The Cornell Note Taking Method is a note-taking system devised in the 1950s by Walter Pauk, an education professor at Cornell University. While the system was developed for college students,this method is a great way to produce actionable meeting notes. Whether it’s a quick standup or an hours-long conference call, the Cornell Note Taking Method can help you have a better meeting!
How to Use the Cornell Note Taking Method in Business
The Cornell Method is made up of a three-step process involving note taking, adding cues or questions, and writing a summary.
Step 1: Record your notes during the meeting. This step should be familiar, and easy to incorporate into your process. Remember to keep your private thoughts about the facilitator to yourself. Nobody needs to know that you think he drones on and on and looks like an ape. In the same vein, make sure all of your doodles are flattering caricatures – keep the rude ones for later.
Step 2: After the meeting is over, go back and add to the cue column. It’s fine to take a snack break, but try to finish this step before the day is over. Don’t let your notes add to the piles and piles of to-dos on your desk!
Formulate questions or cues that relate to the notes in the right hand column. This might be ideas you need to focus on in further meetings, next steps, or names of staff that you will assign to each topic.
Step 3: At the bottom of the page, take some time to summarize your notes and the overall content of the meeting. During the meeting, it may be tempting to use this space for doodles, but remain strong. A good summary will help when referring to the notes in the future.
While you can just use regular paper and draw your own 3-area note-taking space, taking notes at meetings is even easier when the paper is already broken up into sections for you. With TOPS FocusNotes, you can begin taking more focused and useful notes at every meeting. Go from useless waste of time to useful in the blink of an eye! Now all you need is your favorite pen or pencil to become a note taking rock star!
Let OfficeZilla Help Your Note Taking Process
OfficeZilla has everything you need to start taking notes like a boss! Who knows, with this method, you may become the boss!