Today’s Reader Question:
I work for a judge. Many times, when we meet, I have to record the conversation and listen to it again. This is because I am trying to take notes as he talks, and when he moves on to his next sentence/topic, I am still writing down notes from his prior sentence(s). Therefore, my notes are not always accurate.
My only option is to keep listening to the recordings (which typically last 30 minutes at a time) after our meetings, and compare my notes to our conversation.
Other than taking shorthand classes, is there a way to remember the conversations without having to review the recording?
It’s a really good question…one that I’ve tried to figure out myself over the last couple of years (similar situation).
Speed memory is very difficult, even for the best “memorizers” in the world.
A TV show I was recently on in Russia made it look like I memorized a huge amount of info in one quick take, but I actually got to review the information briefly (there’s no way I would risk doing it without review). See the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-yM2wE3vEs&t=4s
The truth is, even I would probably have to re-listen to your recording to be 80-100% accurate.
It’s also a catch 22.
-If you don’t take notes, you’ll be more present and will remember more right after, but if you don’t review quickly enough, you’ll forget A LOT more.
-When you take notes, you’re less present and more focused on writing, versus remembering.
Here’s what I would do:
- Take super brief notes (just writing 1-3 words for the main idea of each topic in the meeting) & spend more time just focused on listening to him (maybe even trying to come up with visual imagery for what he’s talking about)
- Immediately after the meeting, I’d either quickly reread your notes & write in the details for each point or I’d listen to the recording (at 2x or 3x speed to save time).
- The reason to do it immediately after is to actually save time. The information is the freshest in your mind right after the meeting, so reviewing it then will be faster (because you know most of it). If you were to wait few hours, or even a day or two to review, you’d be working much harder because a lot of that memory has naturally faded away.
It really just depends on how accurate you want to be. Review really is the only way to be fully accurate and to combat forgetfulness.
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