It’s important for everyone to find the best way to take notes for business. It’s the key to successfully transferring knowledge and ideas between people and ensuring that both you and your client and/or colleague walk away from the meeting on the same page. I have a system I have honed over the years that allows me to encapsulate every meeting I attend into my notebook. These same notes ensure that the next steps in the project will be taken with clarity and detail. Here are my seven tips that can help you do the same.
- Find the perfect notepad and pen for you. Mine is a .38 Frixion pen made in Japan that I order off Amazon. When I use it, I feel focused and confident. My perfect notebook is from The Paper Merchant in nearby Geneva, IL. Together they are the dynamic duo, the right tools that make all the difference for me!
- Have An Open Mind- no expectations. When I am in a meeting with a client or prospective client, I try to follow the 80-20 rule. I listen 80 percent of the time and try to talk no more than 20 percent of the time. I prepare questions, but I am open to where the conversation goes. I consider myself a facilitator in the transfer of knowledge rather than the expert who knows it all. This translates to notes that clearly capture what the client wants with my own hints as to how I will accomplish it for them.
- Add Graphic Components. People often mistake my notebook for a sketchbook. I tend to organize my thoughts graphically. I use icons, connecting circles, columns and graphs as I hear concepts and information. Never hesitate to add a drawing if it will clarify the information for you. For me, it’s the best way to take notes for business.
- Paraphrase your Notes. Don’t forget to double check the things you write down if you have any questions. Don’t be afraid to ask, “is this what you mean?” or “did you say that you wanted to do x?” Questions lead to clarity and clarity leads to more detailed, useful and efficient notes.
- Take pictures of the Notes. If you’ve used a whiteboard or the person with you in the meeting has drawn a picture to illustrate a point, be sure to snap a quick picture and note the photograph in your notes. That way, nothing will get lost in translation or be misconstrued.
- Show the notes to the person you are meeting with. I typically share mine in the way of action items, so that the person and I both leave the meeting with an understanding of what we both have to accomplish.
- Share the notes with all involved. I share my notes with my assistant and colleagues when necessary. If you take pictures, you’ll also be able to easily share with others and upload the photos to any project management software you may use.
The result of taking not only good, but amazing notes should always be to create a “meeting of the minds” with all those involved. It should be the physical representation that you clearly understood the information and have the clear path to the next steps. Your notes should clear confusion, and ideally, inspire you to move forward. If you would like to learn more about learning the best way to take notes, contact me.
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), Founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), Author of 8 books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion and achieving success in business. She has been hired by the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, Farmers among other corporations to share her inspiration. If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.