Managing yourself creatively

Practical Shorthand

If you’ve ever attended a meeting where the ideas flew thick and fast; or been on the telephone with somebody who threw a fistful of facts and figures at you faster than you could digest them; or been confronted with half a dozen pages of information to copy when your next appointment was just minutes away – then you are familiar with just a few of the many occasion that make an agile pencil literally worth its weight in diamonds.

Many business and professional men, discouraged by their inability to take notes quickly, too often rely on memory. The results; embarrassing oversights, precious time wasted in backtracking, and costly errors.

To the rescue: a “quickie” training course in practical shorthand that can be mastered in minutes. There are just four rules.


Almost every word in the English language can be shortened. Vowels in particular may be omitted. For example, “Satisfied customers have made our reputation”. may be abbreviated, “Stsfd custs hv md r rep”.With practice, you will find that it is easy to train your mind, and hand, to deal only with the skeletons of words.


It’s seldom necessary to write down a word-for-word transcription of what you hear or read. Take the following excerpt:

“I, for one, agree that the manufacturer’s right arm is advertising in all its varied forms: newspapers, magazines, radio, television and direct mail”.

None of the meaning is lost in this version, which is only one-third as long:

“Mfr’s rt. arm is adv: papers, mags, rad, TV & dir. ml.


Look at the keys of any typewriter and you’ll find a host of symbols that can help you cut your writing time 1/2, 1/4, # (number), $, @. Because of their pronunciation, certain letters and number may be substituted for common words: b (be), r (are, our), u(you), Y(why), 2(to, too), 4(for),. And don’t overlook the convenience of such old stand-bys as i.e. (that is), e.g.(for example), c (around, about, approximately).