How are the notes taken?

How are the notes taken?

By Cathy Liska

During coach training, options for note-taking include the obvious paper and pen, computers, iPad, etc.  While some prefer pen and paper, the disadvantages include legibility, ability to share them easily, and managing storage.  Personal computer or iPad makes the most sense in terms of protecting and storing notes, legibility, and ease of providing the client with a copy.

Sometimes I am asked about recording sessions.  While recording is done for the purpose of mentor coaching and ICF credentialing, consider the client.  While a client may give permission for recording, if every session is recorded they will filter what they say and limit the effectiveness of coaching.

When notes are taken on a computer, some people use Evernote or Word.  A software I find very helpful uses mind mapping.  Mind mapping involves spokes or lines from one sentence or phrase to the next.  This is nice because all the notes are immediately visible and simple to organize.  There are many different versions. offers a version that is very easily converted to a Word document which in turn makes it easy to share with clients.

For the coaching certification program, recordings of coaching sessions are available to the coaches.  In addition to listening to the coaching, the note-taking is shown using the MindMapper software.  It also shows what is included in the notes.

As a coach, plan for how you will take, share, and manage notes.

As a client, ask your coach about notes and be sure you are comfortable with the plan.

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