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Take Notes and Communicate More Effectively

You probably take notes during meetings, but have you ever considered that by adding some additional notes to the margin you can use them to understand others better and plan your response?

Taking margin notes allows you to think, process information, make connections between points of discussion, and ask effective questions instead of putting forward the first thing that comes into your mind.

Allow yourself a wide margin and take notes when someone else is talking. In the main body of your notes, capture what the other person is saying. These don’t have to be verbatim; just jot down the key points.

In the margin, write down your ideas, judgements, challenges, and questions to each of the points you’ve written down. By listing them on the side, you separate your own thoughts from what others say. It lets you set aside your own views and gives you space to listen to others. For example, when the Marketing Director outlines idea after idea for a product launch, you might write in the margin, “Ask about budget”.

When you speak, only bring up items from your notes that haven’t already been addressed and are the highest priority. If you’re unable to raise some topics during the meeting and the items are important to you, tag them for follow-up.

Using a margin notes process can help you track what other people are saying and ensures you won’t forget important follow-ups. Allowing yourself to listen more deeply to meetings gives you the opportunity to reflect on what’s being said, focus better, and get more work done in meetings.

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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.

Copyright © 2017 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

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