In a world where information is just a button away, it’s quite hard to keep up with writing down notes. Take a minute and look around your meeting space. How many people are actually writing in a notebook? Better yet, are they taking down diligent points or doodling? In today’s article we will be looking at the importance of note taking, some strategies and apps you can use to improve your career.
Note taking is not a punishment or a tedious waste of time. On the contrary, it’s a very constructive way of jogging your memory, trying to remind yourself of all that you’ve learned or experienced. More importantly, excellent note writing will definitely help you get good grades in school and university. But you don’t have to stop using this culture after university.
It’s a vital skill that will also help you improve your career. To be more explicit on that, let’s take a look at why note-taking is a valuable tool, especially when it comes to your career.
Related Article: 10 Communication Skills to Jump Start Your Career
The importance of note taking to build your Career
1. Note-taking helps to develop study skills
No matter where you are in life, learning new things never stops. You might be good at a specific section in your career, but there’s always someone better than you in other sections. That’s why you still have to keep learning.
Actually, the best learners are always successful in life, and I’m not just talking about book smart individuals-no sire! I’m talking about people who are willing to listen to others and are humble enough to open their minds to learn from other individuals.
That being said, if you are good at note writing in your office, be sure you will quickly sharpen your skills. One of the main reasons why most people don’t like taking notes is because few were ever taught the best way to do it. Needless to say, transcribing most of the meetings from word to word is obviously a total waste of time.
When you take down notes, you can improve your study skills, and at that point, your mind is fully engaged in the meeting. That takes us to our next point
2. Note taking keeps your mind Focused
I don’t know about you, but I have an insanely imaginative mind. If I can’t concentrate in a meeting, my mind tends to bring all my favorite childhood characters to life. That said, I’m likely to laugh even when I’m in a serious meeting. The best way I deal with such a situation is by writing down notes.
Note-taking doesn’t just keep my mind in the meeting, it also allows me to engage with the speaker by asking questions and giving comments. These are effective ways of maintaining proper communication between you and your fellow workmates.
3. Note Taking increases the value of the meetings
As I said earlier, when you take down notes, your mind can get a lot more than just listening. This makes every meeting you attend a lecture room for you. That way, you will be able to pick up on a lot of facts and useful information that you can use to better your career.
4. Note taking builds your rapport and trust from your customers
For your business to sell, you will need to build an excellent reputation with your customers. Additionally, they also have to trust you. With that in mind, note-taking is an effective method when it comes to building your business for your customers.
When your customers see that you are writing down what they are saying, then it shows a sense of concern. Don’t just scribble unwanted points for show! That’s completely insensitive. Try taking down important points that your customers are telling you.
Here are Some of the Best Note Taking Tools
So, for you to become good at note-taking, you need to have the right ‘tools-of-trade.’ However, the tools you will use for note-taking are bound to be personal. For those who are already trying to reach their notebooks after that statement, hold your horses!
A study on note-taking showed that your brain is more likely to remember things written by hand rather than typed. You need to be careful when it comes to picking the right notebook, depending on the types of notes you will take down. A ring binder is typically the best option. But if you want to write down a chronological string of notes, then you should probably go with the bullet journal.
Note Taking Methods
Now that you have decided on the tools to use, it’s time to find out some of the different ways of note-taking.
- Mapping Method: this is basically a more visual way to organize your notes. It’s advantageous when you want to learn about the relationship between two different topics. Additionally, it helps you connect the two topics.
- Outlining Method: In this method, you will use bullet points and headings to fully organize your work. This is the best method, especially when it comes to learning about new topics that have a lot of content.
- Charting Method: Here, you will use columns to help organize your work. This is mainly useful when you are covering a wide range of topics with extensive facts.
- Sentence Method: In this method, you will be writing down notes in a jot note sentence format. This is the best way to take notes, especially in a fast-paced meeting.
Note Taking Strategies
When it comes to note-taking, there are different strategies you should follow. As you all know, it’s impossible to write down every single word that the speaker is saying. You only need to understand how best to write the relevant information. Luckily, these strategies will help you with that.
1. Cornell Method
This is actually the most effective note-taking strategy of all time. Here, you divide your page into 3 sections. The right side of the sections is basically for writing general points. This is where you write what the speaker is talking about but also remember to only write down the essential things.
The left side serves as a compliment section. This helps you understand and relate the different parts of your notes. You will be able to see this section clearly after the meeting, or it will develop with time.
The last section is labeled as a summary, which is typically that. It’s a summary of all the notes you’ve taken down. In most cases, you should try to develop the outline on your own using the main points in the other notes.
2. Split Page Technique
The split page technique is almost similar to the Cornell method, but it has a twist. As much as it applies the same principles of splitting the page, in the split page technique, you only divide the page into two sections and not three. One section is generally for the main ideas, while the other is a secondary ideas section.
That means you will be taking down notes and organizing them simultaneously. However, it will take a bit of getting used to it before you get to fully utilize this method. In the end, it will sharpen your note-taking, and you will be able to get a lot more from your business meetings.
Other note-taking strategies include:
- Visual Aids: here, you will use visual aids to improve how your brain processes information. What is more, this method involves the use of pictures, graphs, and diagrams, among others.
- Symbols and Abbreviations: there are those times you might not be able to keep up with the pace of the speaker. It doesn’t matter the technique you use. At that point, you can use symbols and abbreviations so you can write with less effort.
- Underlining the key points: for some of the points to stand out above the rest, you will have to find the best way to highlight them. One of the most effective techniques is by underlining the key points.
Top note Taking apps that can boost your efficiency
For those of us who still insist on using their devices when it comes to note-taking, then you should probably get the best apps for that. Here is a list of the greatest apps you can use for note-taking:
- Evernote: This app is free to use and has excellent functionality. You can also download some of the web pages and save them for offline use. However, the application doesn’t integrate with Microsoft office
- Onenote: this application integrates well with Microsoft Office and also includes Word features. On top of that, it’s free to use. The downside is it will likely have a few glitches when you want to operate multiple accounts
- Ulysses: This is the best application when it comes to iOS devices. It’s only compatible with Mac devices. The app can easily sync with multiple devices. However, it’s not free.
- Google Keep: This is a simple and amazing application to use. What is more, you can get it for free. However, it’s a standalone application
- Bear: Bear is another application that’s only compatible with iOS. It’s an advanced mark-up editor that comes with cross-link notes. Additionally, it’s also free to use, but you will have to pay a few coins to get the pro version.
- Atom: last but not least is the Atom application that acts as a text editor with possibilities. With this application, you are able to edit multiple files at once. It also comes with a collaborative editing feature. However, it’s not a rich-text editor as the rest on this list.
As you’ve already figured out by now, writing notes will most definitely boost your proficiency at work. And with the knowledge in this article, you will be able to make the most out of every meeting you walk into. Stick around for more interesting articles on how you can improve your career.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING
GoodNotes. Medium. The Best Note Take Methods for College Students. https://medium.goodnotes.com/the-best-note-taking-methods-for-college-students-451f412e264e?gi=964684c27445
Elizabeth Lundin. How to take Better Notes: The 6 Best Note-Taking Systems. https://collegeinfogeek.com/how-to-take-notes-in-college/ . Accessed 16-02-2020.
NOTE TAKING STYLES. https://miamioh.instructure.com/courses/62085/pages/note-taking-styles