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How to Take the Best Meeting Notes

Improve your meeting notes and keep track of important information with these tips.

Meeting notes are an essential aspect of corporate life. They allow attendees to keep track of important information discussed during the meeting and ensure they understand the goals, tasks, and outcomes assigned to them.

Unfortunately, taking practical meeting notes is easier said than done, and many people struggle with making the most of their notes.

If you want to take the best meeting notes, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Be prepared ahead of time

Before the meeting, ensure you have all the necessary tools, such as a notebook, pen, laptop, or tablet. Also, take a moment to think about what kind of information you want to capture during the meeting, as this will help you focus on the most critical aspects and avoid getting bogged down in unimportant details.

We've compiled a checklist for taking effective meeting notes on our blog.

Focus on key points (Pareto Principle)

During the meeting, try focusing on critical points rather than writing down everything. Write down the names of the speakers, the main points they make, any action items assigned to you, deadlines, etc., that matter (20%) instead of everything said, which might include a lot of fluff.

You can use Routine's in-meeting notes feature to write notes and refer back to them when needed.

Use shortcuts to write quicker

Using abbreviations, symbols, and acronyms can save you time and help you keep up with the pace of the meeting. Keep a list of the shortcuts you use so you don't forget what they mean.

Also, on Routine, you can use markdown text when taking your notes, so if you want to switch to a format or media style that will help you document faster, you can do that.

Stay engaged and attentive

Staying engaged during the meeting is essential for taking effective notes. Avoid distractions such as checking your phone or email and focus on the conversation.

One way to stay focused is by asking periodic questions, reclarifying information when confused, and summarizing sections of the meeting in chronological order when they are completed.

Review your notes right after the meeting

After the meeting, review your notes to make sure you have captured all the essential information. Don't hesitate to ask your colleagues or the meeting POC for clarification if you missed something.

Getting clarification is much better than getting something critical wrong in writing. In fact, you can proactively schedule a quick 2-minute clarification session with the meeting POC right after the meeting.


According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Professional Organizers, 95% of people believe that taking meeting notes helps them remember information better.

The same survey also found that people who take notes during meetings are more likely to feel prepared and confident when presenting information to others.

In conclusion, taking effective meeting notes is a critical skill that can help you stay on top of your responsibilities and advance your career. By being prepared, focusing on critical points, using shortcuts, staying engaged, and reviewing your notes, you can take the best meeting notes possible and ensure you never miss a beat.

Got feedback on this blog post? Tweet at us at @RoutineHQ. Thanks for reading.

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