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Differences Between Note Taking and Note Making

Differences Between Note Taking and Note Making

Note-taking and note-making are two distinct techniques that are crucial in information processing and learning. Both skills serve as tools for capturing and organizing information, but they are applied differently based on the purpose and context. Understanding when and how to use each technique can significantly enhance one’s ability to retain information, make informed decisions, and improve overall learning and productivity.
Huddles will take you to explore the differences and similarities between these techniques and emphasize their importance in various contexts. More importantly, we will show you how to take good meeting notes with our meeting note-taker tool.

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What is Note Taking?

Note-taking is a method of capturing information quickly and efficiently as it is presented or encountered. It involves recording key points, facts, ideas, or observations concisely and organized for future reference. Note-taking is particularly valuable in situations where real-time information capture is essential. Here’s how note-taking works:

Process of Note Taking:

  1. Attentive Listening: Effective note-taking begins with attentive listening. Whether it’s a lecture, meeting, presentation or conversation, it’s just not possible to take notes if you’re not paying attention to the content being presented in the first place.
  2. Selective Recording: Obviously, you can’t record everything word for word. That would be transcription, not note-taking! Selectively jot down the most important information, focusing on key ideas, facts, dates, names, and any content that is relevant to the purpose of your notes. Your goal is to capture as much valuable information as possible in real-time without getting bogged down in detail, so use abbreviations, symbols, and shorthand techniques to speed up the note-taking process.
  3. Active Engagement: A key part of taking notes that people often overlook is staying engaged — unless, of course, you’re taking notes from pre-recorded content. When you’re taking notes, it’s easy to forget to interact with what’s happening, whether it’s a lecture, a meeting, etc., but not doing so really misses the point of being there. If something isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification from the speaker, because if you write down something that’s not clear, it will be incredibly hard to understand later.

Tips for Effective Note-Taking

  1. Cutting Out Distractions:
    Create a distraction-free environment when taking notes. Turn off notifications, close unnecessary tabs or apps, and screen out the hustle and bustle to focus on the content being presented.
  2. Choosing a Method:
    Select a note-taking method that aligns with your learning style and the context. Options include linear notes, mind maps, digital notes, or the Zettelkasten method. Choose the method that best suits your needs for each situation.
  3. Prepare your tools:
    You have your own methodology in note-taking, so prepare your tools for it before your meeting begins. Sharpen your pencil, draw columns on your notepad, check your internet connection and power of your computer, and don’t forget to start your note-taking software like Huddles prior to the meeting!

Using Huddles AI Notetaking Tool for Note-Taking

Advanced technology is assisting people with note-taking in this digital world. Check the Huddles AI notetaking tool that offers real-time voice transcription, collaboration, and more.
Start by scheduling your meeting and setting up Huddles AI to manage the session. Use the AI Agenda Builder to create a tailored, efficient agenda. During the meeting, you can rely on the AI Copilot for proactive assistance, like finding documents and suggesting talking points.
Don’t forget to enable Real-time Transcription for a comprehensive, searchable record of every discussion. That would be your aid in a complex, multi-party meeting.

What is Note Making?

Note-making is a technique used to transform raw information into organized, concise, and personally meaningful notes. It is more of a creative and analytical process, usually happening after you’ve taken notes as a second step.

But that is not to say that note making always comes after note-taking. In fact, when most people take notes, they’re also making notes to various extents. There’s no reason you can’t do both at the same time if you’re able to process information quickly enough. Here’s how note-making works:

Process of Note Making:

  1. Capture Information: Start by gathering information from various sources such as lectures, meetings or presentations.
  2. Analyze and Understand: Before creating notes, take the time to understand the information fully. This may happen on the fly as you’re taking notes, or may involve re-reading or re-listening to the content afterwards.
  3. Summarize and Simplify: Once you get to the gist of what was said, condense the information into key points, main ideas, and supporting details. Focus on the most relevant and important concepts. However, if you’re doing this on the fly, keep in mind that summarizing on the spot might lead to missing important details you didn’t realize were crucial. So, whenever possible, take detailed notes to ensure you have a solid foundation for your note-making later on.
  4. Organize: Structure the notes logically, using headings, bullet points, and numbering to create a clear hierarchy of information.
  5. Visual Aids: Use visual aids like diagrams, charts, or graphs when appropriate to illustrate complex concepts.

Role of Creativity and Personalization:

Note-making is a creative process because it involves synthesizing information in a way that makes sense to you personally. Here’s how creativity and personalization play a role:

  • Creativity: Note-making encourages you to think critically and creatively about the information you’re processing. You’re not just copying down what you see or hear; you’re actively engaging with the material, finding patterns, and making connections.
  • Personalization: Your notes reflect your unique understanding of the content. You can use your own words, examples, and analogies to clarify complex ideas. This personal touch helps you remember and internalize the material more effectively.

