How To Take Notes Effectively

How To Take Notes Effectively

Strong Branding

While at the University of Kent, I learned many things that have proven beneficial in my current role at I Do Marketing. One particular skill that has helped me tremendously is effective note-taking. Although it may seem simple, taking notes can quickly become overwhelming when capturing a vast amount of information. Mastering this skill was instrumental in my success throughout my three years at Kent and in my current role when I’m engaging with clients and colleagues.

Taking notes effectively can have numerous benefits, such as helping you retain information better, helping you to be more organised, and assisting your creativity. Here is a 4-step guide on the most effective way to make notes.

1. Prepare

Preparation is essential to performing any task effectively. If you know beforehand what topics will be covered in a meeting or presentation, you can start taking notes to get ahead.

For instance, when I meet with clients to discuss their marketing strategy, I am aware of the questions that are coming up. Therefore, even before the meeting starts, I already have a list of key headings and questions in my document under which to write my notes. This saves me a lot of time in the discussion, allowing me to focus solely on the information the client gives me.

taking notes effectively

2. Understand

When taking notes, it’s easy to get caught up in writing everything down as soon as it’s said. But this can make it harder to understand the main idea. To avoid this, ensure you know what’s being discussed before taking notes.

Take a few seconds to comprehend what is being communicated fully. This will prove to be beneficial for you in the future. As mentioned earlier, taking practical notes can improve your ability to retain information. Therefore, understanding the main point clearly before you start writing will enable you to keep the information more effectively.

taking notes effectively

3. Write

After comprehending the information, you can start taking notes. It’s easy to get caught up in making your notes look tidy and well-organized but focusing solely on what’s being said at the time is crucial. When taking notes by hand, you may want to leave ample space to add comments or make changes later on. We’ll discuss this in the next step.

4. Edit/analyse 

 The fourth step involves editing and analyzing your notes. As we discussed earlier, your notes may not be well-presented or in bullet point form. This is your chance to go back and edit your work, either by expanding or finalizing the layout of your final document.

You may have been focusing on the information being given to you while making your notes. Therefore, it is good to give yourself some time to reflect after editing your notes and allow yourself to analyze them. You may have thought of an additional question that still needs to be asked, or you might have found a solution to a problem mentioned after giving yourself more time to focus on what has been said. Editing and analyzing your work will further strengthen your understanding and recall of the event.

Now you know…

Knowing how to effectively take notes is a valuable skill that can serve you well in various roles throughout your life, from university to your professional career. By organizing yourself before, during, and after note-taking, you’ll be able to master this skill and reap its benefits. Looking back we can see our takeaways are:

  1. If you can, get ahead – being prepared can benefit you when a lot of information is being given simultaneously. Note your headings and subheadings beforehand.
  2. It is okay to take your time – allow yourself time to understand what exactly you are writing.
  3. Focus on the main points – if you have been given a lot of information, note the main points being discussed and expand on them later.
  4. Always know nothing is perfect FIRST time – try not to get too tied down if your notes are not laid out perfectly at first. Always give yourself time to edit and analyse them.
taking notes effectively

Written by Ellie Roberts

Marketing Assistant Manager

Ellie is our Marketing Assistant Manager who works alongside our Marketing Managers; she helps support the team by creating social media content and email campaigns whilst completing many more marketing tasks to assist in delivering marketing strategies and plans to clients.

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