Over the last few years I have been amazed at how many people prefer to take notes on a laptop versus using a pen and paper. More and more University graduates prefer taking notes on a laptop during classroom lectures. The problem I have with a laptop is that I simply cannot type fast enough. Plus, I find I can retain more information when I write it down. Read the personal blog of a student who did his own research and came to the conclusion that both method’s have pros and cons but using the laptop saved time and even possibly helped them achieve higher grades.

http://www.jackcola.org/blog/86-report-which-method-of-taking-notes-enhance-a-students-grades-laptop-vs-pen-and-paper

That is all great in a classroom environment but what about in a group office meeting? Does a laptop save time or is the advantage more to do with being able to keep neat notes that can be turned into documents for distribution to the team? I don’t know the answer but maybe you do!

As far as I am concerned, a meeting is a great opportunity for you to be heard. When taking notes with pen and paper I feel that I am able to keep eye contact with the person who is speaking, showing them that I value what they have to share.

A real life example can be taken from when I was at a meeting with a major client and another vendor. The group consisted of 6 people from the client’s team, 2 from my team and 2 from the other vendor. For most of the meeting the 2 from the other vendor had their heads buried in their laptops taking notes. They had nothing to share – they just listened and took notes. Because of this, I was able to take a leadership role and control the outcome of that meeting. From the client perspective – what value did they provide?

In conclusion, there is a time and place for both. Experiment for yourself and see what works best for you in the present situation. You might think differently. Please share your opinion. 

A few more great reads on this subject matter:
THOSE IN FAVOUR OF THE NOTEBOOK AND PEN
http://www.ventureblog.com/2009/09/pen-and-paper-are-mightier-than-the-laptop.html

THOSE IN FAVOUR OF THE COMPUTER
http://brooksreview.net/2011/01/ipad-meeting-nirvana/