Project Management

Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Advice on Note Taking During Calls
Hoping the community will provide some input on helpful tips for note taking during calls. I find myself trying to write down everything for fear of missing something instead of writing down only the important items within a conversation. Can people give some best practices or helpful tips when it comes to note taking? Thank you.
Sort By:
Page: 1 2 next>
Louis -

Request a team member or someone outside the team to help with this while you facilitate. That is the best option to avoid multitasking but does have an associated cost.

If that is not feasible, then I'd suggest recording the meeting (making sure all attendees are aware that is happening) and then scribe the notes afterwards from the recording.

The final option would be to create the minutes in real time - as each agenda item is discussed, allow a short pause during which you capture the salient points and provide an opportunity for meeting attendees to comment or correct. That eliminates the need for a review cycle on the minutes...

You can use a useful mobile application called "Speech To Text". After you install it on your cell phone, you can start recording a conversation, which will be converted to text automatically. Then, you can save the text as an archive, that you can open and review and any time.

Taking notes efficiently during a meeting takes time to get used to.

What I used to do is write short words, for each subject spoken about, that will remind me of the topic, and then immediately following the meeting, I will go back to those notes and will write the complete minutes of meeting on a word document.

When you do this shortly after the meeting or call, those words will remind you of the whole topic and you can note it down in full. Forgetting a thing or two happens and that is why it is important to circulate the notes to everyone who attended and ask them to advise if anything is missing or they would like to add anything.

Hope this makes sense.


moderating the call, contributing and taking notes are 3 distinct activities. Doing them all, or sometimes two of them amounts to multitasking and is not the most effective way. You may consider assigning team members for each of these tasks.

Regarding taking notes:
- if the meeting is prepared well, with agenda, decisions and open items, shared beforehand, note taking can mean just to tick off items
- agree to only record decisions / results (what), not the discussion to get there (how)
- if you need to record every contribution, agree on recording the audio or video of the call (and some might just do this anyhow)
- there is SW to support creating meeting minutes, like what Veronica mentioned, or
- as Kirion mentioned, assign people for taking notes (and moderating)
- Once you distribute the minutes to participants, offer them a chance (time limited) to add and change things.

In my case I record all calls. By process I have to ask people is they agree on that. If not, because I prepare the call in advance I have the main topics I need to obtain information then I take notes of relevant information only.
To add to what's been written already:

- key points
- decisions
- action items

You're often lucky if people read that much.
Some interesting approaches and techniques!
I write key points and results. Rarely, I may need more time to note, so I do not hesitate to ask for a pause. max 15 to 20 sec.
Approach should be to note key points with minimum detailing to keep one fully engaged in the meeting. Additional approaches like making notes on the MOM itself etc., too can be tried.
I jolt down key points. Mainly which have actionables.
I have 2 different approaches. If I'm assigned mid-project or it's fact finding call, I write down everything and organize after the fact, using short hand like AI for action item to save time and keep up. If I know the material well and have been leading routinely, I have a PPT deck with discussion points and update it live with the team (displayed), only making notes for myself on a paper notebook if needed. My manager uses a different approach: he types right into outlook, saving himself time as the email is ready to go. He builds off of the last email/call notes.
Page: 1 2 next>  

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:

"One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important."

- Bertrand Russell