Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking Notes

I tend to take notes in meetings. As I was doing that today, it occurred to me that there are different kind of notes that I take:
  • All notes all the time. These are extremely extensive notes. It almost gets everything (but not quite - I'm not that fast). I take these kind of notes when I'm not sure what's going to be important. Typically these are Q&A sessions with customers, or a presentation for which I'm totally unprepared. I try not to do this often because it's really hard to listen and take these kind of notes at the same time. If I'm going to have to share notes with people not in the meeting, these are the notes I take.
  • Reminder notes. These are much more outline-like notes that I take for most meetings. These are intended to just provide triggers for my memory. These are the notes I take if I need to share them with people who are in the meeting.
  • No notes. I do this for a lot of meetings. If I need to be actively participating (or leading) a meeting, I generally don't take notes. I'd rather be fully engaged while I'm there.
Do you take notes?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I take notes.

    Not much in meetings. Now I take much more than a few years ago.

    When I was younger (I say younger because I think my memory is not so powerful as it used to be) and had meetings with clients, regarding new projects specifications, I never took notes during meetings. I never realized that happened until, one day, a client said to me, during a meeting "You are not taking notes but I' not worried about it. I heard you never do it, but also that you never forget a single detail of meetings talk". He was right. Only in that day I saw what other people already observed. After a meeting I used to sit in my desk and start writing for an hour or two. I was not only taking notes but working on the notes I had in my head. The result was always excellent.
    Twenty years later I need to take notes during a meeting, otherwise I take a risk to forget some important detail.

    I also take notes about thoughts that come to me and can be applied to some issues I have in hands. Also take notes of those ideas that come and we say that one day this will be useful. These are the kind of notes I tend to forget more easily if don't write them, or tend to loose if I don't keep them organized.

    To organize myself, I use a computer, if I have one near me. At office I use Microsoft One Note (it is great just to take notes). At home I use PersonalBrain (a tool in mind map category). If I don't have a computer I tray not to be lazy and use a pen and paper!

    Luisa Baldaia.