3 Tips on Note-Taking

It doesn’t matter whether you are a student, employee or a founder, there will be a point in your life when you’ll have to take notes. Some people do it more than others, but most of us have done it at least once.

I love taking notes and I’m very good at it. Throughout school and my various jobs, I’ve had a lot of practice, but I’m pretty old fashioned: I use pen and paper. Yes, I know it’s the 21st century, but hey, it works for me and so long as it works, I’m OK with that. There are lots of note-taking apps nowadays and if they work for you, go for it. I’ve tried them and it’s just not my thing.

Even though I’m really good at note-taking, I can’t seem to be able to tach people how to do it effectively. It’s one of those things I am good at, but find it hard to teach. Nevertheless, I believe note-taking is really important and I decided to write this post in order to share some tips that may help you get better at it.

In her article, 5 Simple Strategies for Taking Better Notes at Work, Genevieve Conti gives some pretty good explanations and concrete examples of note-taking so I highly recommend checking it out. On the other hand, here are a couple of tips I’d like to share with you.


If you tend to take a lot of notes at work or for any other activity, having a structure will help you find your way around your notes regardless of the topic. I prefer to write my notes in a linear way, making sure to mark new ideas in a new line. Some people like to have it in columns or even as a mind map and all these are OK. The important thing is that you choose a structure you’re comfortable with and stick to it.


You’re taking notes, not transcribing someone’s speech. Make sure to write down the important concepts and use your own words. We take notes in order to remember the conversation we had later on so if you just transcribe, you’ll get lost in other people’s words; not to mention the fact that you won’t even be present at the meeting because you’ll be too busy writing everything down. If you use your own words in your notes, you’ll be able to remember the conversation a lot easier and you’ll know exactly what the words written down mean and/or refer to.


I tend to have an OCD when it comes to note-taking. It just drives me crazy if words are all over the place and I can’t tell the main topic from all other observations. However, I rarely have time to highlight, underline or get things in order when I’m taking notes during a meeting; I’m just too focused on the conversation to care about that at the given moment. So, I tend to polish my notes afterwards. After every meeting, I set aside some time to go over my notes, get them in order and highlight the important things. The reason I do it right after is because that’s when the information is still fresh and I know what’s been talked about. This enables me to use my notes later on without wondering what certain point mean.

Just like any other skill, note-taking is something that we get better at by practicing. If you need good note-taking skills, just keep doing it and you’ll get better with time. You’ll be able to learn from your mistakes and eventually, you’ll develop a system that works for you. Being able to take good notes will save you a lot of time in the long run, so I do believe it’s worth your time and energy.

What are some tips you’d like to share on this topic? How are your note-taking skills? What strategies do you employ the most? Looking forward to hearing from you.

Keep learning and growing.


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