Learn how to make your business meetings more efficient by taking notes. As a business owner, you conduct many meetings, but they can often be a waste of time. Successful business owners agree that meetings should not last more than 30 minutes. If you can't achieve anything in that time, you are not being efficient. The most critical way to conduct any meeting efficiently is by taking notes. Properly recording the key outcomes of the meeting will enable you and your team to implement those outcomes effectively. If you don't take good notes, you will never be able to implement the main outcomes of the meeting and will keep conducting them without reaching a final decision. This video will teach you four frameworks of note-taking that will help you take notes efficiently and implement them so that the results are clearly visible in your business. The video is divided into three parts to help you understand how to take notes: What? - What would be the impact of notes? Why? - Why is it important to take notes? How? - How to approach the complete note-making framework? Let's discuss the four frameworks in detail.
The Cornell Note-Taking Method
A note-taking technique that can be quite helpful is the Cornell Method. Its use involves dividing an A4 sheet into three parts. The first section is dedicated to Cues, which are essentially notes you take that highlight the most important points discussed during a meeting or presentation. For example, if you're watching a video on YouTube and an ad pops up, that ad is a cue. The second part is for Notes, which are the details you jot down during the meeting or presentation. It's not necessary to have a note for every cue, but it's recommended to have about 3-4 notes per cue before moving on to the next one. Finally, there's the Summary section. At the end of the framework, this section is dedicated to summarizing the action points of the meeting. This method can help you organize your notes and make it easier to review them later on.
The Mapping Note -Taking Method
The Mapping Note-Taking Method is commonly used by corporations, especially product companies, and product managers. This method is designed to cover the agenda of the meeting efficiently.
To use this framework, start by writing the main agenda of the meeting. Then, divide it into sub-agendas such as agenda 1, agenda 2, agenda 3, and so on. For instance, if the meeting is about technology, user experience, customer experience, and feedback, each topic can be a sub-agenda.
Next, provide details for each sub-agenda to understand what outcome you will achieve. Finally, write down all the points discussed in the meeting to achieve the agenda.
The mapping method is popular among product managers because it helps the brain to think efficiently by providing a clear understanding of the main agenda, sub-agendas, key details, and points for each agenda. The agenda and sub-agendas should be easy to understand for all team members.
When sharing your notes with the team after the meeting, ensure that the notes are clearly visible and easy to implement without any confusion.
The Charting Note Taking Method
The Charting Note Taking Method is a framework that follows a specific format to help you organize your thoughts during a meeting. Firstly, you should mention the main agenda of the meeting at the top of the page. Next, break down the main agenda into sub-topics, focusing on only one agenda item per meeting. These sub-topics can be further divided into 1, 2, 3, or more points.
Under each sub-topic, you should take notes in a point-wise format. This note-taking method is similar to the mapping method, but it is more versatile and can be used for any type of meeting.
The charting note-taking method is particularly useful for theoretical discussions, HR, and marketing meetings. It may not be as effective for finance or sales meetings.
It is important to understand that different note-taking methods work better for different types of meetings. It's up to you to decide which method is best suited for your specific meeting. Additionally, using this method will help your junior employees understand the agenda, subtopics, and important points discussed during the meeting.
The Outlining Note- Taking Method
The Outlining Note-Taking Method is a versatile tool that was initially designed for students but can also be used effectively in business meetings. The framework consists of multiple agendas, with the main agenda listed at the top, followed by secondary and tertiary agendas, as required. In some instances, there may be one overarching agenda, such as "Technology," which can be further divided into sub-agendas, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Experience, App Development, and Payment Portals. All the sub-agendas may need to be discussed in a single meeting, or they can be considered as main agendas that require separate discussions.
To use this method, begin by writing the primary agenda (e.g., Technology) at the top of a sheet, followed by the key sub-agendas and their corresponding sub-points, which must be executable and actionable. For example, if you wish to implement a new feature in CRM within the next 3 days, 6 days, or 3 months, your sub-points may include the key features that need to be implemented in CRM, the timeframe within which you plan to complete these tasks, and the ownership of these tasks (i.e., who in your organization or outside your organization is responsible for completing them).
To ensure efficient meetings, it is important to implement the following 4 note-taking methods immediately. Proper data capturing is essential for creating efficiency. Here's what you should do:
1. Choose the right note-taking method: Ask your team to implement the appropriate note-taking method for their work during every meeting.
2. Share the notes with teammates: If your team is taking handwritten notes, ask them to snap a picture and upload the notes on Google Cloud. If notes are being made on a laptop, have them save the folder on Google Cloud so that everyone in the team can access the notes.
3. Framework Tip: To implement the note-taking method properly, assign the ownership of notes to an individual in every meeting. This will ensure that all important points are captured even if someone gets too engrossed in the meeting. The individual making notes can be someone from the CEO's office team who will take notes and distribute them for implementation by the team.
By implementing these notes, your business will grow more efficiently. It's worth noting that the most efficient companies in the world use these 4 note-taking methods in their meetings. If you work for a big product company, you will see that they use these methods too.