Take Notes and Reread Them for Better Follow-Up Meetings

Julie Shenkman
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Administrative assistants must often record notes at meetings with executives or company managers. Follow-up meeting success often depends on the understanding of those who attend the meetings and the ability of assistants and administrators to ensure that all information is accurately covered and recorded for future use. The process of taking down notes and rereading them to ensure cohesion may seem simple at first glance, but any failure during this process can result in problems at follow-up meetings as time passes.

Experienced administrative assistants and clerical workers often develop their own systems for taking notes. Recording information at meetings may require simply jotting down a few keywords as information is shared, or it may be a far more complicated process that involves audio recording and transcription. The methods you use are likely to be dictated by your employers, but it is important to make sure that you track all key concepts raised during the meeting. Accurate note taking is an important part of helping to avoid wasting time at meetings. Shorthand script, audio recording devices, and a laptop or tablet for quick dictation transcription can assist you with taking notes during meetings.

When the meeting ends, read your notes and organize your information. This period of reading and rereading information is important to the success of your documentation. Address unclear points with the person who delivered the information or questions. Doing so will give you a head start on planning for follow-up meetings and disseminating any information that needs to be provided to workers who were not in attendance. Your employers are likely to ask you to share your notes with them before the next set of follow-up meetings. Regardless of how clear your notes appear to you at first glance, careful organization can help make it easier to share important information at a later date.

Sharing information is paramount and a large part of the reason you need to take and reread your notes after each meeting. Executives and managers may ask you to send a transcript of the cogent points to team members or other business leaders, and it becomes far easier to do so when you have practiced diligence in both recording and organizing the information presented. Follow-up meetings for ongoing projects are likely to begin with a reading of the important notes from the last session, a practice commonly known as reading minutes, and your notes are paramount for clarity and effective use of time.

The process of taking, organizing, and sharing notes is a common one that many administrative assistants will undertake on a regular basis. Becoming familiar with the tools and methods used for note taking and organization will make it easier when you are called upon to help executives plan for follow-up meetings or craft detailed letters for those not in attendance.



(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)


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