Hello Rachel! I'm so glad that you ask this question because this is a real work life challenge when it comes to attending meetings and being able to retain the information both mentally and perhaps for your team. I work as a Business Compliance Lead in Supply Chain and often times, I must take notes to show evidence of a discussion and decision that has been taken place.
My best tip is to practice being very engaged. Prior to class or any meetings, review the scope or objective and do a bit of homework in terms of defining acronyms or writing your questions down beforehand. During the class, pay closely attention and eliminate any potential distractions. When I was in the university, I ensured that my best friends were sitting further away so that I can individually stay focused on the lecture and note taking. While note taking, create acronyms or short hand writing techniques that you know you can remember later. Another tip is to ensure that you do not get caught up in recording verbatim the lecture. Instead, focus on understanding it. Ask questions and write down key points with a few examples. Remember that note taking is a method to remember the discussion later. My last tip is to reviewing your notes immediately or within the same day of finishing the class. This way, you can refine your notes as you can recall them easier and simultaneously prepare any newly developed questions at your next lecture.
This professional recommends the following next steps:
- Review next class scope or objective and prepare questions for the professor
- Eliminate distractions during the lecture
- Review and refine your notes and prepare for the next lecture within the same day of the lecture.