Always Take Notes: How Rewriting Ideas Can Spawn New Revelations

Consider the last meeting, lecture, or other brainstorming event you attended. Did you bring a pad of paper and a pen with the intention of “taking notes?” Most likely. Did you actually write anything down? Probably not. Even when we do take the time to write some information, we often skip the smaller details – thinking that we’ll just recall these details at a later point if necessary. However, many underestimate how crucial consistent notetaking can be for any industry. Check out these three reasons why you should always take notes.

1.       The act of physically writing down the main points of the meeting topics you hear helps you solidify them in your memory. This may seem obvious, but the most beneficial purpose of notetaking is its ability to aid in the recollection of information. In addition to being able to look back at the notes for details or dates, the physical act of writing – rather than using an electronic device or recorder – can improve memory and comprehension. Many psychological studies have shown that individuals can recall information significantly more after physically writing down notes than when not taking notes at all.

2.       By writing, you are staying alert and active. Keeping busy by notetaking means that you must actively listen to be able to effectively relay what is happening. And no, doodling doesn’t count! Regardless of how interesting a meeting topic is, it’s still easy to find yourself daydreaming or spacing out. Not only does notetaking help you remember important details you may have otherwise forgotten, but it also helps keep you alert during the meeting as well.

3.       After a meeting, you should always go back and review your notes. By doing this, you can come up with additional ideas that you may not have considered earlier. After analyzing all of the notes in the comfort of your own time and taking the meeting – as a whole – into consideration, it’s often easier to have a “eureka!” moment for most brainstorming scenarios.

Notetaking is important for recalling information later, staying alert during meetings, and coming up with new ideas. So, next time you attend a meeting, don’t just bring a pen and paper to look productive. Truly be productive! By taking the time to write and compile notes, you will see improvements in your performance in any industry.