Guest Post By Susanne Myers
Most of us learned how to take notes in high school and college. You write down the most important facts, dates etc. and then commit them to memory before the next test. The main focus is to listen and capture the most important points your professor or teacher made.
Taking notes at an Internet Marketing Conference like NAMS is very different. There’s no need to transcribe each lesson and note all the facts because:
- 1) There isn’t a test at the end (no matter what some instructors will tell you).
- 2) If you’re staying at the hotel, you’ll get recordings of all sessions.
- 3) It’s not the facts and figures that matter.
I’m serious … no matter what we tell you while we’re teaching, that’s not really what you want to write down. Instead I recommend you listen and constantly think of how you can apply what we are sharing to your own website.
Instructor Info – So You Can Ask Questions Later
At the beginning of each session, write down the presenter’s name and if possible his or her website, twitter and Facebook info as well. You can find a lot of this ahead of the conference. If not, fill in the blanks after you get back home – but make sure you write down the name and possibly the title of the session as well.
This will allow you to get in touch with the speaker later should you have questions once you get home and start going through your notes.
Quick Notes On Stuff That Applies To You
Don’t write everything down. Instead listen, learn and take some quick notes on the things that you need to know to take the next step in your business. A quick outline, some links to resources that were mentioned and the occasional tip are all you should be writing down. Leave some extra space in between session for action items and additional notes you’ll be making later on. With those few pointers, you should be able to recall the things you’ve learned in each session.
Make sure you do take those notes though. I’ve tried going completely “noteless” at NAMS one year and it was mess. You will get information overload during a NAMS workshop weekend and will need those notes to jog your memory.
Most Importantly – Write Down Action Items
The best piece of advice I can give you is to take notes as I mentioned above and then write down action items as you get ideas on how you can implement what you’re learning on your own websites. Some of these ideas will come during a workshop – write it down. Others will come over lunch, during a break, or when you’re getting ready for bed. Keep your notebook with you the entire workshop and make notes of these action items as they pop into your head.
Don’t try to remember them … you’ll forget most. Write them down and then mark them with a large “A” or “!” in the margin so you can easily find them later. These are the “gold nuggets” and your biggest takeaways from the workshops.
Homework – For The Weeks After The Workshop
Now you have a big fat notebook full of outlines, tips, ideas and most importantly action items. And here’s the problem… it’s not going to do you any good until you implement what you’ve learned over the past three days. As you travel home (if you’re flying) or soon after you get home (and caught up on some zzzzs), sit down and go through your notes. Jot down the action items on a separate sheet of paper, or in a text document. Then start sorting through them and make a “to-do” list.
You can either start with the most important things you need to do and move down the list, or tackle a few easy fixes first to get on a roll. Use whatever method works best, but make it a goal to get through your action items in the next few weeks. Make your list and set some deadlines. Then get to work and be ready to show all your progress when you come to the next NAMS workshop.
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