I attended a seminar last week and used a note taking style that was creative, organized and rewarding. I modified the technique from a talk I heard given by colleague, Dave Jensen.
On my notepad, I draw two vertical lines all the way down so that the paper is divided into thirds. Each column has a title:
As I went from class to class at the event, I’d keep my ear perked up listening for insights. These are the “aha” moments. The mind bending paradigm shifts. The creatively gleeful, expansive thoughts. And then I’d write them down in that first column.
Example: Wow, business people seem to be paying $195 and even $595 for learning DVDs. My skills could really earn me a good living!
I would also keep a keen eye out for ideas. Those are creative possibilities, inspired maybes. I may or may not implement them, at this point they’re simply thoughts I want to note down.
Example: I could order that Speed Reading software. Maybe that could help me deal with all the emails I get.
Lastly, I jot down concrete actions I’m motivated to take immediately. They go in the behaviors column.
Example: Call Vicki and congratulate her on her award; send email to the woman who wanted to give me a lead
After the seminar, I type my notes into a Word document. This process gives me another chance to digest and learn the information. Then I print out the document and get cracking on the behaviors column. The other columns I read over from time to time to see if I’m motivated to take any action on those ideas and insights.
And now I feel like I really got my money’s worth at the conference.