Are you a student who regularly takes notes in class, but you don’t feel they help you absorb the content as effectively as they should? Maybe you’re an employee who takes notes during meetings, but believes the notes don’t translate into a noticeable increase in productivity or innovation? Then again, perhaps you’re an executive or team leader who believes the notes your team members take during meetings aren’t yielding the value they ought to be.

If any of these apply to you, think about ditching traditional note-taking methods and using a collaborative note-taking tool instead. This overview will cover what it is, and why you might want to give collaborative note-taking a try.

What Is Collaborative Note-taking?

A collaborative note-taking tool is pretty much what it sounds like: a digital tool (usually accessible online) that allows multiple users to take notes on the same document in real-time. When the tool is online, users can also retrieve notes from any location and device that has an Internet connection. The benefits of using a tool such as this include the following.

Building Community

Educators who encourage their students to take notes collaboratively have found that one of the top benefits of the practice manifests as an increased sense of community among the students. Everyone becomes more actively engaged, not only in their own education but in the education of their peers.

This yields advantages for everyone. It can also be helpful in the context of a workplace.

Studies and surveys consistently indicate that employees are more engaged when they genuinely feel like members of a team that’s striving towards a common goal. Your workers might feel more as if they’re all on the same team if they begin taking notes together during meetings.

note taking

Filling In The Gaps

It can be difficult during classes and meetings to record notes on every relevant topic and point that’s covered. This is another reason it’s worthwhile to take notes collaboratively. If you forget to capture a comment or event related to a given point because you were too busy noting down another topic that was brought up, someone else might nevertheless have caught the details on the topic you missed. This ensures you’re less likely to have incomplete notes by the end of a class or meeting.

Boosting Accountability And Participation

Some students and employees diligently take notes when it’s useful to do so. Others don’t take any at all. All too often, those who don’t take notes are not actively engaged with what’s being taught or discussed. That doesn’t have to be the case. When multiple students or team members are tasked with taking notes collaboratively, those who might otherwise refrain from taking notes may be more likely to do so.

They may not wish to be known as the one team member who isn’t doing his part. This can boost the person’s odds of paying attention to the lessons and discussions.

These are all good reasons to consider using a collaborative note-taking tool instead of relying on outdated methods. Just make sure you choose the right one for your needs. It should be accessible, easy-to-use, and designed for both desktop and mobile devices.