We take notes when we are in a meeting or presentation so that we catch and absorb everything that is going on, but if the material is new or coming at us quickly then we often miss the next point while we are trying to record the last one. That´s not very productive. At other times you will be so busy taking notes that you will miss the chance to ask a question at a logical time or interact with a discussion that has evolved from the topic being discussed. The trick, then, is to find ways which let you record the details of the meeting for future use while at the same time letting you pay attention to what is going on. There are so many different solutions that you can try. There is no superior or "correct´ solution, so the only thing that matters is that the solution you choose is the one that works best for you. That means that the notes you end up with are useful and serve the purpose you need them for. Here are seven different methods you might try:
1) Record the meeting — there are digital recorders available now which are small enough to be discreet, completely silent in operation and more than affordable. By recording the meeting or presentation you can pay full attention to what is going on. After the meeting you can listen to the parts of the meeting you want to absorb and make notes if you need to. If you are at all technically savvy you can even put the digital file on your computer and edit it to remove the chatter you don´t need.
2) Take a picture — If there are notes on a blackboard or whiteboard don´t scramble to copy them down. Just take a picture with a digital camera. Digital cameras have enough resolution now that you can easily blow the picture up on your PC so that it is big enough to read easily. You can just file the picture away, or you can make notes from it or use a photo editor to edit it.
3) Use shorthand — This doesn´t have to mean the formal style of shorthand that everyone used to learn in secretarial school. You can develop your own system of writing a few words, simples or pictures which will be enough to remind you of a concept. Then, after the meeting, you can expand on your scribblings and put them into a meaningful format that will last.
That´s three possibilities for today. The rest of the list will appear tomorrow.