Start 2014 with a Better Notetaking System

better note takingNot being able to retrieve information is as bad as not taking notes at all.

The good news is, you’re not alone. We all have a tremendous amount of information complicating our day.

Notes can easily get lost in the constant shuffle. But, we exist in an information factory, and we have no choice but to keep up.

Tips for a Better Notetaking Solution

The answer lies in your system. Having a dedicated, practiced note taking system should play a major role in an individual’s time management system regardless of your occupation or role in life.

Let’s break down the elements of an effective note taking system.

Consider the following:

  • One capture device: a majority of problems stem from the fact that information gets written everywhere — various notebooks, legal pads, sticky notes, backs of envelopes, business cards. Choose one primary tool and stick to it. If the occasional note does get written elsewhere you can transfer the information into your primary capture tool, or just staple the note inside.
  • Keep it with you: take it everywhere you go, so that every meeting note, random thought, and passing conversation gets captured. I use a Day-Timer desk-sized planner for my system, which I enjoy because it offers decent writing surface yet remains quite portable. It’s easy to write in while standing, and 8 ½ x 11 inch documents can be folded in half and inserted. Find what’s comfortable for you, and commit to it.
  • Use a fresh page: on every topic, whenever possible. This enables you to easily organize your notes by context. Sometimes you’ll have full pages and sometimes with just a few thoughts, but the important idea is that you can quickly visually identify the note with its topic. A meeting that covers many topics can be written on one sheet because action items will be separated out later. For this element, I prefer Day-Timer’s Desk Notation Pads.
  • Want more tips? Read the rest at Secrets For Better Notetaking on daytimer.com.

Full article: Secrets for Better Notetaking

2 thoughts on “Start 2014 with a Better Notetaking System

  1. The Daytimer ruled notepads are a godsend for me! I just file all my meeting notes in my organiser as I go. My planner has more index flags and coloured dividers than you can shake a stick at, but it works for me! For more formal meetings, where I’m secretary to a number of committees, I use an A4 notebook and file my (usually illegible) minutes in a ring-binder afterwards, but that’s just to ensure a paper trail for my colleagues.
    I’ve had my organiser for almost 17 years now, and I wouldn’t be without it :-)

    • Thanks for commenting merc… do you have any notetaking tips you can share? Personally I use tons of symbols to represent a sort of home made shorthand but I’m always fascinated to hear how other people stay productive.

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