During orientation, new staff at Matrix Group are told to ALWAYS bring a notebook to meetings. If you prefer, you can bring a laptop or tablet. Why?
It’s simple, really. When you’re in a meeting, you’re having a discussion and creating to-do items. If you’re not taking notes, how will you remember the details of the discussion and the next steps?
I take notes at every meeting on my laptop, in email or Word. I take detailed notes about the discussion, the decision we made, the to-do items. I take notes in real time so that when I get back to the office, I can forward the notes to project team members and they can execute immediately. I bring a paper notebook to every business lunch because I almost always end up with to-do items, and I want to remember them all.
I’m always amazed when I see people NOT taking notes at a meeting. As far as I’m concerned, if I’m taking notes, I’m writing history and if there’s ever any doubt about what happened during a meeting, I have the upper hand. It’s also a sign of respect to the person I’m meeting with. When I take notes, I’m saying, “I respect your time. I’m documenting our discussions so I will know how to follow up.” And no, unless you’re one of those amazing memory guys, I don’t believe anyone can hold all the information from a meeting in their heads, for any length of time anyway.
Do yourself a favor and bring a paper or digital notebook to EVERY meeting, from now on, forever.