How to take notes during your business meetings: improve and speed up your technique30.06.2023
A business meeting, an interview, a university lecture, or a fascinating conference are just some of the occasions when it becomes necessary to take notes, and the quicker you can do this, the more information you can put down on paper.
However, writing by hand quickly for an extended period can be challenging, especially today when the keyboard has increasingly taken over, and we have become unaccustomed to taking notes quickly. In some contexts, using the computer isn’t an option, or there is simply no space to set it down. In all these situations and many others, the best solution is to equip yourself with a traditional notebook and a pen with a smooth, fast stroke.
You need more than the tools of the trade to turn you into an expert stenographer whenever you need to take notes. This is why we have compiled this list of practical tips to help you hone your technique.
Techniques for fast note taking
Before moving on to practice, it is essential to remember that when taking notes, the goal isn’t to faithfully record word for word what is said by the speaker because it would make note-taking a real chore. On the contrary, it is good to avoid the temptation of transcribing, which leads us to be overly immersed in that single activity rather than actively listening. Our goal should be to understand the spoken content and give the brain a chance to re-elaborate what it hears.
By following these convenient tips, note-taking will become so easy that tablets and PCs will be a thing of the past:
Eliminate the superfluous
Focusing only on key concepts will become easier by practicing careful and selective listening. For example, prioritize content that cannot be retrieved elsewhere, in a book, or on the web. Furthermore, to simplify the discourse as much as possible and reduce it to its primary structure, eliminate all the words that facilitate textual cohesion, such as connectives, prepositions, articles, and conjunctions.
Use simplified language
Using complex words or trying to transcribe in great detail the vocabulary used by the speaker isn’t a priority. To summarise concepts and make memorization easier, simplify the language and use familiar vocabulary to facilitate re-reading and understanding your notes.
Forget beautiful handwriting
When the time comes to speed up your writing pace to keep up with the speaker, leaving aesthetics behind is essential. Still, remember that you must be able to interpret your handwriting even after some time; otherwise, all your hard work will have been in vain.
Opt for abbreviations
Even though abbreviations have been demonized in any formal context, in the case of fast note-taking, they become a must! There is plenty of texting-language abbreviations that save time and speed up the writing process. In addition to the most common ones, which have become common usage, you can even invent new ones as required.
Create your language code
A great way to take notes fluently is to prepare a code of symbols and abbreviations that will be handy before a lecture or business meeting. It is possible to associate specific signs and symbols with specific meanings, which only the note-taker can understand, but which are essential to speed up the process and thus reduce hand fatigue after a few hours of writing. For example, you can start with the classic mathematical symbols =, ≠, >, < to replace more articulate words and expressions that would only waste precious time.
Choose the best pens for fast note-taking
Putting these tricks into practice will immediately speed up your note-taking technique and make your work much more manageable. However, you should also pay attention to one fundamental element that will help you write better: the pen. Choose a quality writing instrument that is reliable and guarantees a comfortable grip.
Among the various types of pens on the market, an excellent option is the rollerball pen, usually characterized by an ink flow system that ensures even and smooth writing. At Visconti, you can count on the practical Homo Sapiens Lava Color Roller pen, born from the reinterpretation of the iconic Homo Sapiens collection. Color has always been a distinctive feature of the Florentine brand’s creations. In this case, pigments are combined with lava dust to create a unique resin mixture. The collection has three nature-inspired color variants: Ash White, Terra di Siena, Ultramarine Blue, and Tuff. In addition to having a fast and even stroke, the Lava Color rollerball pen comes with an anti-stain treatment that prevents the barrel from getting ink on it and a convenient magnetic closure system that makes it even easier to use during note-taking sessions.
To enhance the pleasure of writing even under pressure, you can also opt for the Rembrandt-S ballpoint pen, inspired by the colors of the Dutch artist’s beautiful paintings. The pen’s body is made of acrylic resin, a material that produces incredibly vivid colors like the ones available in this collection: orange, blue, burgundy, and black. The ballpoint pen runs smoothly on paper, allowing you to write quickly and efficiently. It also has a practical twist-lock mechanism.
Writing by hand has been proven to offer many mental and emotional benefits. In the case of note-taking, the advantage is even more tangible. But as the saying goes: ‘Practice makes perfect.’ Test our note-taking tips in your meetings, lessons, or conferences, and observe how your speed and efficiency improve over time!