Note Taking Tips

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Writers may all have digital recorders but there are still some times when we need to take notes the old fashioned way. You know, with a pen and paper. If you’re interviewing someone before writing an article, it’s good to take notes just in case the technology fails. However, interviews meander all over the place so it can be difficult to read your notes afterwards. Luckily, there’s a simple trick you can use to make sure your interview notes are always readable.

It’s this: When writing notes in a notebook or notepad, write on alternate lines.

Writing on every other line means that your writing doesn’t get jumbled up. It also means you have room to go back and write additional information or clarification. At the end of the interview you will still be able to read all your notes clearly, even if your handwriting is terrible. And it will also make it easier to write additional notes before you start writing.

Here are some other note taking tips from around the web:

Use a three-ring binder instead of a spiral or bound book. Pages can be easily removed for reviewing.

Practice management advisor, Joyce Brafford says “there’s no shame in drawing charts or shapes if it aids your understanding.”

Write out your notes in your own words (not verbatim from a teacher or colleague). One exception to this is when you hear a good turn of phrase that helps you remember the the note, or if you’re writing out a direct quote.

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