Note taking can be a tedious task whether you’re in school, at work, or writing down your shopping list. But note taking is an essential task, particularly for Executive Assistants, and a key tool for using multiple parts of the brain to really engage with the material you need to remember.
Though note taking is traditionally putting pen to paper, technology has changed the way we record, present and absorb information. Almost all Executive Assistants have access to a range of electronic devices to assist in their work. With laptops, phones, tablets and hundreds of different apps, it’s hard to know which solution to note taking is the most effective. So, here’s our review of different methods for note taking, and which ones we think are top.
Some Executive Assistants depend solely on their memories when speaking to their executive. Though this method is particularly good if you happen to be in the minority of people possessing a photographic memory, traditional memorisation will, for most, take time and effort. But, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Taking extra effort to memorise information will force you to process what you’re trying to remember and rehearse your learning as you study, causing you not only to recall information, but to store it away for whenever you need access to it.
Organising information into a catchy tune is both a fun and crucial technique for memorising. By organising your thoughts on paper into a simple song or acronym, your brain will latch onto this pattern to avoid any ‘going blank’ during crucial moments.
The other most common form of memorisation alongside mnemonics, rehearsal is simply repeating information again and again. For most, this technique will store information in your short term memory, so it’s good for remembering day to day information, but a less efficient option for retaining key things in the long term.
Although Microsoft Word or Pages used to be the go to for electronic note taking, more people are switching to more user friendly applications such as Microsoft OneNote. As well as including many of the features of Word, OneNote also includes new innovative aids such as audio recording, text-to-speech technology and separate notebooks for different projects. Increased preparation for both assistants and executives is one of the key benefits for text-to-speech technology, a particularly important tool when converting written notes to audio for your executive, or converting audio into written notes.
Book Creator is a multimedia notebook perfect for taking notes in a more creative format. The application allows users to integrate illustrations and videos with traditional note taking, and provides a key tool for Executive Assistants to capture and share detailed recaps of meetings.
For a happy medium between traditional and technological, the Smart Pen will be your tool of choice. Smart Pens offer a new level of organisation for your notes, as Executive Assistants will be able to share their written notes without using a scanner to translate them into a digital copy. This way, you and your executive will always be able to keep the notes you jot down during meetings without worrying about typing them up, or losing them on a sheet of paper.
Whether you choose to use traditional memorisation and note taking methods, or utilise the features of OneNotes, Book Creator or the Smart Pen, diligent note taking is the key to being organised, prepared and consequently successful.
Written by Francesca Hadland