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Gathering Data and Taking Notes
by Andrew E. Schwartz

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Note-Taking Tools: There are some purely mechanical things that you can do simply in the physical handling of material that you gather, which will greatly facilitate your keeping track of it and getting it organized in outline form. A good system for data gathering and note taking will have as a minimum:

  1. The right kind of first recording medium. The best is a supply of individual cards or sheets as opposed to a notebook in which notes are run on with each other.

  2. One note to a sheet! Never put two subjects or unrelated items on a single sheet. Sometime in the process you’ll have to separated them for proper sorting under your outline headings. It’s far better to maintain the separation from the beginning.

  3. A method of physically sorting material by outline point. Standard tabbed file folders are the best.

Convert the major subject divisions of your outline to a series of tabbed file folders. This is one of the best organizational devices you can have, because it actually makes your outline a physical method for sorting and dividing your material. Start your folders as soon as you get your first item of information. From the start, you’ll have it sorted. Even if you have to change folder titles as you go, you’ll be better off. Not only this, but you’ll be able to work on any section of your presentation at any time without disturbing or searching through other material. You can also include a folder for notes on your audience or any other subject such as your objective, the location of your presentation, people involved, and so forth.

Andrew E. Schwartz, CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates of Boston, MA a comprehensive management training and professional development organization offering over 40 skills specific programs and practical solutions to today's business challenges.

Copyright, AE Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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