You may have used the Cornell note taking system to get you through college and found this method to be very helpful for studying. Now that you’re part of the professional world you may still be taking a lot of notes. How can you use Cornell notes effectively during business or client meetings?
The page layout for using Cornell notes for business is more or less the same as Cornell notes for study. Each page is divided into 3 sections. If you’re using 8.5 x 11″ paper you’ll want to create a head section that includes the first 2″ at the top of the page for the Title and Agenda. Next you’ll want to create a column on either the left or right side of the page that is about 2″ wide for Cues. The remaining large area of the page is used for Notes.
If you have an opportunity ahead of time you can prepare by writing the date, title and agenda in the Title and Agenda section. Other useful information for this section could be the name and contact info of the customer, or names of people that attended the meeting.
The Cues column is useful both before and after your client or business meeting. If there is a list of questions or information that needs to be gathered during the meeting, in advance write the questions or keywords in the Cues column leaving plenty of space between each keyword. Then when the questions are answered or as the information is gathered during the meeting, write this information next to the keywords in the large Notes area.
After your meeting has concluded you can use the Cues column to stay organized by making to-do lists, noting appointments, deadlines, priorities, names, contact info and writing keywords next to the main points in your Notes section.
During your meetings you’ll want to focus on using the large Notes area of the page for taking detailed notes. Of course these notes will vary widely depending on what your field of work is. They could include drawings, layouts, measurements, sketches, requirements, procedures, news, diagrams or charts. Format the notes to your preference using an outline, bullet points or a linear style. To keep up with the stream of information you may want to abbreviate and paraphrase as much as possible. It is helpful to leave space between topics and main points in case you want to fill in some details later.
If you’re looking for a notebook that is specially designed for taking Cornell Notes you might want to check these out:
Moleskine Professional Notebook – Extra Large, Black Hardcover
Moleskine Professional Notebook – Large, Black Hardcover
Rhodia Business Collection Meeting Book 90 – A4+ Large
Rhodia Business Collection Meeting Book 90 – Medium
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Large with Black Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Large with Orange Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Medium with Black Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Medium with Orange Cover
Adapt these suggestions to your individual circumstances to stay organized and on top of your work load. Do you have any helpful suggestions or tips you would like to share for using Cornell notes during client and business meetings?