5 Examples of How Personal Note-taking Can Boost Your Productivity

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We all take personal notes in some form or other, but do we really make the best use of them? In this blog post we’ll explore what effective note-taking means. We’ll look at how you can make, organize and use your notes in ways that enable you to be more focused and prevent knowledge loss. And we’ll explain how you can use note-taking to boost productivity and as a tool for better self-management. Our documentation tool MeisterNote has everything you need to start making beautiful and structured notes.

5 Examples of How Personal Note-taking Can Boost Your Productivity

The collaborative documentation tool MeisterNote is the latest addition to the Meister Suite – a family of smart, intuitive, integrative tools built for seamless end-to-end workflows. We help companies all over the world to create stunning documentation. Find out more about MeisterNote on our website and discover how your organization can benefit.

“I’ll make a note.” How many times have you thought or said that on any given day? We’re guessing a lot! And how often do you actually make a note? Hardly ever, right? Because without a quick and easy way to record and organize your thoughts, you’re more likely to shrug and think, “Oh, I’ll remember.” Then you forget anyway. Unless you have a photographic memory.

Welcome to the world of personal note-taking – everyone needs notes, but hardly anyone uses them effectively. What exactly are personal notes? Unlike meeting minutes or official documents, for example, personal notes are the kind of notes that you take for yourself and nobody else. They might be for use at home or at work, and the main purpose is to record thoughts, ideas or topics that you want to keep in mind and follow up on later.

Notes for Self-management

We can all think back to a time when we had to remember what was important. But consigning things to memory becomes all but impossible once we leave school and start work. The endless
meetings, discussions with colleagues about “vital topics that need urgent attention”, combined with the media and information overload that comes with using modern technologies like smartphones and tablets: it’s all too much for our brains to cope with. We simply don’t have the brainpower to memorize, store and organize all of this information in a structured way.

You might well ask, “What’s so bad about not remembering everything anyway? I don’t need to!” That may be true, but you’re forgetting one important point: if you organize your thoughts sensibly at the right time, you’re also helping yourself out, not just anyone who might approach you for information.

Let’s come at it from another perspective. What happens if you don’t gather your thoughts in the form of personal notes?

  • You allow facts and ideas to swim around in your head without giving yourself the chance to properly memorize them. This means you are also unable to focus on what really matters.
  • You put yourself under pressure because you force yourself to remember everything, which in the modern digital age is simply impossible.
  • If you try to recall information you quickly become stressed, because you realize that you don’t have the notes you need at the very moment you need them. According to company review website Glassdoor, “By creating your own organizational system that helps you prioritize your responsibilities, you can feel calmer and focused. This strategy can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed.“
  • If you have to start from scratch every time you do research, you’re going to end up wasting a lot of time. This will negatively affect productivity and efficiency in your organization.

The Challenge: Taking Notes That Make You More Productive

If you’re constantly forgetting things and having to start your research over from scratch, it’s not only frustrating – it’s costing you time and money as well. A recent
study by the OTRS Group revealed that employees spend a large proportion of their working day on administrative tasks: over 23% revealed they use over two hours a day to search for the information they need to accomplish their tasks. 

In addition to the “old-school” pen-and-paper method – the fundamental flaw being it’s so easy to forget to take your notes with you – there are now a whole range of digital tools and apps you can use to organize your notes more efficiently.

There’s a good reason why these tools have emerged: most of us tend to have our smartphones with us wherever we go. The problem is that many of these devices and tools don’t really make it any easier to store and retrieve information effectively. Why? Because:

  • they’re overloaded with information (and too much information leads to lengthy and frustrating searches)
  • they’re packed with too many features and functions (making them user-unfriendly)
  • they can’t be customized adequately to help us with our own personal needs.

An effective note-taking tool therefore needs to fulfil the following three criteria:

  • 1. Notes should quickly and simply summarize important information and thoughts. 
  • 2. Notes should be organized as logically as possible.
  • 3. Notes should be quickly and easily accessible at any time and from any place.

