There are a couple of other good reasons to take notes. Taking notes during a meeting is respectful. It tells the person speaking or presenting that you are actually interested in what they have to say. It also forces you to listen more intently to the actual points being made.
Many intelligent and well-educated people mistakenly believe that asking questions makes them somehow look less intelligent. Ironically the tendency to avoid asking questions actually reduces your ability to learn.
Appearance, environment, history, politics, and what’s going on in someone’s personal life all shape how we judge others. So the real challenge for managers is to be fair in determining what exactly “merit” refers to when a he or she recognizes, rewards or meters out consequence.