If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried a multitude of notebooks, flipbooks, legal pads, tablet devices, fancy paper, colored pens, and more … all in the name of taking better meeting notes.
Pages and pages of notes …. and no time to process them!
And if you haven’t yet figured out how to stay on top of those notes, this could be the blog post you need, because here I share my simple process to keep my notes processed and organised.
My notetaking tool of choice
First let me tell you about my primary notetaking tool.
I have a journal-sized Levenger Circa notebook with cornell-ruled paper.
The cornell-ruled paper has about a third the length of the page (on the left-side of the page for me), clear for review notes.
I use the two-thirds which is ruled to take all my notes from any meeting.
And then I use the left-hand side to jot down notations indicating where my notes contain actionable or non-actionable content of my notes.
My notetaking notations
So these notations are simple to draw. For example, I use a square for my actions, a circle for someone else’s action, a simple butterfly for an agreement the group made in the meeting, an asterisk for an important point or fact, and on and on.
The nice thing about this is that my notes are actually sorted by the time I do this review which takes no more than a couple of minutes per page.
I also use an exclamation point to donate the actions I have to complete today, or at least before I can get to my next processing time.
As I complete actions, I simply put a checkmark over the notation.
Processing all my notes
Since the notes have been reviewed, processing takes less time than it used to.
What I do is scan my notes into Evernote, file them in my project notebooks tagged with “_File Note”, and pull out the action items and waiting for’s into separate notes which I track on my action lists.
… any notes
The nice thing about using paper and the note taking notations, is that even when using other mediums such as a mindmap drawn on a blank A4 or 8.5×11 piece of paper, or writing notes on a printed report handed out during the meeting … I just leave space before my handwritten notes for a notation.
And I review and process those notes in exactly the same way.
Do you use note taking notations? Do you have any unusual ones?