Rapid Logging is a technique for taking notes quickly and efficiently using abbreviations and symbols to represent ideas and concepts. In the 1st century B.C., Marcus Tullius Tiro, a Roman scribe and secretary to Cicero, developed "Tironian notes," one of the earliest known examples of Rapid Logging. A combination of dots, dashes, and other symbols to represent words and phrases that was widely used in meetings and lectures. Today the Cornell, Outlining, and Bullet Journaling Methods all utilize Rapid Logging to help organize and review information more efficiently.
Let's explore why scribes have used Rapid Logging in meetings and lectures for over two thousand years.
Efficiency: Rapid Logging is more expeditious than linear note-taking because it requires fewer characters to be written or typed.
Attention: By reducing the amount of mental effort required for note-taking, Rapid Logging allows us to keep our focus on the conversation, and miss fewer details.
Organization: Chunking information into smaller packets, using bullet points or nodes, allows for easy rearrangement and hierarchy creation in tools like logseq or ixnote, for added context.
Understanding: Condensing a large amount of information into a shorter, more concise form tests our understanding of the main points and key ideas, allowing gaps to be addressed in real time with follow-up questions.
Insight: The more concise the text in the bullet, the easier it is to discern patterns and trends that generate insights and additional value.
Things to be aware of
Oversimplification: We don't take notes to have notes but to pass information forward in time to ourselves. If we're too concise in our writing or too inconsistent with our iconography, we'll be unable to decipher the message.
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Albert Einstein
Context: Context is everything when it comes to efficient Rapid Logging. To maximize ROI, each bullet or node need only be understandable in context.
 Send the white paper
Who too? Which white paper? Should I still bother, or has the window of opportunity already closed? Did I already do it?
The surrounding context is needed to make sense of this expeditious task description.
Shareability: If you employ a shorthand that is not widely understood or well-documented, your rapid notes may prove challenging for others to interpret. If we intend to share our notes, this could be a hindrance. On the other hand, it does afford a degree of confidentiality; there may be merit in keeping notes in a form that's only understandable to our future selves. (like my handwriting).
As salespeople, we spend considerable time in meetings, on the phone, over zoom, or in person. Done right, those are all learning opportunities, so we must have an efficient way to capture what we are learning. Rapid Logging maximizes the ROI of every word, symbol, and emoji you type.