I was asked to design Notepad-Pages for Meeting-Notes the other day. 1

What an interesting “Print” project. As you know, I’ve developed a Strong Passion for all things Internet since 2008, so this opportunity brings back many old memories… Design is a Process… (Contrary to Belief, Designers don’t get to push a button and “Poof”, magic happens)

What’s the Real “Meet” of the “Matter”?

BlogSpot_Right-Brain-Notes.jpgForm Follows Function. Hmmmm, I should have known. Boy, did I open up a can of opinions on this Topic; “Note Taking” is a Science or at least some people think it is. I’ll speak for the Right-Brained folks; “Huh?”

I’ve heard of those “Note-Taking Systems” that promise better organization, comprehension, etc. There are several available, like Mead Cambridge, Covey Franklin, Office Depot; the list goes on along with their own unique techniques for using their note-taking product.

But Wait, One Size Does Not Fit All

First, Let’s agree to this; the point of a business meeting is to identify or confirm Action Items. To conduct a meeting of any kind (phone meeting and phone conferences included) if Meeting Leadership just talks to hear themselves speak about how important they are, then nothing is solved, implemented, or recorded except the ME, Me, me, me, me.

Audio Recording, Notes, DropVoxSo now the question becomes: How do I take good notes in meetings, phone calls, or conferences without becoming overwhelmed and to actually be able to participate in the conversation instead of consumed with taking notes?

I’ve discovered that there are basically 5 different types of note-taking styles; my favorite… “Sakamoto-Style”, Record it and make time-notations by my quickly written simple notes. This allows me to revisit “specific” portions (time notated) of the “Conversation” that I’ve deemed important. This allows me to stay focused and more importantly, allows me to “Engaged” with my Customer instead of distracting myself with note-taking busy work. The end result will be an efficient and effective delivery of the requested work. Using Time Efficiently and Effectively will Save Time meaning saving and stretching YOUR Marketing Budget.

Top 5 Note Taking Methods: What’s The Best Method for You? 2

Use this method if you want to comprehend as much as possible, master your notes, or fully understand your subject.

The Cornell Method was developed in the 1950’s, has a built in means to go back and study, encourages reflection and clarification, and is very systematic. Plus, it has gained recognition as a fantastic method for taking notes. It’s page outline is very structured and divided into three sections: Main, Cues, and Summary. The Main section is used during the lecture, while the cue and summary sections are used within 24hrs (or sooner) of the lecture.

This method might be good for you if you like things tidy, love organization, and enjoy compartmentalizing.

The Outline Method dates back to the 13th century and, incredibly enough, is STILL one of the most commonly taught note taking techniques in the Western world. It is a great strategy for dealing with information that is organized, such as textbooks. Plus, it naturally has a strong visual component to it (great for all you visual learners).

It’s page outline uses a system of capital and lowercase letters and numbers to indicate the relative importance of different ideas.

This method might be good for you if you like to be fast, love efficiency, and are the sort of person who screams yes to being prepared.

With the Charting Method, notes are split into labeled columns (typically 4). Prep time is a bit more than other strategies, but it pays off because it enables you to take notes at a quicker pace. The Charting Method also provides a nice systematic overview of your notes.

As previously stated, pages are divided into various columns (the most common being 4). Major topics that will be covered during the note taking are then assigned to each column, e.g., Date, Events, People, and Significance (see the example in the video).

This method might be good for you if you are a visual learner, you enjoy minimal note taking, and you like to see how things are connected.

The Mind Mapping Method uses images to display ideas that begin in the center of the page and work outwards. It’s a fantastic tool for individuals who are visually oriented, and in theory actually, uses the same basic architecture as the brain. Pretty cool.

In term of page structure, mind maps begin in the center of a page, and ideas spread out from that point. Each idea is connected to at least one other idea.

This strategy might be good for you if you are new to note taking, need to record every fact, or simply don’t like preparation.

This strategy is the easiest to learn and does not distinguish between major and minor points. Notes are recorded verbatim, and in many ways, it is the opposite of the charting method.

With the Sentence Method, there is no official or proper page layout. With every new source that is mentioned, it is simply advised that you move to a new line.

  1. Photo: Fred Siebert via Flickr.com

  2. From DiscoverBusiness.us