Are you a good note-taker or do you think you could improve? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you evaluate your note-taking.
Do I use complete sentences?
- If you are using complete sentences, STOP! You’re writing a lot of words you don’t need and these take time away from focusing on the important points.
Are my notes clear or confusing?
- If your notes are confusing, think about the structure – structure your notes around the agenda and prepare carefully for the meeting by reading any materials so that you understand the topic well.
Do I use abbreviations and shortcuts?
- If you’re not using abbreviations and shortcuts, and you’re not capturing all the main points, consider how you can improve. Practice taking notes. You can take notes about a news broadcast or current affairs show. Or in the office, you might be attending a meeting where someone else is taking the minutes; this gives you an opportunity to practice. The more you practice, the easier it will become.
Tips for note-taking
- Concentrate on the meeting.
- Take notes consistently throughout the meeting.
- Take notes selectively. Avoid writing down every word. An average speaker speaks at the rate of about 125-140 words per minute, and an average note-taker writes at about 25 words per minute.
- Organize notes into some sort of logical form using the meeting agenda for the structure.
- Be brief. Only write down the major points, decisions, action items and important information. If you’re not sure if something is important, check with the meeting chairperson.
- Write legibly. If you can’t read your notes later, they are useless.
- Don’t worry about correct spelling and grammar when you’re taking notes.
Hope this information helps.