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Are iPads good for note taking?

An article from HBR discusses the importance of taking notes in meetings. As professionals, we know the importance of note taking. The question remains, which is better? Longhand, using a pen and paper; or electronic. How do you take notes in meetings? Have you found electronic works better for you, or writing longhand? Article linked below.


Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

I will go on a tangent (sorry Chris)......... have you tried reading handwriting of young ones recently?? Honestly, I am having issues with my 15 year old about this. I remember my mom saying..."it's like a hen scratched/wrote on the paper". I may be old school as I try to make my handwriting (script or print) as legible (dare I say "pretty") as possible. With the advent of ipads/laptops, the art of handwriting is disappearing.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Excellent point about handwriting. I love writing notes by hand, but I have problems writing in short form, so my notes tend to be long and sporadic throughout the lecture unless I can stop the recording and restart it when I'm ready. I end up having few complete thoughts and many fractured ones written down.

Since I try to write neat, it makes it that much harder.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

My handwriting was poor before nerve damage. Now it is not only illegible to everyone, including me, but painful to write.

I, it I do take notes do it electronically.

BTW. They don't even teach script in school now (at least around me).

Randy Moore
Title: CFO
Company: SJB Bagel Makers
(CFO, SJB Bagel Makers) |

I have trouble reading my own writing after days have passed and whatever I wrote is no longer fresh in mind.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Staff tells me, I should have been a doctor. :-)

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |


Many young managers that attend the same inter-agency meetings I do, bring tablet computers with them. They've downloaded the entire agenda on them, often spanning more than 100 pages. They take notes electronically, placing them on their electronic copy of the agenda during the meeting. They save them this way for future reference.

I've attempted this on my iPad myself. But, I haven't quite mastered it. I'm told I need some software that works better than what is available using Adobe reader as I do.

My handwriting has become illegible, even to me!

It does save reams of paper though. And, I'm committed to master it as I have almost all new office productivity tech advancements. I was around in an office job when PCs first appeared on the scene!

I don't want to be thought of as an old goat that can't adapt. :-)

John P. Martin
Title: Analyst - Finance
Company: Own
(Analyst - Finance, Own) |

@Chris: I thought I’d briefly way in here. My script (hand writing) is not great. I think it runs in the family (my Dad’s script was hard to read, etc.) I do take hand written notes in most meetings I attend, but then I do review and type them up shortly thereafter, for future reference (I type a whole lot faster than I write long hand).
John P. Martin -

(Tax/Business Consultant) |

It depends on the person.

Do schools even teach short form writing any more?

Some people develop their personal writing which only they and a few others can decipher XD

Writing skills have become worse esp. with the development of technology.
The younger generation, millenials, prefer texting and electronic forms of writing.

Many people have terrible handwriting even while others are readable.

I prefer to hand write notes/letters then type them later.

Using the iPad and the different writing apps doesn't provide good results.
You have to try different writing apps, buy a stylus (blunt pencils/pens won't do and may scratch the glass) then transfer the document via cable or online transfers.
What a hassle!!!

It really depends on the person.
To each their own!

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I use my iPad for note taking and it works awesome. I wouldn't go to a meeting without one.
I can go back later and add additional comments (inserted where I want),
I can email it to myself or share my notes with others who couldn't make it but need to be in the know.
I can cut, copy and paste to tailor the notes for proper audience review. Regardless of ones penmanship it makes life easier.


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