Fortunately, Meister has just the tool you’re looking for! MeisterNote is built to help you create attractive, organized and professional notes in a stunning, intuitive interface. You can use MeisterNote to improve your self-management skills through structured note-taking: write down key points to remember, make sense of complex topics, or deal with large amounts of information effectively. MeisterNote helps you to retain more information, keep track of important details, and boost productivity at work and at home. How? Let us explain!

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Our Top Tips for Productive Personal Note-taking

There’s a glut of information out there about ways to
boost productivity, so you need to cut through the fluff. To help you organize your notes better, improve information retention, and structure your thoughts and ideas more effectively, here are our top five tips for more productive note-taking.

1. Be mindful

You might recall from your days at school or university: if you just scribble down everything the teacher says, at some point your brain simply switches off. It’s the same story with work meetings: so really focus on the message to avoid merely transcribing what is said without filtering out what matters.

2. Just the headlines

When you create personal notes, you’re noting down what’s important to you. There might be a gap in your knowledge, or perhaps there’s a topic you’ve already encountered in a different context. You might need to note the solution to a problem that affects you at work – it might be important to you, but not to anyone else.

3. Find a format you like

Are you a fan of lists that you can organize by priority or date? Or do you prefer text blocks interspersed with info boxes that highlight key points? Find a format that suits you best to make your notes as meaningful and relevant as possible.

4. Stay consistent

What were the most important outcomes of your meeting and which points are still open? Consistent note-taking is the key to answering these questions quickly and effectively. Use standardized and recurring elements such as summaries or to-do lists to ensure consistency.

5. Don’t let your notes go to waste

You’ve made your notes, now use them! Boost your productivity by blocking your calendar for the ten minutes leading up to your next meeting to go through your notes from the last one. You’ll go in much more focused and you’ll be on top of all the important points and questions. 

The 5 Benefits of an Intuitive Note-taking Tool

Once you’ve decided to use an online note-taking tool like MeisterNote to improve your self-management skills, you’re well on your way to establishing an effective system for organizing your personal notes.

Let’s take a look at some practical examples of how MeisterNote can help you boost your productivity.

Benefit 1: MeisterNote provides a more effective way to organize your thoughts

If you jot down everything that occurs to you or that seems important on a topic (for example, before or after a meeting), you intuitively capture your thoughts. If you also structure your ideas during this process, you will gain maximum benefit from your personal notes. 

Key MeisterNote features: content blocks with countless formatting options

MeisterNote provides endless formatting options for you to structure your notes: ordered lists, infoboxes for important points, quotes you want to remember. If you’re a big fan of mind maps for ideation, MeisterNote also has you covered – you can use the integration feature to attach your mind map. Nothing is more than a couple of clicks away. You can either begin writing and format your notes later, or pick the format first and then start writing. Either way, MeisterNote’s content blocks are the key to distraction-free writing

For more ideas on how to use content blocks, head over to the MeisterNote features page.

Benefit 2: MeisterNote improves knowledge retention

Creating a structured note makes it easier to remember the main message – which makes your note valuable. When you open your note again later, you’ll instantly recall what was going through your mind when you created it. A systematic approach to personal note-taking makes it much easier to find and update information later on. Time will tell how useful your notes really are – the proof is in the reading.

Key MeisterNote features: workspaces

There’s nothing more useless than a note that’s never read! Workspaces are where your notes are stored in MeisterNote. Before you start organizing your notes, you should first create a few workspaces, notes and subnotes to organize new content quickly. Each workspace you create will appear on the dashboard – the first screen you see when you open MeisterNote.

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Benefit 3: MeisterNote keeps you focused 

A dedicated writing tool is built to help you write. Try using a different tool, and you run the risk of being distracted. If it’s an uninterrupted writing experience you’re looking for, then you’ll want to start with the proverbial blank page – which in the digital world is a clean and uncluttered writing interface. MeisterNote enables you to create useful notes that will ultimately save you time – because you can retrieve useful information faster.

Key MeisterNote features: distraction-free writing

MeisterNote’s uncluttered writing interface has been built with productivity in mind: you can focus on the business of writing – without any distractions. You can even hide the sidebar and other elements so that you remain
fully focused on your notes. MeisterNote is also fully equipped with keyboard shortcuts – so you can make attractive content without ever taking your fingers off the keyboard.

