Were you wondering what the best note-taking technique is for you? Well in the following blog we are going to show you the most common techniques and which one might fit your workflow best. Spoiler alert: With one method, you will not even have to write the notes yourself.
But first, lets get some definitions clear.
What are meeting notes?
Meeting notes serve as a documentation of significant discussions, and crucial observations made during a meeting. These may range from deadlines, actionable items, to novel concepts or subjects that arise during the meeting.
But why should we take the time to write notes if the first place?
Why are meeting notes so essential, and what should they include?
Writing meeting notes can help ensure that all participants are on the same page and that everyone’s ideas and input are captured and recorded. It also helps to keep the meeting on track and helps participants to stay focused.
How should your effective meeting notes look like?
When taking meeting notes, it is important to take detailed notes which capture the main points discussed during the meeting. It is also important to ensure that the notes are organized and easy to understand. The notes should be written in a way that makes them easy to refer back to and that preserves the overall flow of the meeting. It can also be helpful to include the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as the names of the meeting attendees, to provide context for the discussion. In order to have accurate and structured meeting notes, it is important to have a clear meeting agenda beforehand. Having a well organized meeting and meeting agenda is the key to having good meeting notes at the end. It is important to have a clear understanding of the overall goal of the meeting in order to include the relevant key points in the meeting notes afterwards.
But what techniques can I use to write my meeting notes?
The different methods of taking great meeting notes
When taking meeting notes, it is important to use an appropriate note-taking method. This depends on the type of meeting and the preferences of the attendees. Some of the most common note-taking methods include the Cornell Method, the Outline Method, the Mapping Method, and the Charting Method. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages and should be chosen based on the needs of the meeting.
The Cornell Method for meeting notes
The Cornell Method is perhaps the most popular note-taking method and involves writing the main topic at the top of the page and then subdividing the page into three columns. The left column is for keywords and phrases, the middle column is for notes and comments, and the right column is for summarizing the key points. This method is ideal for meetings that involve a lot of discussion and information sharing.
The Outline Method for meeting notes
The Outline Method is similar to the Cornell Method, but is used for meetings that involve a lot of structure. This method involves writing the main topic at the top of the page and then creating an outline with subheadings and bullet points. This method is ideal for meetings that involve presentations or lectures.
The Mapping Method for meeting notes
The Mapping Method is a visual note-taking method that involves creating diagrams and flowcharts to capture the key points of the meeting. This method is ideal for meetings that involve problem-solving or brainstorming.
The Charting Method for meeting notes
The Charting Method is used for meetings that involve a lot of data. This method involves creating a chart or table that organizes the data in a way that is easy to read and understand. With this structured method, you can make sure to never miss any important details ever again. This note-taking method can also be done well digitally.
Effective Meeting Notes: 10 Proven Tips
Taking meeting notes can be very tricky and often lead to a messy chunk of words on a piece of paper. However, by avoiding common pitfalls such as including irrelevant information or having disorganized notes, you can elevate your note-taking to the next level. Use the following tips to take effective meeting notes:
1. Create a meeting notes template
Having a set up meeting notes template can be extremely helpful in keeping a consistent format for all your notes, whether they are formal minutes or just personal observations. This will allow you and anyone else who views the notes to easily understand their contents and structure.
Furthermore, you can also try to find inspiration from an existing template on the internet. This can help save time and effort, as you don't have to create one from scratch. However, if you cannot find a suitable pre-made template, you can create your own. To do this, first brainstorm all the elements you want to include in the template, and then structure it according to your preferences. This way, you can have a custom template that you can use repeatedly for years to come.
2. Try different note-taking techniques
What works best for others might not be the right technique for you. Try out some of the methods mentioned above to see what works best for you. The most effective way of taking notes should enable you to effortlessly capture the essential points and make them easily understandable for future reference.
