Want to be taken seriously? Do this.

Have a great memory? Take notes anyway! You can stop taking notes when you’re the top boss and you hire someone to do it for you. In the meantime, taking notes tells your boss and colleagues you mean business.

take notes if you want to be taken seriouslyTake notes at work:

  1. to avoid asking the same question twice. Review your notes. We always notice a repeated question or forgotten advice. Always!
  2. in an electronic format so that your notes can be used for any necessary follow-up, as part of documentation for future training you may be asked to do if promoted, or so you can search them by keyword at a later date.
  3. so you can answer questions about the material 3 months later without annoying a coworker or your boss.
  4. so that your boss doesn’t need to. Whenever you can, free your boss up to be more in the moment by handling a task like note-taking. You want your boss to rely on you, to feel that you are taking care of him/her.
  5. to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to the job and company.
  6. to show that you value the person you’re meeting with and the time they’re giving you.
  7. to  provide proof if your word or memory is ever questioned.
  8. to separate yourself from the pack – you’ll shine if you keep in mind that your boss is  watching you and asking himself “What am I going to have left when you’re gone?”. So leave your mark! Answer this question proactively and you’ll find yourself getting promoted.

the meeting minutes

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  • avatar

    Robert Lewis February 27, 2014, 6:05 pm

    Taking notes is very important to being a reliable and constantly improving employee. Taking notes shows that you are dedicated to your work and that no one can prove you wrong on any topic because you have your notes to back up what you say. You stay updated on events and if you do forget you have something to fall back on.

  • avatar

    Tiffany February 26, 2014, 3:24 am

    This is great information for me to have. I actually have a lot of problems with communicating effectively with my boss because she isn’t always clear on what she wants but I feel like if I ask her a question or to repeat herself then she doesn’t see me as the hard worker that I can be. I also think this is great to have for later on when I get a job in the career that I really want that way my boss knows that he/she can rely on me to have the information later on.

  • avatar

    Eric Taylor February 3, 2014, 9:39 pm

    This is actually really helpful. I recently started working at at restaurant/sports bar and since I’m only 18 I’m by far the youngest person there. Since I’ve never had a job before that I could feel my co-workers starting to get annoyed with me. And since there was a new thing that I had to learn everyday I got a little overwhelming a first. I wish I had found this when I was learning how to use the computers.

  • avatar

    Ronak Patel January 16, 2014, 4:39 am

    This lesson is applicable to every profession; it is even applicable to my job as a secretary at a real estate office. I started working at the office in the summer of my junior year in high school to cover for the regular secretary when she was on the field several days of the week. I was not ready for the fast pace and adaptiveness needed for the job. I would always get rolled eyes and deep sighs of irritation from the experienced workers at the office when I forgot basic information critical to the job. I would ask three or four times and constantly apologize, and I was not receiving much respect because I was so dependent on their skills. I caught on that to be respected I would need to be independent, so I started writing on Post-It notes the basic procedures and information that I would need constantly and stuck them underneath the computer screen. Within a few days, I began to notice that my coworkers were beginning to become less irritated with the amateur that I was.

    I realized that instead of writing the messages that were left for my boss and coworkers down, it would be much easier to put the reminders and memos onto the company data base, where majority of the workers were already on. Eventually I began working as efficiently as the original secretary, so my presence in her absence was not becoming a burden to the company as it once was. Taking notes was crucial to the success I had when I was working at the office. It gained me respect and helped me stand out.


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In 1997, Eric Shannon launched the first job board for bilinguals who speak English/Spanish at LatPro.com. Eric still serves as CEO of LatPro Inc., developer of JustJobs.com. He lives in Boulder, CO with his wife and two girls.