Do you take a note while listening to Webinar or Online Courses?

Last Update: Apr 4, 2018

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I recently listened the podcast talking about an effective note taking, and it really dawns on me that this may help me gain more information from webinars or online courses.

I have to confess, that most of the time I listen to webinars or online courses that last longer than 30 minutes, my mind starts roaming. My fingers start typing “google” or some other keywords coming up my mind and take me internet surfing journey. I probably miss much good information, but I don’t even know what I missed. Yes, there are recording, and you can go back to listen again. But perhaps I would do the same thing. Or I may not even have time going back! How ineffective time management that is!

But even when we listen to the whole thing, it is said that we retain only 20% of the information we learned after 48 hours. That means 80% of what we learned will be gone after two days! That’s wy note taking is highly recommended. It helps us remember information.

Benefits of Note Taking

Beside it helps us remember information, here are a couple other benefits of note taking.

Keep your focus and alert – Because I am moving my hand to take a note, my mind is stimulated on this activity and don’t feel drowsy, or get a distraction, like checking my email or surfing websites.
Builds ability to organize and prioritize – As you take notes, you will soon identify what the structure of presentation is. The more you can organize, the better you remember what you learned.
Effective Time Management – As I mentioned earlier, if I don’t take a note, I will have to go back to the recording course to get the information. And I sometimes have to listen majority of the course again to find where it was. Taking a note will save a lot of time!

Handwrite on Paper or Type in Computer?

I occasionally type the note. First of all, I can read it! But multiple studies show that when you write on the paper, you retain information more. I actually agree. I feel I remember more when I actually write down than typing. It also engages more of the senses and actions compared to typing.

According to Jim Kwik (And his podcast is what I was listening), writing on the paper make you synthesize the information. Our left brain which is analytical part captures the information, and right brain, which is "creative" will create ideas from there. So he suggests to split the notebook in half and put the top of the left “Capture” and the top of the right “create”.

On the left side, write what the presenter says, and on the right, write your impression.

So from now on, I will write down on the paper.

Review Your Note

Note taking is only half of the process. Another half is to review it. Perhaps it is a good idea to write down the minute or the time you missed out what the presenter said. Then you can go back if it was recorded, and listened to it again. You don’t have to listen to the whole thing to find where it was.

If you have time, you can also write your own words. That work may become the beginning of the potential blog. Or the script of your own webinar or tutorials. I think we should share/teach others what we learn, and that’s when the information becomes our own.


There are many benefits of note taking. The main advantage is to help you remember. Also, note taking keeps your focus and alert, as well as builds the ability to prioritize and organize. Should you write down the note as old school or typing? People are more apt to remember when they are writing. The last and the most important thing is to review the note.

This blog is really to remind me how important to take notes, especially webinars! I will start doing it for the next one! If you have any thoughts about note taking, please leave the comment.

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Recent Comments


So true. I always carry my "blog" notebook and whenever I listen or watch a video, I jot down notes. It helps me stay focus and retain the information. Thanks for sharing!

Absolutely....and I seem to always member more when I write it down

"Blog" note book sounds good! We can even write down some ideas that come from those videos... using the right side of our brain :D

I have found that it helps me to remember it better.

Agreed! Thank you for sharing your experience.

I've always found that me, taking notes does indeed help me remember...even more important now that I'm getting "mature".

What do you mean..?? You start forgetting easier as you are getting "matured (old)"? :D

Hi Kyoko,
I've never been good at taking notes. I do have notes on the steps to take for initially setting up a website.
You are not alone!

That's another great thing about note taking, not just for the listeners but for the presenters. The more organized it is, the better you can deliver message, I think. It is easier to organize note taking when the course or presentation is organized.

absolutely, I agree with you.

Very good points Kyoko! It has always been the case for me that I will remember better if I have hand-written notes

Yes, I decided to change back to old fashion "pen" and "paper"!

Hi, Kyoko.

I agree. Since I started doing that, I found that I remember things more vividly.

Thanks for the post.

You are welcome! I am glad you are doing it and found it helpful. I will start carrying the pen and paper so any time I can start taking note!

Even with just the basic courses, I have pages and pages of note the I wrote. And writing something down definitely helps you retain the information. Great discussion, thank you...

Thank you for your comment, Ted! It does retain the information better than not doing for sure! And I had neglected it a lot so I will fully re-commit to take note (and with a pen and paper!)!

Yes, I have notebooks all over the place, next to my bed, my computer, my kitchen, in the car, my pocket, and I write down every flash by idea, when I don't write things down right away, some nagging voice will hunt me, that I have forgotten something important..

Hi Loes, thank you for your comment!

Wow, that's something I should do - place notebooks all over the place so whenever some idea comes up, you don't have to look for the pen and paper and while you are looking for them, you will forget... That happens to me occasionally. Great idea. I will start doing it!

Works like a charm:))

I have a notebook full of notes. Sometimes I might just write down a sentence that strikes me, other times I fill several pages.
I’m a true pen and paper kinda girl.
My only problem is they are not as organised as I would like them to be.
With Grace and Gratitude

Thank you Karen for your comment.

It is important that you jot down when some idea comes around! I think we don't just forget the information we learned, but we forget the idea we come up! How sad! So yes, having a pen and paper handy is so important.

I agree wholeheartedly. I always have a pen and paper handy, and when I don't, I use the "notes" feature on my phone to take notes throughout the day.

Often times I will never look at them again, sometimes I will. Something interesting happens when you do take notes though, they seem to "stick" with you more and you are able to pull from those ideas naturally when you need them. It leads to better brain storage lol.

Hi Kyle, thank you for a comment on my blog!

It is true, that when you write down, it does "stick" in your brain. And the right side of the brain's "creativity" kicks in and bringing some inspiration.

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