I attend professional development sessions on a regular basis so I can grow my skill sets, differentiate my services from the competition, and serve my customers in more effective ways.

Here are some questions I have asked myself in the past after attending a seminar, a workshop, or webinar…
  • How quickly can I retrieve my notes when I need them?
  • How quickly can I share them with key staff members to implement?
  • Can I read and interpret my notes?
  • How can I save time taking action?
In the past I used to rely on a piece of paper and pen where I would furiously scribble down notes trying to get every last word in.
My frustrations with relying on a piece of paper were…
  • I couldn’t read my own handwriting.
  • I couldn’t write legibly as fast as I could type.
  • I have spilled a beverage on my notes
  • I lost my notebook which contained every note from a conference where I invested $2,000 to attend.

Have you been there before?

Now I have found ways to integrate technology from the iPad into my learning so that I am able to…
  • Take more accurate notes.
  • Save time in implementing key concepts.
  • Save time in accessing the notes from multiple electronic devices.
  • Increase the rate of implementation.

Let me share 3 apps I use with the iPad that help me implement faster from anyone I know from any type of workshop.

Editing visuals

A problem for note takers exist when presenters bring out their flip chart, pile of transparencies, or has a presentation slide that demonstrates a process visual.   Most of us replicate the visual by drawing it on a piece of paper but can’t save it in a digital format without taking a picture.  Problem is a picture doesn’t allow us to customize it for our own specific needs unless we open up another app to edit.
The Doceri iPad app is a whiteboard tool that let’s us draw on the iPad similar to creating an Etch a Sketch or drawing on a napkin.   Also, we could take a picture of the slide, add the photo through the camera roll/photo library and edit using a pen, arrows, highlighter, etc.

Recording the audio

If we just listened to a presentation we would probably only retain about 10% maximum especially when there is a high level of content being expressed.  Also, if you are hard of hearing or suffer from a learning disability it may be that you need to hear the presentation a few more times so you can implement more of key concepts rather than just one or two that stood out.
If you sit front row or close to the presenter why not record the audio so you can listen again to improve your notes, review for clarity around key concepts, and share with your team to maximize the investment of your money and time in attending the presentation.
The iPad app I like is Audio Memos which will record the audio while I’m using other apps at the same time.  In other words I can be typing my notes in Evernote and recording the audio at the same time.  The features in Audio Memos allow me to create individual files for each presentation, name them to organize quickly, and send to Dropbox or my computer for access on multiple devices.  If you use a MP3 player to listen you can import the audio into the iTunes library, sync with your device and listen again when you are on the go.

Typing the notes

I have a hard time reading my own handwriting sometimes and forget exactly what I need to remember.  Also, when someone gives me a website to write down there is no way to test it to see if I have the right spelling of the URL unless I have a digital device to verify it works.  I have a tendency to lose paper, stick my pile of notes on the shelf, and scramble to find what page of what pile I need to sort through in order to find what I’m looking for.
Evernote is the ultimate note taking app and when used in combination with Audio  Memos and Doceri you practically have the entire presentation stored in every digital device you own including iPhone, iPad, or laptop/desktop computer.   There is a memos app which is for traditional notes except Evernote is better in 5 ways:
  • You can format the notes with headings, bold, italics, etc.
  • You can add bulleted lists to notes.
  • You can import pictures into the notes into sections of text
  • Every note can become a public or private URL so you can share with your team.
  • You can categorize the notes for faster retrieval.
Learning how to use these tools individually to increase your productivity and implementation from seminars does take time.  The more you use them the better you get.  The better you get the more time you can save and more you can accelerate the rate of implementation to grow your business.

Bonus tips

Reverting from one iPad app to the next
There are two ways to do this on the iPad.  First you can double click the home button which will make a menu appear that displays the latest use apps.  If you are using the ones we mentioned recently it is easy to go back and forth between each one.  Second, if you slide four fingers to the left or the right it will take to the previous or latest app used without pressing the home button.
Google URLs for verification
Sometimes presenters won’t know the exact URL but know the key words you can use to search and find it.  Or, they will give you the name of a book that reinforces a topic they are speaking about.
The Google Search app is a quick tool to enter the name of the site or book to get the exact URL to view in the moment or save for later access.  When I see the exact URL I will copy the link using the share menu button and paste it into Evernote for future review.   If you spend too much time on the site mentioned then you might miss the next point being discussed.
Take pictures of slides
I usually site front row mainly because I get distracted if someone is sitting in front of me but now I always place myself right in front of the presentation screen or flip chart so I can take pictures of the slides.  This way I have a photo memory of the concept and if I need to edit the photo using Doceri I can edit it while the presentation is going on.
Take screenshots of websites to revisit
If you list a website and not sure what to do next once you visit that could be a real problem in taking action on what to do next.  Which button do you click on?  Which area of the site do you need  to focus on?  The benefit of seeing websites during a presentation is if you need to be clear on the steps it can be a challenge without having a picture to see or draw on.  Also, it seems silly to take a picture with your phone to email it to yourself to be able to draw on it, right?
When you open up a web browser on the iPad and have the web page you want the visual for, press the home button at the button and the top power off button at the same time.  The screen will flash and automatically save the picture of the website in your camera rolll/photo library for future review or editing.

What other ways do you use to record information from meetings, workshops, or take notes on the go?  Please share in a comment below.


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre from St. Louis, Missouri USA when they want to dramatically increase operational performance, create breakthrough value propositions, and serve customers beyond geographical constraints on a minimal budget. For more than a decade he has been setting trends with how organizations engage customers with social media, video marketing, and custom-built software applications. Doug’s book Screen to Screen Selling published by McGraw Hill pioneered the way sales professionals sold homes without being physically present before the COVID-19 pandemic. He is one of a select few who have earned the Certified Speaking Professional Designation from the National Speakers Association and has experience as a REALTOR.

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