How to Take Good Meeting Notes & the Best Pens for Note Taking

If you’re here to learn how to take good meeting notes, then tell me your supervisor’s name: you need a raise. Whether you’re looking for a smart way to organize meeting notes, or the best pens for note taking, we’ve got some quick tips you can start using immediately. Now, as for making all meetings productive? Well, you’re on your own for that.

1. Dating & Naming Your Notes

One of the best ways to organize meeting notes is to start off on the right foot with writing down the date, name of the meeting, and the meeting goal. This is especially helpful if you use the same page for different meetings (we appreciate you going green!).

2. Using Symbols & Acronyms

The first tip on how to take good meeting notes is focused on being able to capture everything quickly without missing a beat. Something that can prove to be effective is creating a few main symbols or acronyms. Think about the words, phrases, or names you use over and over again in your notes—are there symbols or acronyms you could use to save yourself some time?

Also think about creating symbols for actions you need to take, like following up in person, setting up a meeting, or sending an email. A circled exclamation point can denote you need to immediately take action.

3. Color Coding Notes

Much like creating symbols, color coding notes is a big component of committing things to memory. Some people love using different colored highlighters for the job, others colored pens. Either way, when you’re color coding notes, only highlight the most key parts so you can quickly scan to understand what the key takeaways are.

If you go the way of highlighters, one tool we recommend is a 3-in-1 highlighter so you aren’t carrying multiples to a meeting. No one wants to be that person, am I right?

Our favorite is the Gel Triangle Highlighter:

And if you’re a pen person, a pen with multiple colored inks can save you time, as well.

May I suggest the Multi-Ink Retro Pen? It’s one of the best pens for note taking when time is at a premium.

4. Finding the Best Pens for Note Taking

Pens are personal—often times, you go with the pen that feels right to you. The best pens for note taking are the ones that fit your writing style, and also have gel ink. Why gel ink, you ask? It’s typically quick-drying so you won’t smudge it while you go. Gel pens are especially handy for our left-handed friends.

And, surprise, surprise, we have a fave for you, the Zebra Sarasa Gel Retractable.

5. Committing Your Notes to Memory

Once the meeting is over, take the next 10-15 minutes to re-read your notes and make any adjustments you may have. Also highlight any key topics that jump out to you that you didn’t make note of during the meeting. This quick step is crucial when it comes to committing the main topic, goals, and questions that came out of the meeting.

And now, dear reader, you’re all prepped on how to take good meeting notes. Set forth and conquer!

Catherine O.

Word nerd. Burrito connoisseur. Pen pal.

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Catherine O.

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