Close
Coming soon. Record, order and view transcripts right from your mobile device. Learn More

Quick Tips for Effective Note Taking

By: Brittany Corners | Published: May 6, 2015

guide-to-note-takingFew people realize how quickly our memories fade. In fact, a study from the University of Texas at Austin found that a person loses 47% of what he or she learns within 20 minutes and loses 62% of what he or she learns within 24 hours. Therefore, having solid notes from your meetings, interviews, lectures and events is essential to retaining the information discussed, and repurposing it for later use.

The following is a list of suggestions for effective note taking:

1. Prep your note taking materials. 

This is an obvious step, but it is worth mentioning because so many people get it wrong. How many times have you been in a meeting, class, or seminar when someone asks to borrow a pen? Or, when typing notes on a laptop, how many times have you experienced the misfortune of a dead battery and no electrical outlet in sight? It is easy to be caught off guard if you do not consider this important first step. If taking notes by hand, bring along at least two pens, ideally with differing ink colors. You may also find it beneficial to bring along a highlighter in case the speaker indicates a topic is of specific importance. You can use your highlighter to remind yourself to go back and review your notes in the future to ensure they are complete. If taking notes on your laptop, be sure and charge your battery ahead of time, or find a place to sit that is near an outlet.

2. Develop your note taking method.

It can sometimes be difficult to know what needs to be written down, and what can be left to your memory. You may find it helpful to leave lots of blank space in your notes so that you can go back and add context as needed. This will also allow you to add questions or follow-up reading material to jog your memory. Remember that note taking should keep you focused on the material. If you find that your note taking is distracting you from effectively listening, you are probably writing too much. In the words of a frequently cited Berkeley study guide, “Never use a sentence when you can use a phrase, or a phrase when you can use a word.” Keep your notes short and to the point; condense as much as possible. Develop a system of abbreviations or symbols and use them as much as possible. For example, you may find that it is useful to use a dash when the speaker is going too fast. Leave space after the dash so you can fill in the details later.

3. Prioritize new information over old information.

There is no reason to write down the things that you already know. This wastes valuable time and real estate. Instead, use abbreviations and symbols (as discussed above) to prioritize the “new” information, the information that you did not already know. You may also want to highlight or underline unfamiliar concepts or vocabulary so that you are reminded to look them up later. Use your blank space to fill in details about the information that was once unfamiliar to you.

4. Record when possible.

An inexpensive voice recorder can make a world of difference, especially for those who choose to take notes by hand. With a voice recorder, you may choose to record every minute of your meetings and have them completely transcribed. Or, you may choose to use the voice recorder to capture key details that you forgot to write down so you can review them later. Let’s face it: the business world moves faster than ever. Having clear, unabridged records of your verbal encounters can be a huge productivity booster.

Next read:
Making the Most of Your Data with Transcription


transcription-white-paper

47 responses to “Quick Tips for Effective Note Taking”

  1. … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  2. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  3. Kamine says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  4. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  5. Trisha says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  6. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  7. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 27926 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  8. … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  9. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  10. openhaard says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  11. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  12. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  13. kjole says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  14. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 71300 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  15. kimsin sen says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 66532 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  16. big ass xxx says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  17. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  18. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  19. … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  20. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 56868 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  21. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  22. ortrexyl says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  23. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  24. APKBucket says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  25. apps says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  26. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 13210 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  27. sen busun says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  28. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  29. child abuse says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  30. seroids says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  31. mark curry says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  32. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More Infos here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  33. … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  34. … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  35. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 77579 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  36. … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 27134 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  37. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  38. attorneys says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  39. men on men says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  40. Firstrow says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  41. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  42. w88th says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] There you will find 24425 more Infos: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  43. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  44. Tribot says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Infos here|There you can find 58436 more Infos|Informations on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  45. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Read More Informations here|Here you will find 57501 more Informations|Infos on that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]

  46. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Find More Infos here|Here you will find 6367 more Infos|Infos to that Topic: transcribe.com/quick-tips-for-effective-note-taking/ […]