The climax of observing a major shower is its maximum. During these times the counting method is the only appropriate way to record the activity. Maxima with a rate of 100 observed meteors per hour are well within the limits of this method. If the meteor shower becomes so strong that you do not feel able to record all the data anymore, you should leave out some of the information per meteor. Details like color and persistent train can be omitted first. The magnitude of the meteor should not be missed but it is sufficient to estimate whole magnitudes only. You can leave out indicating major shower meteors and only denote meteors which do not belong to the major shower by "S". In this way an observer can manage to record around 200 meteors per hour.
High activity is the only case in which we can break up the observation into intervals shorter than 1 hour. The interval length depends on the number of meteors seen. In order to study the small-scale structure of the stream we can even break up the magnitude distribution into two or three per night.
Finally, we have to be prepared for even higher activity. If we are not, we may lose much valuable data for such extremely rare events. The following section gives some advice on how to observe this meteor spectacle.