This was our final thought for the end of this week. It was presented at our student meeting.
The importance of taking notes is often overlooked. It’s as if it were an archaic remnant of days gone by, replaced by tablets and cell phones with audio recorders that can record sessions for unlimited playbacks.
As wonderful as those tools are, nothing can replace the taking of good notes. Why? For one thing, after you capture the information you need, retrieving a specific detail later on can be a hassle if you have to fast forward through 37 minutes of lecture to find the point you’ve forgotten. Even transcribing software gives too much information. Important points are captured but they’re buried under a lot of detail that’s not always needed.
The best notes are those that capture just the important points, briefly and concisely.
As an added benefit, the act of hearing something and writing it down is a memory booster that helps train the brain. To take a note, someone must hear it, have an understanding of how it translates to paper and then command the correct body part to make the notation.
Of course students especially need to be good note takers. We find at Community Business College that the best student performers tend to be the ones who take the best notes. Instructors share their wisdom and context of the information they are sharing.
Good note taking means students send messages to their future selves of what is important to remember.
Takes Notes When Starting A Job
Some new newly hired candidates will go through the first day of orientation and listen attentively to how their jobs are supposed to be done without taking notes. Why? Some believe that if they’re taking notes, it looks like a weakness. Or that it might be rude.
Here’s some advice, if you think it might be rude, ask permission first. That not only reinforces with the new boss that you’re about take the information you are about to receive seriously, but it also shows courtesy, a practice that has fallen too much out of favor these days.
As to being a weakness, it generally has the opposite effect. It lets an employer know that the new employee is taking the instruction seriously. Watch the boss’ eyes. After seeing something written down, the boss will probably follow up with some more supporting details. Most new employees who have taken notes make stronger first impressions.
Otherwise, the boss might believe that nothing shared is about to be remembered.
So, take note – note taking is an excellent way of preserving what you need to know for the future. A better future, after all, is what self-improvement is all about.
The animation of this final thought is available on YouTube here - http://youtu.be/9nPrEf4Y5eA