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I am always astounded by the amazing memory that people have. 

A sales person will sit with a client for an hour, build rapport, and hopefully learn about the client’s needs … without taking a note.  Then they go back to their office, possibly via several other meetings, and are able to capture everything the client told them.

Industry professionals sit in an industry association meeting that has eight agenda items, plus the “other business” category and are able to retain all of the information imparted over the 90 minutes … without taking a note.  Then when they get back to the office, they will tell their boss what is going on that might be of interest to the company.

I will give a presentation to a group of employees, or maybe industry people and talk for an hour on a subject … and they retain the essence of my presentation, without the need to take notes.

Maybe its just me that has a memory that is a little flawed, but over my professional life I have found notes to incredibly useful(a)to capture ALL of the salient points;(b)to help clarify later if I have misinterpreted something and(c) to ensure that when I propose a solution to meet my clients needs I am not mixing it up with someone else’s details!

For me taking notes has been influential in my success, helped me to manage multiple activities, and improved my productivity.  Taking n0tes has helped me to establish credibility because I can always go back to “whoever” to clarify points of detail and there have also been occasions when the mere fact that I took notes was able to “prove” a detail that I had discussed, which might otherwise have been in dispute.  (You never asked me to to do that?  Well according to my notes we met on Tuesday August 2nd and I addressed that subject … look here!)

I wrote a blog entry some time ago called Taking Notes, it is worth a read … unless of course you are one of those many people with a perfect memory!