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Taking Notes in Meetings

September 22nd, 2011 · 33 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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33 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

  • 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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    If you take notes during meetings it just implies that you are interested in the topic and you wanted to remember everything that has been shared. This is an important trait as well that should be possessed by every employee.

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