Note Taking Basics
By Laura Duggan
Combine note-taking skills with technology aids and you win all around.
We just began using this neat tool called LiveScribe, which records the meeting at the same time that you can take notes with it. The notes can then be shared electronically.
It’s great, except for one small detail: it doesn’t adapt your brain to know how to take good notes.
No matter how good your technology is, the one using it still makes the difference. Here are our tips for good note-taking:
- Listen first to the paragraph being spoken, then write down what stands out in a simple sentence, in your own words.
- Let the numbers go by if they are available in a handout of slides.
- Listen for compelling arguments and new thoughts that grab your attention, and note them down
- Listen for logic- how points are connected, so that later you can understand how it all fits together. Use arrows as needed so you can link lines you wrote earlier to later words which add more detail.
- Use diagrams rather than words when possible, as it is faster and easier to reconstruct later on.
Enjoy your note-taking, and remember to bring batteries for those techie tools you are relying, whether it is low-tech tape recorders or high-tech pens.