Most of the time, when we talk about note-taking, we think of college and university students. While students do make the largest group of note-takers, note-taking is not just for students. It is for anyone with information you want to collect, understand or record. Here are four reasons you should start taking notes today:
You may want to collect information during a meeting, interview or lecture. Taking notes while listening to a speaker can be very tricky. We don’t write fast enough, and sometimes, paying attention is more important than taking notes.
From lectures, meetings and interviews
Audio notes are the best notes to take when someone is talking. The best method is to use a note-taking app that allows you to type or write while taking notes. That way, you can focus on the speaker and take fewer notes to stay connected with your presenter.
It’s best to take notes on an iPad because a laptop can create a barrier between you and the presenter. The iPad, powered with the Apple Pencil has great apps that allow you to handwrite your notes while recording audio for reference to it later. You can use Notability or ZoomNotes for that; both apps sync your notes to the audio recorded.
This will work for students, journalists, teams when brainstorming ideas, lawyers and doctors, whenever you need to collect information very quickly, why not keep a digital audio recording of it for going through it later? That way you won’t miss out on anything.
From other literature
After a lecture or meeting, you can look into other resources like textbooks, or articles to make sense of the information you just gathered. During this process, you will add to it and disregard some of it. This is a crucial part of learning for everyone.
Respecting people’s privacy
Of course, it is your responsibility to ask for permission to record people whenever that’s expected. If you do record a conversation with someone, don’t share it with other people without their permission. We advise deleting the audio files as soon as you’re finished referring to them and retrieving the information you need. This might apply mostly to professionals for client confidentiality. As a student, I used to record all my lectures but never shared a copy of my recordings with anyone. It is very important to respect people’s privacy.
Understanding new information
Our world has been built on the accurate recording of information since we learnt to read and write. Once you’ve gone through the process of collecting and analysing new information, you must record it in a way that is easy to understand. Not just for yourself but for others as well. You could impart your knowledge to your colleagues and the next generation too. This is when you decide on a note-taking style that works for you:
- Mind mapping
- Outline method
- Cornell method
- Charting method
- Sentence method
Taking notes can help you stay actively engaged in what you’re reading. The fact that you’re searching for important information to note down keeps you alert. Lectures and meetings can be boring. You can easily find yourself dosing off when you have to sit and listen to a presenter for forty-five minutes. Taking notes will help you stay awake and, somehow, actively involved with the presentation.
Record your life
We all need to plan our lives to get things done as well as analyse our progress for different goals. For example, when you’re planning a trip to visit friends and family over the holiday. You can write notes on:
- Travel costs
- Your days off
- Gifts you’re getting everyone
- Activities you plan to do and why.
You can take notes on almost anything or anyone you care about. Journaling and planning apps are great with that. You can also keep notes on your contacts’ birthdays and their favourite colours or food, what they are allergic to, etc.
Agenda is a great app for tracking your plans and notes on the iPad and Mac. You can take notes for upcoming events and track them when they are over. If you prefer writing retrospectively, we recommend Journey, our go-to journaling app. Keep a record of what is happening in your life and look it up when it matters.