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Topics: Organizational Project Management
What are your note-taking/organization tips?

I tend to sit in on meetings with different vendors for tons of different discoveries/reference calls and want to make sure I keep all of the info I receive organized.

What are some tips for note taking during meetings and keeping all the noise organized so you remember what everyone said and what everyone is doing?
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Hello Al: One tip I can share is that I display my screen on the board or via Web and type my notes while all are watching. This helps in several different ways (1) people can correct me if they see I have misunderstood something, team stays more engaged and focused on what is on the screen (less sidebars, etc) and I don't need to send out for all to approve later. It also gives me the opportunity to assign tasks in front of the team for next steps. This has worked very well for me - but at times I admit it is a little like tap dancing on a moving floor.

Al -

1. Handwrite so that you are parsing the information rather than just regurgitating what has been heard. Then, you or someone else can enter the parsed notes into a repository - OneNote, Confluence or something similar.

2. If you are facilitating the meeting, have a scribe

3. If the meeting is THAT critical, ask everyone's permission to record it, and then take notes afterwards based on the recording


You could put everything into a RAID log. Everything you talk about in a meeting should be a Risk, Action Item, Issue or Decision, so that can be an effective way to track what needs to happen.

Agree with Lori & Kiron.

Recording is the best way but unfortunately it's rarely approved by consensus.

One of my favorite tools is OneNote from Microsoft. It has lots of tricks that help you capture and categorize topics easily. One example is the ability to configure custom tags that you can mark notes with during the meeting using shortcut keys and then compile later by running a process.

My most often used tags are: Action Item, Decision, Risk, Question, Answer, Important, Critical and Side Note. The "Find Tags" feature lets you create a separate note page with everything grouped by tags, making it easy to follow up on important items.

It also integrates with MS Office, pulling Outlook meeting information and attendees into the notes page and allowing you to share your notes out to meeting attendees by clicking a button and linking to Excel worksheets within your notes. Lot of other tricks to automate processes.

I've actually given presentations within my organization(s) on tips and tricks on using OneNote and it tends to spread.
1 reply by Jennifer Nicks
Jun 16, 2019 12:36 AM
Jennifer Nicks
Can you share more OneNote tips and tricks please. Very interesting. I’m using OneNote but am only attacking a new page for each meeting for the minutes. Nothing behind that feature.

Thanks for considering.


Like Kiron and Lori.

When you can have a scribe take the minute, make it on screen, take your own notes and have the meeting recorded if critical.

Make sure some that key information are in the minutes like due date, who etc.

Is your objective to keep yourself organized or your team(s)? They are different objectives.

All the tips above are very good. The core of it is: do something more than listen and remember!

Some suggestions:

1. Allowing others to see your notes immediately (e.g. during the call or immediately afterwards via email) provides the best clarity and assurance that you've captured things correctly.

2. Using an online tool (e.g. Onenote) enables easier access, searching, communicationg, follow-up. However, even handwritten note taking is better than no taking.

3. Use an online tool that allows tagging or something similar (e.g. excel field) for searching

What do I use? At times I've used the following to great success for me:

1. Bullet journalling or a simplified version of it
2. Mindmapping (yes, for note taking)
3. RAID logs (typically in Excel, usually updated after the meeting, highly useful for tracking everything in one place)
4. Onenote (particularlly useful for tagging/searching, adding extra material, and consolidating)
5. Email

I use a digital recorder whenever possible to record notes, then I transcribe them later. That way I can pay attention to the meeting and still capture minute details. This works very well in technical discussion, when people are brainstorming and ideas are flying around at incredible speed.

Notebook or OneNote.
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