Explore the features and applications of MeisterNote on our website.

Benefit 4: MeisterNote lends structure to your own personal development

You might have lots of things on your mind: an article you read recently, a theory you want to explore, a TED Talk you don’t want to miss. Your watch- and to-do lists for personal development are growing by the day. It’s easy to fall into the trap of collecting your ideas across a variety of tools and media: a bookmark in your browser, a screenshot, a link that you email to yourself.

A purpose-built digital note-taking tool allows you to gather all of your ideas in one place. Unless you start using one now, all the ideas you bookmarked are eventually going to get lost, which means you’ll never extract any value from them. MeisterNote is the perfect solution: it’s where you can gather, store, organize and gradually make use of all your great ideas and valuable media content.

Key MeisterNote features: attach files and embed content

MeisterNote allows you to
attach different types of file (PDFs, images, etc.) directly into the body of your notes and also to embed external media in your notes. Embedded media is interactive and can be viewed, played or manipulated directly within your note. Having everything organized in one place means you no longer have to waste time looking for links or content. To add attachments, simply create a new content block, select File from the drop-down menu to create an “Add File” content block, click on your block and choose a file to upload from your local drive. To embed external media, create a new content block, select Embed from the drop-down menu, select a service (Youtube, Google Docs, Prezi, Spotify etc.) and copy and paste a link to the media you’d like to add.

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Benefit 5: MeisterNote is built for collaboration

Personal notes are just that – personal. But there may be times when you need to share your content with someone else. You might value the input of another colleague, or maybe you want to share ideas with your team. Which is why it’s sometimes handy to be able to share a note for a more productive, meaningful and enjoyable collaborative note-taking experience.

Key MeisterNote features: comments and mentions


MeisterNote’s commenting and mentioning features have everything you need to enable effective communication and collaboration in your team. The comments function allows you to create comments on blocks or specific parts of text, while mentioning someone using @name instantly sends them a notification. Clicking the notification sends the person directly to the place in your note where you need their input.

Explore the features and applications of MeisterNote on our website.

Personal Note-taking in Practice

Our Partners were among the first to try out the new online documentation and note-taking tool MeisterNote during the beta stage. Many of our partners are experts in time and self-management, so their feedback on personal note-taking with MeisterNote has been invaluable.

Time management expert and podcaster Benjamin Floer fell in love with MeisterNote primarily for its personal note-taking applications.

I began using the tool to document and manage notes and ideas on topics that interest me. MeisterNote is user-friendly and intuitive. To get started you just type a slash to add a block – and even that’s explained right there in the tool.

Benjamin Floer

Learn how MeisterNote has helped Benjamin Floer to sharpen his time and self-management skills in this blog post.

Mexico-based e-commerce expert, influencer and Meister Expert Partner Andres D’Andrea also fell head over heels for MeisterNote:

I had to ask myself: ‘Do you want a note or do you want a mess?’ That’s why I’m so happy to have found MeisterNote.

Andres D’Andrea

After evaluating competitor tools like Evernote and Notion and finding them overcomplicated and feature-stacked, D’Andrea was won over by MeisterNote’s simplicity, user-friendliness and practicality.

You don’t need 100 features to make a note. Anything we are missing, it’s covered with the embeds and integrations anyway.

Learn how MeisterNote helped to revolutionize the content creation workflow of influencer Andreas D’Andrea in this blog post.

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Start Writing Beautiful Notes in MeisterNote

We’ve given you the key to creating stunning, structured and useful notes and explored the many ways your personal notes can
boost your efficiency, improve knowledge retention and increase your productivity. Now it’s up to you to turn theory into practice – with the help of our intuitive, online documentation tool MeisterNote.

MeisterNote is so user-friendly you’ll be able to start using it productively straight out of the box. If you do need help, we’re sure you’ll find the answer you’re looking for in our Help Center, in one of the many video tutorials on YouTube, or on our blog.

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