If you have a meeting and no one remembers what took place, it will be a complete waste of time. Meeting notes and distributing them helps everyone remember and retain the relevant information.
If team members walk away from a meeting with different conclusions, the notes will ensure they are all on the same page.
How to Take Meeting Notes the Right Way?
If you use proven techniques, strategies, and tools, your meeting notes can be a valuable asset. They can be a foundational source to improve communication and productivity. This article offers a comprehensive guide on the art of taking meeting notes.
Prepare Before the Meeting
If you are the designated note-taker, you are accountable for taking and distributing meeting notes. You will need to prepare before a meeting to take good notes.
Everyone at a meeting can take their own notes, but your notes will be available for everyone as a central source of truth. If you want to know how to take good meeting minutes or notes, it will involve being well-prepared.
Choose the Note-taking tools
In the digital age, there’s been a change in how to take notes. The use of a physical notebook has given way to using a digital meeting notes app. Whether you want to know how to record the minutes of a meeting or take meeting notes, it is essential to use the best tools.
Meeting minutes formally report what took place in a meeting, whereas meeting notes are less formal. It’s important to know how to take meeting minutes. You may want to take minutes if you have external participants in a meeting. If a meeting only consists of an internal team, you’re more likely to use informal meeting notes.
When deciding how to take meeting minutes it helps to use software like iMeetingX, NotePlan, and Backtrack. This software helps to simplify the process and make it more efficient. Technology is highly beneficial to use when used smartly. And note-taking is one aspect of it where you can derive maximum benefit. With it, you will also see a growth in your productivity level.
Take notes using a method that suits you
There are many different note-taking methods. The best way to take notes for you is the way that suits your role and note-taking style. Reviewing the meeting agenda can help you to create a template to use. It’s a reminder of which information is important and needs recording. Taking notes without some sort of guideline can be messy and difficult.
The Cornell method of taking work notes involves creating two columns. In a small column on the left, you will highlight key ideas. In the right column, you will give some of the details of key ideas.
During the Meeting
Active listening is essential. You don’t need to record every word anyone speaks. This will take all your attention and prevent you from thinking about what’s important and what’s not. Rather than including unnecessary details, you must focus on the main points.
Here are important items to include:
● Date and time
● Purpose of the meeting
● Main discussion points
● Answers to questions.
● Action items and persons assigned to them
It’s essential for you to include deadlines and who is responsible for performing action items. This enables follow-up and ensures that no items get lost in confusion.
After the Meeting
You will need to carefully review and refine your notes after a meeting. Your template will have given you a way to organize the information, but you will still need to make sure you get all the points across in the clearest possible way.
Sharing meeting notes with attendees and others who didn’t attend will ensure everyone knows what took place. All team members will be able to reference the notes for clarity. Those who didn’t attend the meeting can quickly get up to speed. You can solicit feedback and follow up on the action items.
Mistakes to Avoid
● Not organizing and structuring information
● Not recording action items and deadlines
● Providing unnecessary details
● Procrastinating on note distribution
● Not seeking clarification when necessary
Whether you want to know how to prepare minutes of the meeting or take meeting notes, it is important to use the top tools and software. You must also create some kind of an outline and decide on your note-taking method.
During the meeting, you need to listen actively and focus on the key points and highlights. Post-meeting you can work on your notes and then make sure everyone who needs to see them has access to them. Following up is also essential to make sure action is being taken.