Taking notes during business meetings is a good idea in theory, but notes don’t always yield the value they should. Some have found that taking notes during meetings is more beneficial when participants take notes collaboratively.
A collaborative note-taking tool enables attendees to record notes together in a shared document, which keeps all of the information in one place.
Benefits of Collaborative Note-Taking
If you think your team might benefit from this practice, you might be right. Listed below are four of the top benefits teams see when they start taking notes collaboratively during meetings.
Encouraging Active Participation
It’s not uncommon for bored or distracted employees to stop paying attention or actively participating during a meeting. This may be less likely to happen if people are taking notes collaboratively during the process.
An employee who might otherwise be inclined to daydream may be less likely to do so if he or she is involved in generating a collaborative document that shows who is participating and who’s not. By getting such workers to participate actively, you could also improve their overall engagement.
Making Meetings Useful
Employees and managers can expend quite a lot of time in meetings. If surveys are to be believed, many are inclined to believe a lot of that time gets wasted.
There are many reasons a meeting can appear to be less worthwhile than anticipated. Often, it’s because the gathering fails to translate into actual collaborative effort once it has ended.
Employees and managers might take notes individually during a meeting, but not share their notes afterwards, which can render the content fairly useless.
That’s less likely to happen when notes are taken collaboratively. During collaborative note-taking, everyone contributes their ideas via the same shared document in real-time. This can boost their inclination to take those ideas and act on them.
Similarly, collaborative note-taking may essentially help employees “connect the dots” between semi-formed ideas. An idea that has little value on its own may translate to something far more useful when combined with another employee’s input. Collaborative note-taking can increase the chances of this happening.
Sometimes during a meeting, so many ideas are shared or comments made that much of that content is bound to be forgotten or lost unless the meeting was audio recorded. When everyone takes notes in the same document, however, there will be fewer instances of this happening.
Something one employee didn’t catch or remember to write down may be captured by another team member.
Improving Company Culture
Educators who have experimented with collaborative note-taking in their classrooms have seen many benefits as a result of it. For instance, some have reported a sense of community appears to develop more easily among the students when they regularly take notes together.
The same principle can apply in a business. The more your employees practice collaborative note-taking during meetings, the more they may begin to see themselves as genuine members of a team.
This can foster a positive shift in company culture. Research indicates that workplaces with a strong sense of community have better rates of job satisfaction and engagement among their staff than businesses that lack this quality.
These are all potential reasons to encourage collaborative note-taking at your firm during meetings. This activity is much more likely to yield value when you use the right tools, though. Be sure to select one that offers features that are accessible and easy to use.