Taking Notes On Your P3O® Foundation Course

Getting Started with P3OP3O® – Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices – is the certification based course for PMO professionals. Over the course of three days, you’ll be learning about the different types of PMO; why organisations have them; what services they offer and how successful PMOs operate.

It’s based on the P3O® textbook which is provided as part of the course (and written by our very own Eileen Roden, who teaches the P3O® course here at PMO Learning).

In this article, we’re sharing the trade secret at what makes a successful student of the P3O® course – a great note taker!

That’s right, there’s a lot of content in the course which is great for you, looking to increase your knowledge of PMOs – and that means getting organised and prepared on the course so you’re in a great place when it comes to taking the exam.

You might be one of those people who like to take a few notes on the course materials as you work through the course – that’s OK but I find that after the course you’ll rarely look at those materials again. The P3O® Foundation is a course where the knowledge is good for the duration of your career in PMO – not just what you learn in the class to pass the exam.

You can use a journal or notebook if you’re one of those people who like to keep it old skool.

P3O Foundation

You could also consider using a tablet or other electronic device – like this one (I’m using Notability on the Apple iPad):

Take the P3O Course


The thing I like about keeping notes on devices like this – it also allows me to bring in photos from the course materials, the textbook or any other references from the web.P3O Foundation Virtual Classroom

Note Taking on the P3O® Course

Throughout your course, you’ll be using the course materials and the P3O® manual.

Here are some tips for taking great notes on your P3O® course:

  • Throughout your notes – always make a note of the page number of the P3O® manual that your notes refer to.
  • Try to make your notes concise and pulling out the key points – like this short video where there are three sizing options for a PMO.
  • Try to make some drawings – it doesn’t matter how good they are – using sketches or icons will certainly help you when it comes to prepping for your exam.
  • Use different colours – again so the notes stand out and make it easier to quickly look back later.
  • Don’t worry about your handwriting – these are your notes, no one else!
  • Use icons like the lightbulb – to capture any ideas that came to you throughout the course (and there will be many!)
  • Also, use highlighters to make actions stand out – things you want to look into more during or after the course.


Using the P3O® Manual

The P3O® guidance textbook is used throughout the course – all 224 pages of it!

To manage your journey throughout the course – post-it notes will become your best friend.


For exam preparation and homework, it’s much easier to get to the parts of the book and you’ll be advised throughout the course where those post-it notes should be put!

P3O Foundation Course

Notes on Exercises

Most of the time we’re too busy taking part in the exercises to think about making notes about them but it’s a good habit to get into on a training course because it really does help you remember the materials much better.

Here’s some tips to help you make notes on the P3O® exercises:

  • Take photos of any flipcharts or exercise outputs – you can add them into your electronic note-taking.
  • Make notes around any pictures you’ve taken – what were the outcomes to the exercise.
  • Take a moment to reflect on any exercises and ask yourself – what did I learn from this?
  • Make notes of any ideas that are sparked from the exercise – highlight them so you can revisit them later.

Preparing for the P3O® Exam

You’ll learn a lot on the P3O® course that will be useful throughout your PMO career – but we can’t get away from the fact that this is a certification course and that means there is an exam to test your knowledge at the end of the course.

Here are some tips on how you can best prepare for your exam:

  • Take a photo of the practice exam paper questions and add them to your notes – you can add P3O® book page numbers against the questions so you can read up on them again when it comes to prepping for the real exam
  • Make it obvious in your notes where your biggest weaknesses are – and make sure those areas in the book are tagged with a post-it note.
  • In your notes – create a new page and create lists, bullet points, use icons, of any of the areas of the P3O® course you struggled with the most.
  • Make sure you give yourself enough time the night before to do your final preparation – and again before the final day of class begins.

You’ll receive practise papers and sample exam questions throughout your course so you will become familiar with the way they are written and how to answer them.


If you’re looking to gain your P3O® Foundation certification, take a look at the upcoming courses [available on the website]

Take a look at our [P3O® Training Justification guide] too if you’re looking to gain approval from your organisation to take the course.

Read more about P3O®:

Getting Started with P3O


The P3O® courses on this page are offered by PMO Learning. P3O® is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited. P3O® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. The Swirl logo™ is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Enjoying Our Blog?

Sign up and receive all our articles (we’ll send you an update once a week!) plus special offers and events:

Share: Linkedin Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

Leave your thoughts

House of PMO Essentials

P3O® Certifications

MoP® Certifications

Stay in Touch