious writing or a huge number of meetings !

  • 3 Statspotting // Sep 23, 2011 at 7:04 am

    This problem has been killed from a technology perspective – recording pen with replay and electronic ink etc. but nothing works like a pen and notebook

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