Busy professionals typically take notebooks into their meetings. But just like many practices in the working world, the old ways aren’t always the best ways. Improvement and innovation in note taking can help Executives, and productivity junkies improve their note taking process.
Advantages of replacing your notebook with a tablet include: typing on a bluetooth keyboard instead of writing, syncing your notes to the cloud, and portability.
What type of tablet should I choose?
[adsense] One of the important parts about replacing your notebook with a tablet is choosing a table that will work well in a meeting. Generally, if you already own a tablet you can just use whatever tablet you own and avoid having to buy one. If you want to buy a tablet specifically for replacing your notebook, then you should also greatly consider how valuable these notes are to you.
But if you are looking for a tablet in general and are tried to decide which one to get here are the best ones you could get
- Apple iPad: A classic that can never go wrong. The iPad has a very slick and easy to use interface and is one of the most popular tablets on the market. Also has probably the best selection of note taking apps.
- Google Nexus 10: A Google Nexus tablet which is always up to date with the latest version of Android and offers a larger amount of customization than anything else.
- Asus Transformer Pad Infinity: Asus’s entry into the market is both a laptop and a tablet that runs on the Android OS. While the software isn’t as up to date as the Nexus, it’s hard to argue with an external keyboard that’s as easy to use as your laptop’s
No matter which tablet you go with, look into getting a data plan that goes along with it (or at least a Wi-Fi hotspot). It makes accessing internet on the go much easier, and more secure.
What accessories should I get?
As with buying any computer or tablet, accessories can turn your basic toy into a superhero if you do it right. Since you’re going to be using your table to replace your notebook, there aren’t very many accessories you need to get but there are a few which are extremely beneficial from an efficiency point of view:
- Cases (with a stand and/or keyboard): Getting a case is not only good for your tablet in meetings, but just good overall. In addition to providing protection, a good case also will make it easy to stand your tablet and could even give you a keyboard for faster typing.
- Keyboards: If your case doesn’t come with keyboard, getting a bluetooth keyboard is one of the easiest ways to take notes quickly. For some this combo doesn’t seem to be much better than a laptop but generally the difference between a laptop and a tablet-keyboard combo is enough to shift your flow back to work and notes rather than browsing the internet during meetings.
- Stylus: If you choose to forgo using a keyboard, then having a stylus will make taking notes much easier. Plus drawing without a stylus is a completely different experience from with your finger.
What should I look for in my note taking app?
The best way to take notes usually is not the default note taking app. For example, the default app on iPad has no way to draw and no way to easily sync notes to popular online services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Evernote. Given that you are trying to take notes a meeting, and have to be both quick and efficient about it, these are some of the qualities you should look for in your note taking app:
- Cross platform sync: What good are your notes if you can’t access them everywhere? Get an app that syncs to Google/Evernote/Dropbox so you can read about what happened in the meeting anywhere. Also, these services let you easily share notes with coworkers!
- Easy for drawing and typing: In modern meetings, especially for people who work better with pen and paper, you need the freedom to potentially add in any diagrams or symbols. This also means that it should have a palm rest feature (ignore certain areas of the screen so you can rest your palm there without having to worry about accidentally marking up the note.
- Powerful search: If you can’t find what you were taking notes on, what’s the point of taking notes in the first place? It’s a very good question and one that everyone should ask their note taking app. Make sure whatever app you use allows you to index your notes so you can easily find that one idea that just slipped your mind
- PDF annotation: For every meeting, there will likely be a slidedeck. Make sure your note taking app lets you set the backdrop to a .pdf files so then you can add your notes right on the deck.
- Audio recording: Sounds is one of the information formats your notebook never can store. Apps, on the other hand, can. Take advantage of it and use it to record important information from the meeting and attach it to specific notes.
What’s the fastest way to take notes?
Now that you have your tablet and a note taking app completely set up, there’s one last thing to do which is to create a system of note taking that will make it extremely easy for you to take effective notes throughout your meeting.
Using text expansion and shorthand is very effective. This means you only have to type a fraction of a sentence to get the same amount of information. For example have “QR” be short for Quarterly Reports or have easy ways to quickly type coworkers names. For text expansion, make sure to put a symbol in front of each key such as a comma. That enables you to have “,QR” expand to Quarterly Reports and “QR” be shorthand for QR code etc.