Monday, April 20, 2009

How to Take Effective Notes by Evan Grant

Taking notes isn’t always a simple task, especially when the speaker is talking really fast. It’s easy to fall behind and miss valuable information so learning how to take effective notes is a very important skill to have.

The first thing to keep in mind when you start taking notes during a lecture or a business meeting is that you aren’t supposed to write everything down. If you try writing everything the speaker is saying you will quickly find yourself playing catch-up for the entire speech.

To effectively write down the key information from any speaker you must abbreviate abbrev. abbr. Write down as little of each word as possible, while making sure it is still readable. Stay away from full sentences, use words or phrases that will trigger a memory of what was said. If you do find yourself falling behind, leave an empty space where you were writing so you can fill in the gap later.

Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, indents his notes from the left margin a bit so he can add symbols next to his writing. These symbols are as follows:

* Place an asterisk by important information.

? Place a question mark by information that requires further clarification.

[ ] Place a box by “to do” items and put a checkmark in the box once it is finished.

( ) Place a circle by tasks that you asked others to complete and checkmark it once it is finished.

Works Cited:

Hyatt, Michael. "Working Smart: Recovering the Lost Art of Note-Taking." Michael Hyatt - President & CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. 20 Apr. 2009.

Trapani, Gina. "Lifehacker - Geek to Live: Take great notes - Capture tools." Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done. 20 Apr. 2009.

Williams, Richard S. "HOW TO TAKE EFFECTIVE NOTES." Washington State University - Pullman, Washington. 20 Apr. 2009.

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  1. This post is sooooooo important. Most students do not know how to properly take notes so they are effective come test time. I have to admit, my notes are even a little sloppy sometimes. I believe that there should be a class devoted to properly citing your work and taking strong notes. Good way to end the project. Have a safe summer. Later bro.

  2. This is a good topic. Everyone should read this article before entering college especially.