World has changed very rapidly in the last few months, what worked in the past may not necessarily work now. All of us are adapting to this new life, using new tools and technologies to connect to the same people. Meetings are happening remotely and there seems like a lack of connection.
Now more than ever it is important to capture the essence of your meetings, may it be with your Boss or with different teams within your organization. Taking precise and succinct notes while paying attention to what is happening during a remote meeting comes with practice and I will try to put together the tips and tricks that have worked for me over the years.
Taking notes during your meetings/ 1:1s provide you with a longterm memory of what’s important and the action items (if any) from a particular meeting.
Lets get started -
- Prepare an outline, a single sentence which captures the theme of the meeting, why are you on the meeting and what is going to be discussed. E.g.
Discuss deployment strategy for Spark v2.0
- Listen carefully and write down bulleted points of important conversations. If there are multiple participants then make sure you add the initials of the name at the beginning or end of the sentence that you capture. Suppose one of the participants says the following
We are going to increase the footprint of the product by 27% by The End of the year.
Here is an example of what goes into your notes
Increase prod footprint 27% EOY - HD
Captures the essence of the statement perfectly but saves you time writing it down.
Capture the date and time of the meeting, it will be helpful to organize various notes that you will write over the years.
Make sure to write your comments as well.
Make sure to use tools like OneNote/Notion or EverNote (Or one that is used by your organization) which are built for this purpose and provide a nice editor with various features.
Do not try to capture everything that is said over the span of the hour long meeting or you will get overwhelmed and give up. Take brief points which are important to the outline of the meeting, again this will improve with practice. Remember "The more content you try to capture during a meeting, the less you're thinking about what's being said".
This habit of taking notes will also help you to filter out noise and focus on what’s important.
Use short forms/emojis whatever helps you improve the speed but make sure that you clean it up after the meeting is over when you have a few minutes to breathe. 😅
If you are part of a scrum team then taking notes of your daily work will help you every morning during your standup when you don’t have to think and fumble about what you did the precious day or on Friday before the long weekend. It also helps at the end of the year when you present your case to your Boss for why you deserve a raise. ✅
Here is a good article about advantages of developing your own note taking system.
Happy Note Taking!!!
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