Bill Gates and Richard Branson are avid note takers. These self-made billionaires are often surprised that most business leaders do not take notes. Richard Branson has, for instance, noted that 99% of business executives hardly jolt down critical business insights.
The English business investor and magnate credit his ten-figure fortune to random moments scribbled on notebooks.
Bill Gates is a computer genius but he at times turns to trusty paper and pen for his notes. Truth be told; note taking is an important business process, but it is difficult.
You can however make your note writing process much more manageable. First, have fantastic meeting notes transcription software by your side.
Artificial intelligence-powered meeting assistants like Aira will record all of your business conversations for future reference. Second, avoid these note taking mistakes below.
1. Using the wrong minute taking method
In school, you had to write your notes down, because as the lecturer said, that the content could feature in your exams. At work, you will not face such threats. Most bosses do not ask their employees to jot down notes.
For this reason, the transition from the school environment to the workplace makes the art of note taking dormant. Most office workers never get to learn the difference between office and history class note taking.
As an illustration, students jot down notes verbatim for retention and revision purposes. At work, come up with a manageable style of taking business notes. You can use lists, mind maps, or short phrases with breadcrumbs in them.
Note specific important factors like resources, tools, figures, or names. Use transcription tools like Aira to record long discussions and use your hands to jolt down what matters the most.
2. Not knowing when to take business notes
While poor note taking is not a reason to face the sack, skipping notes can adversely affect your career. Constantly emailing colleagues and bosses for clarification on issues discussed in a meeting could hurt your work relationships and productivity.
Fortunately, you do not have to take notes in every work function. The most critical occasions are during one on one, client, or mentors meetings and during, big business conversations.
3. Not understanding why you are part of the conversation
Whenever you are in a business conversation or meeting that calls for note taking, you need to be clear of its objectives.
You also need to understand what your contribution is to the meeting and what value you are deriving from the meetup. Such clarity will lean your note taking towards development and learning topics.
4. Writing without listening
Taking business notes is a show of respect for the person taking. Writing notes shows them that what they are saying is crucial. Unfortunately, the balancing act between listening and writing can impede note taking.
You cannot write good notes if you do not understand the total concept and context of an issue. Listen, reflect, filter your thoughts, and jolt down key items.
5. Failing to specify your topics
Billionaire Richard Branson says that not all ideas count, but they are all noteworthy. Nevertheless, in a bid to capture inspiration, you could forget to cluster your notes. Such write-ups can be very difficult to comprehend later. Ensure that your note-taking process has a splendid structure.
6. Worrying about style and grammar
When writing personal notes, avoid fixating on style, grammar, spelling, or punctuation. Such worries will only distract you from the conversation. Keep writing and develop a personal note taking system as you practice.
7. Not writing concise points
As mentioned, lists, mind maps, and short phrases make the best business notes. Here you can jolt down single words or sentences. Use numbered lists and bullets for flow and organization. If necessary, connect ideas using lines to lessen the need for explanatory sentences.
8. Not underlining the most important points
If you are taking tons of notes, you need a highlighting system that zeroes in the most critical points. Underline, circle, highlight, or use indentation to add emphasis and structure to your notes.
9. Panicking when you miss a point
Remember, note taking shows the speaker you are attentive to their words. It also shows that you care about your job. If you miss a part of the discussion, stay calm. Ask the presenter to reiterate the point. Besides, you can ask your colleagues after the event and add on to your notes.
10. Failing to organize your notes for later use
Most note takers have organization challenges. They might take fantastic notes but will store them so poorly that they cannot use them later when they need them. One important benefit of note taking is its ability to cement the ideas heard. Revisit your notes for this benefit to seep in. Invest in a good notebook. If you are writing on random sheets, keep them all in one location for easy future review.
Note taking creates not only better work relationships and increase productivity, but it shows respect in meetings. Notes will make you smarter, giving you new ideas, connections, and innovations.
Taking notes is a subtle yet potent pathway to success in the workplace. Eliminate the note taking mistakes above and enjoy the benefits of workplace note taking.