Grab your promo notebooks and pens – The PPAI Expo Conference is today. From the general session to the breakout sessions that follow, today will be loaded with insights and strategies you’ll want to remember and implement.

How can you take better notes at all these info-packed sessions? Writer Irene Chan has put together a list of ways to capture, unpack and organize what you glean from every event. We share her ideas in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Don’t write down every single word. Instead, Chan recommends focusing on capturing the main ideas, insights and key takeaways. This will make your notes concise and easier to review later. Be selective when choosing what to jot down, looking for the gems in what the speaker is saying.

Use abbreviations and symbols. This is a time-saver when taking notes at a conference or other event. It’s also a way to keep yourself organized. Chan suggests using abbreviations and symbols you can easily understand so you can jot more information down without compromising readability.

Engage when possible. Depending on the nature of the conference or breakout session, you might be able to ask questions or discuss ideas with other attendees. Chan says doing so can help you solidify your understanding of the content and make your notes more meaningful.

Get organized with categories. After a full day of sessions and discussions, what do you do with page upon page of notes? Categorize them. Try categorizing your notes into a few simple categories. For example, you might use labels like:

  • Insights: What new ideas did you pick up? What ideas do you want to explore more with your team?
  • Decisions: Did the session provide the answer to one of your questions? What decisions will you make as a result of what you learned?
  • Action items: Consider this a to-do list once you get back to the office. Outline who will take which items and assign deadlines.
  • Questions: As you’re going through your notes, flag any questions you’d like to discuss with your team.

Don’t just jot down a few points and forget to take any action. Be intentional with your notetaking. When you organize your thoughts and learnings efficiently, it’s easier to create action items, check off tasks and make progress toward your goals. Go get ’em!

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Irene Chan is a writer, video creator and project manager for startups. She contributes to the Tactiq blog.