Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quick Tip: Meeting Notes


This post was featured on Lifehacker on April 3, 2008. We wrote a follow-up post in response to the comments made which you can view here.
By Jon:

In the event you get pulled into one of those unbearable, often unavoidable corporate experiences called meetings, this quick tip will help you make a good impression on superiors while keeping you from zoning away into the ceiling tiles.

The simple secret: Take detailed meeting notes

Note taking engages your mind (stymies off that post-lunch energy crash), provides you with a personal account of the information, and lends towards bonus points by demonstrating you're an active participant. So even if you're not the official note-taker, try these steps during your next meeting...
  • Write or type your notes in the margins of the meeting agenda (there should be one!)
  • Use bullet point format - subdivide by topics discussed, paraphrase information, and boldly call out action points and those responsible for them
  • If you are the official note-taker for the meeting, send notes to all meeting attendees; otherwise, only send to the meeting leader (you don't want to come across pompous)
  • Send notes immediately after the meeting (no more than 5-10 minutes after the meeting has adjourned... why?)
The End Result
It's our experience that taking personal notes at meetings somehow breeds respect and approval from superiors, and managers enjoy having a simple list of bullet points and action items at-hand. The long and short - if you have to suffer through the meeting anyways, make it a valuable investment of your time by providing a valuable account to meeting organizers... you will be rewarded with respect and trust.


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4 comments:

Zia Rezvi said...

Excellent tips thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dunno why this is worth a blog entry.
Depends on wich side you are, either you're the one taking notes or you're the one everybody wants to send his notes.

Rodney @ Sg said...

The danger with taking online notes is that we tend to start surfing when a definition or clarification is required and sometimes find it hard to return.
Somehow paper seems to do the trick, the only problem now is to file the meeting notes somewhere

Jon @ The Corporate Hack said...

Hey all,

I haven't done a full-fledged post on it yet, but I'm in love with Moleskine journals. I love using them for notes and on-the-go task capturing. What's great about that is I've pretty much always got it with me, so my recent thoughts are always at hand.

I find it pretty easy to type up some simple bullets after a quick scan of my handwritten notes. Then I either save it down for text doc archival or a followup email. If the info is needed again I've got it in an analog and digital version -- how great is that?

Thanks for stopping by the Hack!

Jon