I traveled to Atlanta this past week to attend the Catalyst conference. The speakers included Dave Ramsey, Andy Stanley, Malcolm Gladwell and Reggie Joiner. It was a fantastic time. I look forward to attending again in the future.

A conference like this is so full of information that to take it all in is sort of like trying to drink from a fire hose. How do you drink water when it if gushing out of a fire hose? Fire Hose

I received so much great content during the conference that I now need time to properly process everything I heard.

The good thing is that I took a lot of notes. This has allowed me to capture the best of the content I received. This will allow me to digest this knowledge in a way that will lead to sustained absorption.

It’s important to take good notes

The value of good note taking is being able to capture what you are hearing, so that it’s available at a later time. Think of it like you’re filling one cup at a time, and that cup will be ready for you to use when you need it.

To take good notes you must:

Pick how you will capture your thoughts.

Choose what you are going to take notes with. This could be your iPad, tablet or the old school note pad and pen. Whatever you choose, pick the one that works for you. When you are listening to a live speaker, you need to be able to write fast because there is no pause button.

Learn to write short hand notes.

Also known as point form notes. You don’t have time to write word for word, so learning to write point form notes will help you capture what is useful.

Remember, you won’t remember what you are hearing.

We have all thought this before about something “I don’t need to write this down, I will never forget”. Almost always, you forget. Guaranteed.

So if you think it’s important, write it down.

Taking notes has another benefit. It allows you to stay engaged in the content you are receiving. When you take notes not only are you listening, you are also writing. This allows you to stay focused on what the speaker is sharing.

Becoming a life-long learner is essential if you want to grow in your leadership and influence on others.

Attending conferences is one way to do this. Taking notes makes your investment in these events worth-while.

What advice do you have on taking notes?

For more information on Catalyst.