With all this talk of sermon notes, I thought that maybe it would be a good thing to practically discuss how to take notes.
There are several ways to take notes. One is that you get a voice recorder and record the sermon. Then transfer them to paper later for storage or further study. Some folks bring their computers or blackberries for notes. For most of us, we just take notes the old fashioned way, with paper and pen.
Each year I buy a notebook that will hold a whole year's worth of teaching and sermons. My favorites are made by a company called Piccadilly. They are wire-bound, 8.5 X 11, and have a hard cover that withstands all the trips to and from church in my bag. I'm so excited! Barnes and Noble has them dirt cheap right now! I'm going to stock up!
Some folks just outline the sermon. Others take more detailed notes. I'm a detail note taker. I try to get everything down in the very vernacular in which it's said. This can be very interesting when the speaker is a converted red neck hick from the mountains of PA who spent 5 years developing his vocabulary in graduate school and has a habit of creating his own dictionary. Are you feeling my pain? But I must say, it adds much color to his sermons!
For each sermon, I start a new page being careful to include the date, title, and name of the speaker.
In order to get down everything I want to, I have developed my own form of shorthand. This is especially good when the speaker talks quickly or has a lot of good things to say. Mine is a combination of short hand and symbols, but it works well for me. I find that I can get almost everything down that I want to. For small or very common words, I just use the first letter of the word.
B4 u g 2 heaven, u m 1st recv X. (Before you go to heaven, you must 1st receive Christ.)
s/t m b up. (something must be up-although for up I use an up arrow.)
repentance-confession--salvation (the dashs are actually arrows. It's how I show progression. It saves a lot of words!)
If possible, I draw a diagram. I think in diagrams so this works well for me..