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Help Your Student Take Notes Like a Pro

by Apr 1, 2019Teaching At Home

How to Take Better Notes

Taking notes can help you expand and perfect ideas, pay closer attention to the small details of classroom lectures and business projects, and keep you on track for professional and educational success. To ensure that you make the most of your note-taking, implement these top 5 professional note taking tips now!  


Professional Note Taking - Pen & notebook

Tip #1 – Put Pen to Paper

While computers, tablets, phones and other electronic devices might make you feel like you’re taking more professional notes, the reality is it is far easier to take accurate, quick notes with a simple pen and notepad. Whenever you arrive for a meeting or are taking an important call, be sure you have a notepad and a working pen on hand to take impromptu notes and notate important ideas, tasks and dates. For a more professional look, upgrade to a nice embossed hard cover journal.


Professional Note Taking - Woman taking notes in padfolio

Tip #2 – Keep It Short and Sweet

It’s tempting to try to write down every last word, but that’s the easiest way to miss out on hearing and noting the most important details. Keep your notes short and sweet, highlighting major points and jotting down key words and facts to help jog your memory down the road.    




Professional Note Taking Graph Paper

Tip #3 – Leave Plenty of Room

Regardless of the reason you are taking notes, it is always a wise idea to leave a bit of room throughout the page. Chances are, you will be expanding on these same topics or will come back to them later in the discussion. By leaving ample space, you ensure you are able to keep like topics together, which will create a more comprehensive story at later dates.  



Professional Note Taking - Woman on grass writing in notebook

Tip #4 – Add Titles and Dates

You might never think that you’ll forget an entire conversation, especially when you have a page or more of notes on the subject. However, adding titles throughout your notes and dates to the top of each page is about more than simply giving the piece a title and recording the date of the meeting. While it does accomplish these things, its purpose is two-fold. Adding titles throughout your notes allows you to quickly summarize what the topics are, which enable you to more clearly see the tasks and projects at hand, and by adding the dates, you are able to hold yourself accountable for your own successful completion of any to-do items on your list.  


**Pro Tip: Utilize Post-it flags and Post-it notes to help highlight and organize important sections in your notepad or journal. Color code using specific colors for different subjects or to build your to-do list.


Professional Note Taking - Person with pen

Tip #5 – Fill in the Blanks

At the conclusion of any meetings or calls, it’s a great idea to sit down with your notes and expand on them. Immediately following the call or meeting is when your mind will be most fresh, so it’s the perfect time to fill in the blanks on any topics you weren’t able to fully flesh out during the note-taking process. Be sure to go through each key word and note you took and write down any related information you may have missed. This is when that extra space you left will really pay off!

This article was originally posted on October 16, 2017 and has been updated to include new content and links.