The Cornell note taking method – revisited from meeting note taking template , image source: thesiswhisperer.com
meeting note taking template
It may look like an easy step. Simply open a new document and begin typing, right? Nonetheless, it’s rare for that to work for me. I love to get a solid working name and a summary before I write too much. John’s written about this before, after he discovered he could accelerate his writing process ~600% by creating a summary first.
As I wrote an outline for a post this week I realised I had been repeating the same process for every new post I work on. Like any fantastic programmer, I realized repeating the exact same work over and over means that’s probably a fantastic opportunity for automation.
So I decided to make a few templates for myself.
I started by creating a template for the most common Ghost blog article arrangement. Since that arrangement’s particular to mepersonally, I created a template based on how John constructions his articles, and another according to a writer whose work I admire.
For every template I’ve made a gist to show you exactly what they look like. They are only Markdown documents, so go ahead and save , rename them if you like, and copy-and-paste the contents into a new file whenever you are ready to write. Click on the”view raw” link on the bottom of every list to view the plain text version, which you can copy into a new file in your favorite writing program.
With this template, I can start with answering each dot point with a few notes about what I should write in that section. By the time I’m done, I’ll have a rough sketch of what the final piece will look like. This should make it easier to expand my notes into fully-formed paragraphs and make them flow to each other well, since I understand the arrangement of the whole piece beforehand.
Using the template, I discovered that my outlining process became more involved. I’d really planned to do a full rough draft of that post in the morning, but it took me a couple of hours just to get the outline done, so I put off the draft for another day.
On the flip side, I’d over 1600 words written in my outline, and a solid idea of what each segment would comprise and how they would work together to create a sense of flow from the post. Though outlining took longer than usual, drafting took time because I’d put myself up for success. Writing the draft was only a matter of taking each chunk of notes from the outline and filling out it into a readable paragraph or 2.
It had been quite a different procedure to how I normally do the job, and I was tempted a couple of times to avoid the additional research or thinking required to complete the outline correctly. I frequently put off these things until I am drafting, which is when I must be centered on writing instead. I adhered to it, though, and from the time I got around to writing the draft I was grateful I had.
I have really coined my outline and study procedure by applying this template. It’s a more effective part of my process now and makes drafting easier. Hopefully it will lead to better work, too.