Text notes are not the best method of note taking for many students. Some do better simply listening and taking it in, while others thrive on visual representations of what is being said.
I just watched Giulia Forsythe at Brock University describe her visual note taking. The video is about 4 minutes long and brings together the why and the how of this technique. It makes great sense from a “how the brain learns” perspective, and can be viewed below.
After watching the video I did a little digging and came upon this resource that is indeed comprehensive if you want to learn more—a LOT more about visual note-taking using something other than some colored pens and a piece of paper!
Another train to follow on this topic is A field guide to TED graphic notes, which includes a six minute TED Talk by Sunni Brown where she gives a brief history of doodling if you’re interested. You may also wish to look over Visual Notetaking 101.
Give it a try and see what you come up with at your next meeting—or see what your colleagues are coming up with! Or introduce it to your students as a new way of listening and engaging.