When someone asks you to a meeting – show up and be prepared! The number one way to show someone that you are ready for action it to have a notepad and pen ready to go.
Having the right tools at hand will help you to take great meeting notes.
At a recent meeting, one of my clients remarked that he didn’t think the person I was introducing to him for his project would be a good fit with him. He commented that this person didn’t even have a pen and paper to take notes with.
People notice when you take notes and more importantly when you follow up on what you take note of.
When I’m in a meeting here’s what I want in a notepad for note taking:
- Size – I want a full sized (letter-A4) sheet of paper. I want space to write and draw diagrams in my notes.
- Bound together – I prefer to use one notebook for my note taking. Having one book with all my recent meeting notes can be really handy when you have search the old fashion way – which is simply turning the page. I should note here that I do take a picture of all my notes and file them in Evernote so I can reference them at anytime. I like wire bound books for notes. Wire bound books lay flat and I don’t have to fight the pages as I write.
I have tried writing on my iPad and typing notes during a meeting. I found both to be problematic. I just never was able to make smooth legible notes when writing on my iPad. Also to me the interface of typing during a meeting and having a computer open created a barrier which wasn‘t ideal.
Here’s my main book for capturing meeting note:
- Action Book – This is my go to book, It has all the requirements I listed above. I find the Action Method to be the best way to organize your tasks and notes. It’s reasonable durable and thin, which makes it easy to carry around. The paper quality is excellent. It has a little bit of a texture which is nice for note taking but not so much as to cause a pen to grab on it. There are 50 sheets in each book so these should last a while. When fully open the left side is an entire sheet of dot grid paper. This offer a lot of space for doing sketches.
Want a little more information about the Action Method? Click Here!
I don’t have a complicated system for meeting notes. In fact that’s the beauty of it. I grab one book to take with me. It houses all my notes from my meetings. I capture everything and process the notes later.
Here are some other ideas:
- Whitelines Notebook – Is sometimes prefer this notebook to my Action Book. For a seminar I take this book. for pure taking of notes and idea I like the subtle grid lines and the wide open page. This book has all the other features of the Action Book and actually has a better cover in my opinion. For capturing meeting notes and net action I find the Action Book more useful for the type of notes I take at a seminar I prefer the WhiteLines Notebook.
- Action Pad – If you prefer a notepad to capture notes on this is one of the best. If you take a photo of your notes in Evernote like I recommended then you really don’t need a copy of your original notes. In past I used this notepad and would do just that. I could then just grab my notes and I could process some next action right from the note I would just check them off as I went. I could then also store them in a project folder if there were still things I needed to do or reference.
What about a writing instrument?
I love pens but honestly any pen will do for taking notes but here are a few tried and true pens:
- Sakura Pigma Micron Pen – I love these pens. They are fiber tipped pens and come in different width. The won’t bleed through and make a very nice precise line.
- Uni-Ball Signo 207 – If you prefer a pen with a nice flowing gel ink then this pen is great.
My last bit of advice is to remember that you are there to participate. Pick your head up and interact with the people around. Remember you were invited for a reason anyone can take notes. Make a point of adding to the conversation this way people will remember to invite you back. If you missed the link above here it is again on how to take effective meeting notes.
Continue the conversation over on Twitter.