Optimize Your Notetaking With Glyphs

I wanted to share a quick tip that I’ve been using for years to make my notes (written and typed) more useful.

By nature I am a pretty disorganized note-taker.  When jotting down notes I typically work in a very scattered “mind map” layout.  I find if I try to keep to any sort of outline I tend to need to squeeze more and more notes into a confined space.  What has evolved from this is basically a messy page of notes with all shorts of connecting lines, doodles, etc.

While this fits my brain well it is often difficult to pick out the bits that I need to “take action” on.  Usually my understanding of what I have taken notes on is solid, but things like action items, additional research I need to do and other “meta” information gets lost in the structure – I guess you could call it “not seeing the trees for the forest”

Over time I have developed a short list of standard “glyphs” that I use in my written notes to help these items stand out:

  • (!) – Action item – Something I need to do
  • (N) – Note item – Something I need to document
  • (?) – Research item – Something that needs further research
  • (@) – Contact – Someones contact information

Do you have any note-taking tips?  I’d love to hear them.

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1 Comment

  1. Absolutely! I have a whole list of acronyms that I use when meeting with people that represent specific, repeatable actions.

    For example, if someone would like to be added to our email list, I write EML. If someone is interested in more information about an upcoming event or specific program, I jot down a code that corresponds to that program.

    These are essential steps for taking great notes!

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