How to Use The Cornell Note Taking System Effectively for Business or Client Meetings

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?

Cornell Notes for Business or Client Meetings

Cornell Notes for Business or Client Meetings

 

 

 

 

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What is the Cornell Note Taking System?

The Cornell note taking system was invented in the 1950’s by Walter Pauk who was an education professor at Cornell University. This effective system for taking notes was made popular by Professor Pauk’s best selling book How To Study In College and is still being used by college students today. This book is still available if you are interested in reading the details about this effective note taking method and other study strategies.

The Cornell method of note-taking is done by dividing a page into 3 sections: Notes, Cues and a Summary section. Assuming you’re taking notes on an 8.5 x 11″ or A4 size page, create a column about 2″ wide on either the left or right hand side of the page for Cues. Leave about 2″ at the bottom of the page for a Summary section. The largest section is for Notes. At the top of each page write your name, date, topic and class.

The Notes section is used during class or while reading a book to take abbreviated notes and to copy any diagrams or charts the instructor may use. It’s a good idea to leave extra space between main points and topics so that other details can be filled in later and to allow you to read your notes easily.

The Cues should be written down soon after the class is over. Cues are used for review and study and can include such things as questions anticipated on an exam, main ideas/people, and vocabulary words.

The Summary at the bottom of the page is written after class and is used to help you find information later on. It is a brief summary of the notes on that page highlighting the main point(s).

Cornell Note-Taking Method

Cornell Note-Taking Method

Cornell University summarizes the method of using these notes most effectively this way:

  1. Record. Take brief notes during a lecture or while reading.
  2. Questions. As soon after class as possible, formulate questions based on the notes. The writing of questions is used to study for exams later.
  3. Recite. Cover the large note-taking section with a sheet of paper. Then, looking at the questions or cue-words in the cue column only, say aloud, in your own words, the answers to the questions, facts, or ideas indicated by the cue-words.
  4. Reflect. Reflect on the material by asking yourself questions, for example: “What’s the significance of these facts? What principle are they based on? How can I apply them? How do they fit in with what Ialready know? What’s beyond them?
  5. Review. Spend at least ten minutes every week reviewing all your previous
    notes. If you do, you’ll retain a great deal for current use, as well as, for the exam.

Several universities & websites provide explanations on how to benefit from the Cornell note taking method – here are just a few:
Cornell University
Florida State University
University of Houston-Victoria
Life Hacker

If you want to try to improve your studying by using the Cornell Method of note-taking you can simply use a bold pen to divide pages in your notebook into 3 sections, you can print out your own Cornell paper by using an online PDF generator, or you can buy a nicely bound notebook with Cornell paper. Cornell notebooks currently available at Writer’s Bloc include:

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
Rhodia Business Collection Meeting Book 90 – A4+ Large
Rhodia Business Collection Meeting Book 90 – Medium
Moleskine Professional Notebook – Extra Large, Black Hardcover
Moleskine Professional Notebook – Large, Black Hardcover

Have you ever used the Cornell note-taking method? What is your favorite notebook or paper for taking notes?

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