How to Take Better Notes to Reach Your Goals
Let’s try a short exercise: try remembering what you had for breakfast three days ago. If you’re struggling to do it, chances are it will be just as difficult to remember a complete to-do list of tasks, projects and errands that you need to accomplish for work. This is one of the many reasons why taking good notes can come in handy. “Write things down” is one of the most common tips you get when you ask experts for advice on how to improve productivity, but the benefits extend beyond efficiency.
As humans, we remember the things we write more clearly than the things we’re told. So naturally, documenting the important information you gather throughout the day helps you to remember them. Not only will you be able to look back at information you wrote that, otherwise, you may have forgotten, you’ll also be able to save multiple sets of notes in one place to document ongoing meetings or meetings held throughout the course a project.
Let’s face it— the workplace can be stressful. Not only do you have a large list of things to accomplish, what’s piled on your plate keeps getting larger and larger as the work week continues. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, remembering everything you need to, along with all of its complexities, can be stressful without a means of referencing the details. By taking solid notes, you’re effectively transferring information out of your head into documented form. Not only can this clear your mind for more material, it gives you an accurate way of double checking specifics.
Note taking may occur quickly while you’re in the middle of discussions or brainstorming, but it doesn’t have to be messy. In fact, putting all of your thoughts in one place can help to create a more organized environment. Likewise, notes are a great way of ensuring that your most important dates, appointments and tasks are documented. While ideally, using an all-in-one solution, you should then transfer these notes into actual scheduled tasks and calendar entries, having everything jotted down in a document while you’re in the midst of a meeting can be effective.
Taking notes can be beneficial for those on your team just as much as it is for you. Collaborative notes between coworkers can help to ensure everyone is on the same page, engaged and working towards similar goals. Likewise, having a document to refer to with collaborative buy-in comes in handy in a myriad of scenarios as well.
Note taking may seem like a small thing to add into your daily grind, but by writing down tasks, ideas, and collaborative thoughts, you’ll not only give yourself the ability to retain more information, you can help to boost your, and your team’s, productivity.