My friend and colleague at Gyronix, Nik Tipler (CEO), recently took in my post at Mark Hollander's 5in500 blog on happiness. Based on my writing, he made an excellent recommendation to me, that I check out the teachings of George Zalucki, who hasn't disappointed. He teaches that we can control our thoughts and emotions in the pursuit of goals we set for ourselves, teeing us up for huge levels of prosperity and self-actualization (Yes, I'm hinting at Maslow's Hierarchy).
One of the most insightful things I've learned from George is that notetaking can actually be harmful if you're trying to really take in a new message and digest it. I've always detested notetaking unless I was capturing thoughts for the sake of the group (it can be effective in a meeting to take notes while your colleague speaks), so it's wonderful to have someone who's saying publicly that taking notes forces you to miss what someone is saying while you're writing.
In retrospect, it seems kind of sick to me that you go to so many events with a majority of audience members taking notes: Couldn't the event provide typed up notes on the content of the event to attendees? If it's a free-flowing speaker, couldn't attendees sign up to have the notes e-mailed to them later? I know some would say that having everyone take notes forces them to focus on what is being said. My retort: if a speaker is so boring they couldn't captivate non-notetakers, they were up creek to begin with. I'm not lazy, I just want to sit back and listen without having to interrupt the digestion of knowledge with the documentation of it.