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Note taking techniques?

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  • Note taking techniques?

    I'm exploring ways to make my note taking in meetings more efficient, and dovetail better with my GTD style. I've tried using mindmapping, but I find that's better for quiet brainstorming than highly interactive meetings. Agree or disagree?

    Here's the highlights of my current notetaking:
    --Avoid sentences as much as possible (I have a really hard time with this one)
    --Leave space inbetween ideas to add stuff later in the meeting.
    --Margin marks: checkbox for tasks, "WF" for waiting for's, "?" for needs more research.

    I then can easily pull out Tasks (and Projects), research items, and Waiting For's from my notes. After I put a Task and its Project into my GTD system (I use Palm and Agendus), I can put a check in the checkbox.

    Anyone have any good notetaking systems/tips to share?

  • #2
    I use stars (like *) for ideas, check boxes for next actions, and circles for calls I need to make. The ideas are my own addition to what was said (which wasn't repeated to the group, of course). Arrows can also be used - currently I use them to indicate possible "projects."


    • #3
      I've found it useful to leave a space in the top corner of the paper for ideas that I want to say. I jot a couple of words down to remember my idea and then I can go back to listening to the person talking and not have to use part of my effort to remember my idea.
      Last edited by Denver Dave; 11-02-2005, 07:25 AM.


      • #4
        Most meetings include discussions about items that to not include you, so come up with abbreviations for important things YOU will need to do in the future. R - You are responsible for this, S - You are support for this, D - You need to deliver this on date, F - You need to find this out, C - You need to make this call, A - You need to make this appointment, M - You need to go to or organize this meeting, etc. Based on your position the items may be different, and based on other things the abbreviations may be more letters.

        What is my responsibility for this?

        What is the desired result?


        • #5
          Lots of information on taking notes

          Take a look at this old thread:


          • #6
            indexing pages

            Originally posted by mruseless
            Anyone have any good notetaking systems/tips to share?
            When I attend a conference (and don't use my computer), I use a four margins system, so any page can afterwards be used as an index card.
            NE : Date and people initials
            Center : are usual notes (what people are saying, showing, sketching.) with "icons" (such as pageta suggests)
            E : My subtitles, or hilighted thoughts (written during notetaking, or end of page, or end of meeting, or at least before process time at daily review)
            W: Any idea for action that flashes while listening (ie: "Check with Jim if we could arrange such a system ?")
            N : My title for the actual page content (may not be title told and noted in the centre ) (written when starting a new page , or as above for subtitles)
            S : side pocket, where to immediately dump any OT ("Rebecca: to-morrow schedule ?"), so I no more have to stress not to forget to call Rebecca at break, and remain fully available for active listening
            SE : Filing codes (filled when I process this page).
            I found that I refer much more to my "old" notes than when I wrote everything sequentially as in a school notebook.

            With a Palm, if taking notes for a conference, a meeting or an interview I often before create a memo category for that meeting, and try to keep a coherent content for each memo. These memos and the category is deleted when I've finished process.
            Or I use an outline for the meeting : nice to keep related ideas together, but as I've at times inadvertently lost notes being written (keyboard mistake) I came back to the basic memo notetaking above.