How to Take the Best Meeting Notes

How to Take the Best Meeting Notes


Meetings are often considered to be tiresome and boring. As a result, it’s easy to lose focus and fail to take down all the critical points that are discussed. Also, not everyone who attends a meeting is good at paying attention and writing notes. For these reasons, this article will share some tips to help you take the best meeting notes, as well as detailing some of the most common types of meetings.

Highlight the Key Points

The key to writing perfect notes is to highlight the critical points of the meeting. To implement this, you should aim to write a summary of the topics during the meeting. After the meeting, you can quickly fill in any critical points about each topic. Highlighting key points reduces the time spent on writing. Consequently, this can help to increase your concentration levels during the meeting.

Learn Shorthand

Although it’s considered a technique used by court clerks, learning shorthand can come in handy when listening to fast speakers. Learning shorthand is often daunting at first, however it’s not only easy to learn but is an effective way of taking notes using pens and writing pads. If you’re finding it challenging to learn shorthand, you can also consider implementing visual note taking.

Use Pens and Writing Pads

Using pens and writing pads is less intrusive compared to other note taking means such as using a tablet or computer. In addition, electric devices are less effective since they’re likely to create a barrier between you and the meeting. Using a pen and paper also increases memory knowledge and is useful if you’re looking to concentrate better.

How to Improve Your Note Taking Skills

Prepare for the Meeting

Before walking into a meeting, you should be prepared rather than being unprepared. To prepare for a meeting, you need to review what will be discussed. You should also have a copy of the meeting preview along with a set of questions that you’ll ask for clarity.

Minimise Distractions

Effective note takers often avoid distractions during the meeting. You can do this by sitting in a well-ventilated spot that has the least noise possible. Furthermore, you can enhance this by avoiding your chatty friends. Lastly, you can improve your attentiveness by switching off your phone or any other device that’s likely to distract you

Write Your Notes Clearly

Well written notes aren’t only easier to review, but are also sufficient for reference purposes. For these reasons, you should try to maintain good penmanship while taking notes. Furthermore, you should leave margins that will make your notes look more organised. This will also allow you to add in more detail when you’re later reviewing your notes.

Common Types of Meetings

  • Interviews – Meetings that are set to get answers from a professional. They can also be used to determine a suitable candidate for a job position.
  • One-on-one meetings – A meeting between two individuals to come up with a solution. Such meetings can be done over a cup of coffee.
  • Team meetings ­– These meetings are similar to one-on-ones but they often have more staff involved.
  • Brainstorming meetings – Sessions set up in order to come up with ideas. Here, different staff members will share ideas to sort out a particular problem.
  • Educational meetings – These are often academic conferences or workshops that aim to develop individual skills.

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