I am always stunned when I teach a course or present an idea and see a large group of the participants with NOTHING to write on or write with. Apparently they thought that there would be nothing worth remembering or committing to paper. AMAZING. I think its a comment on their perception of value.
Mark Zuckerberg was giving a presentation and sharing the lessons of his Facebook experience to a room full of high charging Silicon Valley folks and only two guys were taking notes; John Doerr and Ron Conway, both venture capitalist SUPERSTAR’S. You see, experts take notes and novice’s sit there.
Note taking promotes a DEEP understanding of material. It forces the brain into effective thinking and pushes information into the visual cortex. Note taking organizes the information and improves your powers of observation. When you’re taking notes you’re making an “active decision” as what to include. You create an important filter. Notes give you somewhere to return, a place where you can reconnect with the subject. Note taking can turn excessive information and data into a path towards real applicable knowledge.
I don’t care what style of note taking works for you. Maybe you’re all iPad with a portable keyboard or maybe you voice record or maybe you are like me, “old school”. I am a sketcher and take most of my notes in graphic form and have used the same spiral 10″ x 7″ notebooks with good thick paper that takes ink, for years. These notebooks line a number of shelves in my office and I often pull them out looking for an idea or support material to an existing strategy.
Bottomline, get out of the “just sitting there” group and bring along pen and paper and start your journey in recording and organizing new knowledge.