Key Principles of Making Notes

When it comes to making notes, there are several key principles that can help you create effective and meaningful notes:

  1. Building Upon Past Ideas:
    • One of the key principles of note-making is to build upon past ideas. This involves reviewing and incorporating previous notes into your current notes. By connecting new information to what you’ve already learned or recorded, you create a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.
  2. Connecting Ideas:
    • Effective note-making involves connecting related ideas or concepts. Instead of treating each piece of information in isolation, look for connections and relationships between them. This can help you see the bigger picture and understand how different concepts relate to each other.
  3. Rephrasing an Idea:
    • Rephrasing is a valuable technique in note-making. It involves expressing an idea or concept in your own words. By rephrasing, you not only ensure that you understand the material but also personalize it to make it more meaningful to you. This process reinforces your comprehension and retention.
  4. Highlighting Key Information:
    • Another essential principle of note-making is the identification and highlighting of key information. This includes identifying central ideas, important facts, definitions, or any information that stands out as crucial to understanding the topic. Highlighting key information helps you focus on the most relevant content.

Examples of Note-Making Methods

Note-making methods vary in structure and organization, allowing individuals to choose the approach that best suits their needs and preferences. Here are 2 examples of note-making methods:

  1. Digital Gardening:
    • Digital gardening is a modern approach to note-making using digital tools and platforms. It involves creating and maintaining a digital repository of notes and ideas. The emphasis is on continuous growth and organization of knowledge over time.
    • Example: Using a digital note-taking app to create and link notes on various topics, adding new information or insights as they are acquired.
  2. Mind Mapping:
    • Mind mapping is a visual note-making method that uses diagrams to represent ideas and their relationships. It typically starts with a central concept or topic, and branches outward with subtopics, keywords, and connections.
    • Example: Creating a mind map to brainstorm ideas for a research project, with the main topic in the center and related concepts branching out in a structured visual format.
Example: Creating a mind map to brainstorm ideas for a research project, with the main topic in the center and related concepts branching out in a structured visual format.

Using Huddles AI Notetaking Tool for Note-Making

For effective and efficient note-making using Huddles, use the AI Agenda Builder to set a clear, focused agenda for your meeting. This ensures that all discussions are relevant and goal-oriented.
During the meeting, utilize the AI Meeting Summary to generate a concise and actionable summary of the discussion. This summary can then be refined using the AI Outcome Generation to highlight key decisions and action items, providing a clear path forward.

Key Differences Between Note Taking and Note Making

Note-taking and note-making are distinct techniques with differences in language and phrasing, speed, issues-related challenges, and the nature of engagement:

  1. Language and Phrasing of notes:
    • Note Taking: In note-taking, the language and phrasing used are often source-based and focused on capturing details. It aims to record what was said or written by the source accurately so that you can work with reliable raw material later on.
    • Note Making: Note-making allows for personal wording and expression. It involves rephrasing and summarizing information in a way that makes sense to the note-maker, often using their own words and interpretations.
  2. Speed of meeting minutes:
    • Note Taking: Note-taking is typically a fast-paced activity where the note-taker strives to keep up with the speed of the information being presented. The focus is on capturing as much content as possible in real-time.
    • Note Making: Note-making is a more thoughtful and deliberative process. It doesn’t require the same speed as note-taking and allows for careful consideration of the information being processed.
  3. Nature of notes:
    • Note Taking: Note-taking often involves active listening or reading, where the primary goal is to capture information as it is presented. The note-taker’s focus is on the source and content delivery.
    • Note Making: Note-making goes beyond passive recording. It encourages active engagement with the material, including analysis, synthesis, and personal interpretation. The note-maker’s focus is on understanding and internalizing the content.


In conclusion, note-taking and note-making are both valuable techniques for capturing and processing information, but they serve distinct purposes and have notable differences:

  • Note Taking: This method focuses on capturing information quickly and efficiently in real-time. It is ideal for situations where speed is crucial, such as during lectures, meetings, or when summarizing content verbatim. Note-taking prioritizes recording what is said or written by the source.
  • Note Making: Note-making, on the other hand, is a more deliberate and thoughtful process. It involves synthesizing, summarizing, and personalizing information. Note-makers rephrase content in their own words, connect ideas, and highlight key information. Note-making fosters comprehension, retention, and customization of knowledge.

The choice between note-taking and note-making depends on the context, your objectives, and your learning preferences. Understanding the differences and similarities between these techniques empowers you to select the most suitable approach for each situation, enhancing your ability to process information effectively and optimize your learning and productivity.

As we’ve seen, the main issue with note-taking is that it can be hard to pay attention or engage with the information you’re trying to learn while you’re busy writing down everything. A workaround is to jot down only the main points, but this approach can be quite subjective, and you might overlook crucial details you didn’t recognize as important.

Ideally, you’d use a combination of both methods, capturing detailed and accurate information but also distilling it to the essential insights for a deeper understanding. This is where comes into play. is an AI-powered meeting note assistant that lightens the load by transcribing voices and even pulling out key insights in real-time using AI. This way, you don’t have to worry about missing important details. Plus, these instant insights can spark your thinking and help you grasp the information while the meeting is happening. When an insight captures the essence of what was said accurately, you can easily add it to your main notes. This saves you a lot of time on note-making after the meeting. Learn more about how Huddles works on our website!

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