Конспект, Макросы | Олег Брагинский, Максим Голубь
Taking notes during the meeting or writing a conspect while attending online classes may seem to be a straightforward thing. With Maksim Golub and founder of School of Troubleshooters Oleg Braginsky, we look into how to streamline this process and why it is could be a crucial for advancing your career or life.
We do consume information on a daily basis. Ability to capture, reatain, reproduce it at any point of time is essential for the manager. Whether it’s a shareholders’ meeting, lecture, team check-in: you can rely on yourself. Staying disciplened costs some energy, yet it pays off at decision-making or execution stages.
It all starts with the gear. There are plenty of digital tools, but nothing bits physical things. They are easy to use and cary: you don’t need heavy laptop or tablet, they won’t ask to subscribe or crash during the most important moment of the meeting. Starting with a pen and paper is easy as it gives you no limitation.
Pen is the most versatile tool, although be wise with the type. If you are a left-handed, try to avoid gel ones. Pencils are great, because they can slide over the paper easily. Highlighters are good, but consider a drying speed, as they can make a mess on the paper – if you want to be neat, try avoid things like this.
When you need to combine two tools, you can keep them in the same hand. After few years in Asia it is an easy excersize, thanks to chopsticks. Some of the pens or markers may have caps. Try to avoid to put them on the top, they add some weight and affect the balance. Keep them aside, as you get tired sooner.
When you are on the meeting, try to be both all-ears and all-eyes. Simple way is to mix in your notes what participants say with insights or action points. Advanced one is to keep it separately: meeting notes, your thoughts, action items, observations: the mimic, emotions, environment details. Every single detail matters.
Speed is important. If the pen does not know rest and makes endless lines, it is easy to capture the most. Sometimes it makes sense to just draw the idea of the word and add few key characters at the beginning, middle and end of it. The best way is to use stenography and bring the art of note-taking to the next level.
When writing, start with an empty page, so that you allocate more space, saving valuable time for finding and post-processing. Don’t worry about wasting a paper. Follow the japanese way of using every bite of space and utilise it later whether it is a simple drawing or magnificent haiku that came suddenly into mind.
Consider emergencies. Any type of the gear could be broken, so having two or three spare replacements handy would save the day. Be the resourcefull and help out your collegues with the stuff as well. Don’t ask to return them to you – making a small gift can pay itself back in the future. Even if it’ll be a different person.
If discussion involves data and requiries computing, keep a calculator nearby, it is more reliable, faster and gets the job done more effeciently than phone or laptop.To optimise the process further, learn the speed counting. When face a challenge, learn how do it with just your brain,and wait for a good time demonstrate.
If there is a need to draw a diagram, chart or illustration, you could use two hands: one to hold the paper and another one to rotate it. The reason is: you can save time for adjusting and keep your posture staight without trying to bend to get the right angle.Stratrgically pick the position at the table with some more space.
If you use multiple languages and the discussion goes with the high speed, keep using the main one, when it comes to foreign names. The point is to capture them first and pretify later. Switching the locale, then swithcing it back, turning the brain into a slightly different mode, takes mental power, which you’d save.
Digital aspect cannot not be neglected and at some meetings the participants have to bring the laptops, or it just could be your habbit to keep everything on the hard drive. The best tool so far would be a Microsoft Word, as it has a wide selection of settings. On top of that it allows writing of scripts that make life easier.
If the information has a different types of meaning, consider the color-coding to immediately communicate of what is the block of the text is about. E.g: red means the importancy, yellow seeks your attention, green meens action, grey implies to an example or cases study, and blue considered as any type of meta-data.
There are multiple scenarions on how you can use this tool which varies of the way you work. Once there is a task to be addressed or routine to be auotomated, it’ll be easy to come up with the scope. The langugage itself is straightforward. With a little effort, it is easy to learn and then write first few lines of code.
The beaty of macroses that they could be written manually or recorded. All you need is to perform cetain sequence and then save it. The real power comes with combining macroses with hotkeys. Each combination may trigger the script, allowing you to take notes without even looking for a specific command.
If there is a need to work into two places in case of fragmented discussion or editing two thread, consider using a split screen. In Microsoft Word it could be used by pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + S’ to show or hide the functionality. Another usage of it is to wrie a summary: the bottom screen is for a recap, top one for scrolling.
If there is a discussion about structured objects, list would come handy. They are usefull if someone is about to mention ten items, but according your notes there were only nine. List could be expanded as the branches of the tree, allowing you to pack the data using hierarchy, which helps with memorising it better.
To manipulate the text, you may want to use a mouse or do it blazingly fast with the hotkeys:
- ‘Shift + Alt + Arrows’ allows to move the selected block of the text up and down.
- ‘Fn + Ctr+ Arrows’ allows to selct entire row.
- ‘Shift + Ctrl+ Arrows’ selects word by word.
- ‘Ctrl + Arrows’ navigates through the text.
- ‘Ctrl + Backspace’ deletes entire word.
Post-processing is important part as this is where all of the information being categorised, prioritised and stored in your brain or document. Make sure to re-read evrything, leave no unclear items. Mostly applicable for the hand-writing. Remember, you took certain line of the text fo a reson, don’t let it be wasted afterwards.
Even if you were not showing that you’d take notes, make sure to share them with participants. For example, when there were discussion with the external vendor, I’d take screenshots, add coments and put them all on the slide. Vendor sent the slide in four days, but the team already would have had them earlier.
When taking a notes during the lecture, think and write down all your questions at the bottom of the document. You can ask them when there is a pause between topics or lecture is finished. When the matter is explained, think of your own examples, prepare to share with the lecturer and the group the next time.
If you have thoughts not relevant to the discussion, keep them in the separate list. To not jump between the documents, add it at the bottom of the file. Once the meeting is over, clear the list by adding to other relevant places. If the meeting is online and it is ok to switch screens, use Gmail’s draft for such purpose.
Don’t get too occupied with the role of a scribe. Make sure to be an active participant and ready to get involved into the conversation at any given point of time, provide a summary or repeat to to the audience of what was previously said word by word by heart. If needed, present it to the audience in greater details.
Even if you an employee of the company, consider yourself as the consultant, who constnantly works under the pressure and need to gain the trust every single meeting. Hence, they need to be attentive, thoughtful and capture any possible information in order to turn them into valuable insights and clear action items.