3. Alternate the person who takes notes
The practice of rotating the role of the meeting note-taker is a great strategy to improve meeting notes and involve your team in meeting success. Just designate a different team member to take notes each time. This will encourage collaboration and eventually, team members may volunteer for the role. However, if you do not want to rotate this role but rather want to out source this task, ask jamie to take notes for you. This way everyone in the meeting can fully focus on participating in the meeting.
4. Don't write down everything word for word
This is probably one of the most common mistakes when taking notes. In meetings, it's not necessary to capture every single word that was said. Doing so would be a waste of time and effort. Instead, focus on capturing the main discussion points in bullet form and creating labels or color codes for important decisions or insights. This approach helps you keep track of the main points and stay focused on the conversation.
5. Document questions and answers that arise
Having a record of questions and answers posed during meetings can be beneficial for everyone involved. This is because if one person has a question, it's likely that others have similar queries. By documenting these questions and their answers, you can easily refer back to them later without having to reach out to someone for clarification. This also allows other team members to quickly access the information they need without having to ask the same questions repeatedly.
6. Designate a follow up section in your notes
When you're taking notes in a meeting, it is always recommended to set aside a designated section of the notes for topics that need to be further addressed after the meeting is over. This can be referred to as the "follow up section" where you have space to note down everything that needs to be followed up on after a meeting ended.
7. Assign clear action items
In meetings, it's important to document any tasks that need to be accomplished and assign specific people to take on those responsibilities. This can be done by recording the details of each task, including the context, the person assigned to it, and the deadline.
8. Using automated notes to keep track of everything
By using AI tools such as jamie you can automate your note taking process and achieve peace of mind during your meetings. Automated meeting notes make sure nothing is missed during your meetings and at the same time you give you the freedom to fully focus on participating in the meeting.
9. Always take the time to recap your meeting
After each meeting, it's a good idea to create a brief summary while the information is still fresh in your mind. This recap should cover the main points discussed and any tasks that need to be completed before the next meeting. This summary will serve as a useful reference for future discussions.
10. Share your meeting notes with all participants
Once the team meeting has ended, distribute the meeting notes to all attendees. This will benefit everyone, particularly those who were unable to attend the meeting. The notes will help them stay up-to-date and not feel left out during the next meeting. Additionally, if any important details were missed, someone from the meeting can update the notes for the entire team's benefit.
Why you should use automated meeting notes?
With the help of software like jamie you never has to worry about taking effective meeting notes again. jamie works seamlessly with any meeting software and captures the most important points automatically and summarizes the content of a meeting in a smart way. Using jamie you will never miss important details ever again and make sure that you have a brief summary and more detailed meeting notes of any meeting without having to take handwritten notes and meeting minutes.
What else do I need to keep in mind when taking meeting notes?
Once the note-taking method has been chosen, it is important to note down what is said during the meeting. It is important to capture as much detail as possible without getting bogged down in the details. It is also important to take notes in a way that preserves the overall flow of the meeting. Another important aspect of taking meeting notes is ensuring that everyone’s input is captured and recorded. It is important to note down any decisions that are made during the meeting, as well as any action items that need to be completed.
What to do with the meeting notes after the meeting?
As soon as the meeting has ended, it is important to review all your meeting notes and make sure that they are accurate and complete. It is also important to ensure that the notes are organized in a way that makes them easy to refer back to. Taking meeting notes is an important part of any successful business meeting. Taking detailed and organized notes can help to ensure that all participants are on the same page, that everyone’s ideas and input are captured and recorded, and that future meetings can refer back to the notes for reference. It is important to choose an appropriate note-taking method, capture as much detail as possible, and ensure that everyone’s input is recorded. Once the meeting has ended, it is important to review the notes and make sure that they are accurate and complete.
Further Tips to Boost Meeting Productivity:
Find out more about the best note taking apps in 2023 here
Find out what else is important when writing meeting notes here
Find out how to take notes in one to one meetings here
How to boost your meeting preparation with this checklist here
Find the best AI meeting tool that can help you boost your productivity by 10x here