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There is no need to rely on memory if you have mastered efficient methods of recording speech or condensing written communication. There are several different ways to make written records: experiment, and use whichever method suits you.

Taking Linear Notes

If you are taking notes while people are speaking, do not try to write their words in longhand and in sequence or you will fail to keep up. Instead, listen to what is being said and note down the key points in your own words. Try writing a succinct explanation of each point, and use headings and numbers to structure your notes.

Using Speedwriting

There are classes for learning shorthand and speedwriting, but you can also teach yourself, and double your writing speed. In general, drop all vowels unless they begin a word, use numerals for numbers, and use standard abbreviations such as an ampersand (&) for “and”. Use special abbreviations or common words or word parts, such as tt (that), th (the), t (to and it), r (are), s (is), v (very), f (of), g (-ing), and d (-ed).

Using Mind Maps

Mind Maps ®, which were devised by Tony Buzan, are a way of making visual notes. To make a Mind Map, write down a key word or phrase, or draw an image in the middle of a page. This is the subject of the Mind Map. As you make “notes”, create “branches” from this central point. Each branch can have sub-branches (one idea leading to another), and different branches may link to each other. Use colour and images to illustrate points and to make the Mind Map easier to recall.


  1. Read your notes while what you have recorded is fresh in your mind.
  2. Mark passages in books, and make notes afterwards.
  3. Use colour and illustrations to make your Mind Maps works of art.
  4. Emphasize key notes with highlighter pens.

Bernard Taiwo

I am Management strategist, Editor and Publisher.

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Wed Aug 28 , 2019
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