Many of us have modified the way in which we work in recent months. At HMA, we are working from home, meeting with clients as well as each other virtually, most often via Microsoft Teams, Zoom or GoToMeeting. The transition has changed nearly every aspect of how I do my job on a daily basis, except one: note taking.
I still refuse to take notes using a keyboard if at all possible.
I am a huge proponent of taking notes by hand as I feel it gives one’s brain exercise in critical thinking as well as active listening. Even in college, when the norm was to bring a laptop to class, I only ever brought paper and a pencil with me. Because we are so adept at typing today, when we have the use of a keyboard, we can simply write out what someone is saying verbatim, almost robotically. Personally, I almost go into a trance, much like highway hypnotism to make a parallel.
However, when I push myself to put pen to paper, I pull the most important elements of what someone is sharing and retain them much longer. I have to pick and choose what I write down given I cannot physically write as fast as someone talks. I have to listen, think and act, versus simply type what I hear.
Certainly, my way is not the only way. And we are all different. Here is a great article that looks at various studies about note-taking, certainly looking at my old-fashioned route and the laptop route, but also using a recorder, not taking notes at all, using a iPad and more.
Which way is best for you? Has it changed over time? Maybe in the past few months?