Introduction: Does Taking Effective Notes Help You to Remember More of What You Learn?
I have recommended to my readers countless times to take notes, so that you remember more of what you read. But does that advice work? Does Taking Effective Notes Help You to Remember More of What You Learn? Because of what is going on in my life today, the situations where I take notes are while reading, attending a webinar, a live event, or a meeting. When I take notes in my home office, I use my Livescribe Echo Smartpen.
Recently, I attended a networking event for young filmmakers. No, I am not studying film. My friend Patricia Scarlett, who founded Media Business Institute, asked me to help her at the event. But besides helping a friend, I attended the event because I wanted to hear what the speakers had to say. Filmmakers have a lot of experience in content creation. They understand the entire process. From first having the idea, to making the film or TV series, to showing the product to the world, to syndication. In my mind, understanding this process helps me to become a better content creator. It will help me to create content that an audience is willing to pay money for.
[Related Post: Effective Note Taking Tips: The Art of Writing While Listening]
At the event, Mark Prasuhn interviewed Ron Craig about what it takes to make it in the film, television, and media industry. Both interviewer and interviewee are veterans in the industry. I decided to take notes because the information was relevant to any industry, and I told Patricia that I would write a post for their blog.
Paraphrasing Helps You to Remember More
Since it was a stand-up event, taking notes in a notebook was not convenient. So, I decided to use the Google Keep app, which is ideal for taking effective notes. I have used the app for only a few weeks, so I do not know how to use any of the advanced features. Following the advice I give to my readers, I paraphrased what I was hearing, which I had to do to keep up. I did not want to miss any important information. Additionally, you could apply any of the information I heard, to any field. That was another reason to make sure that I took effective notes.
I continued with my note taking, feeling that I had enough information for a good article. The following morning, while the information was still fresh, the article started to take shape in my head. As the sentences swirled around, I got my phone and started to write the article using the Microsoft Word app. I wrote about two paragraphs at that time. Later that day, I opened Google Keep, just to make sure that my notes were still there. I did not read them, I just wanted to make sure they were there.
When You Take Effective Notes, You Remember More Than You Think You Do
A few days later, I decided to complete the article. My devices synchronize with each other, so I opened Microsoft Word on my desktop to work on the article. I opened Google Keep to access my notes to complete my article. Every note I took since I started using the app was there, except the one about the event. I panicked. I promised my friend that I would write a blog post for her, and I had no notes to help me. Had I not told her that I would write the article, I would have decided not to bother.
I started working on the article and the words flowed. I remembered much more than I thought I did. I had gone through the process of paraphrasing what I was hearing. At the event, I was actively listening to what the speakers were saying, then I was writing the notes in my own words. This allowed me to remember the information without event thinking about it. Does Taking Effective Notes Help You to Remember More of What You Learn? Absolutely!
Final Thoughts: Does Taking Effective Notes Help You to Remember More of What You Learn?
It is important to take great notes. But it is also important to show up in unexpected places, so you can learn new things. Effective note taking is a learning tool and will expand your knowledge when you show up in unexpected places. In what ‘unexpected’ place can you show up, that will allow you to get better at your craft? And when you show up, have a way to take notes. You are there to learn and effective students take notes.
If you are interested in learning about content distribution from the film industry, I am reading parts of The Business of Media Distribution. All the sections in the book are not relevant to me. You have to decide for yourself.