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The Importance of Taking Handwritten Notes

Love the article Best Ways and the recommendations that it made in terms of helping people take good handwritten notes. A good read of approaches and techniques to help be successful. I like the mind mapping approach myself as I am a visual person and love to create circles, boxes, arrows, etc to help set the flow of information and learning.

Also really liked the information shared in 3 Reasons as it helps to share the importance of handwritten notes. Why this is so important to university/college students, employees, and adults?

Help individuals retain greater information through the organization of info & kinetic movement.

It’s been demonstrated that adults a.k.a. people 18 or older, retain 40% more information when they add kinetic movement to their learning. The average person cannot take note of all that is said, therefore you must already start to listen, synthesize and summarize what you are hearing. You must also be able to organize it in order to be able to reread it and understand what was written - frustrating when you look back and certain info is lost.


But why do most favor taking notes on a laptop/tablet? Most probably as it is easier to retype verbatim while sitting in class or in a meeting with an open laptop. The reason? Typing is actually considered a mechanical movement that requires very little thought behind it once somebody becomes a great typist (there is a reason that stenographers can take notes down word for word, but often cannot repeat or recount the details of a day).

Yes, typing allows you to take more notes and it’s easier to do, but it also means that you retain less of the information. You are going through the motions, not integrating what you are hearing.


This is why in our workshops, I continuously encourage people to take handwritten notes in order for them to better understand and retain the information we share during our workshop.

Take notes your way to get the most out of your learning and from your meetings.

Personally, I took so many different types of notes, from client meeting notes, coaching notes, business development ideas, inquiries, multiple businesses to my to-do lists, that I am now doing digital notes. This allows me to access all of the different notes, avoid having multiple notebooks and all my different notes in one area


In the comments, let us know how you take your notes and if you try to compare taking notes on a computer versus taking handwritten notes.


3 Scientific Links Between Handwriting Your Notes and Memory

Published on

Authored by Suzy Frisch

The Best Ways to Take Notes so You Actually Remember Information

Published on

Authored by Lindsey Ellefson

Was the link to Handwritten Notes removed? Read the full article here

3 Scientific Links Between Handwriting Your Notes and Memory

At conferences, lectures, and meetings, it’s common to see the people around you typing notes on their laptops, tablets, or phones. Maybe you’re doing it too! And why not? Typing is an incredibly efficient way to capture large amounts of information. But if you’re looking to actually master the material, typing notes is actually is not the best way to do that. Recent studies from psychologists and neuroscientists alike have found that handwriting is king for effective learning. It has to do with how the brain processes different inputs of information. More specifically, it matters whether you transcribe a speaker’s content digitally — or instead capture its essence on paper. As digital continues to dominate, going old-school with handwriting just might work to your advantage. Writing by hand tends to boost your ability to retain information, comprehend new ideas, and be more productive — with the added bonus of eliminating the distractions of your device. Read on to learn more about three scientific links between writing out your notes by hand and actually remembering the important stuff. 1. The pen is mightier than the keyboard So say researchers Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of UCLA, who recently published a paper with that title in Psychological Science. The three experiments they did led them to conclude that using laptops for notetaking might actually impair learning. Why? Because it often leads people to process information more shallowly. In a nutshell, if you type your notes, you probably tend to record lectures verbatim. If you put pen to paper, you have to be more selective in recapping key components. Paper notetakers’ brains are working to digest, summarize, and capture the heart of the information. This, in turn, promotes understanding and retention. Mueller and Oppenheimer found that participants who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than those who took traditional paper notes. “Laptop notetakers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning,” they wrote. When you really need to grasp new material, consider dusting off your trusty pen and paper. When you try to recall the information later, your brain will thank you for making its job easier. 2. Robust recall: Handwriting makes a difference Some notetakers argue that they’re more productive when they type because they can capture more material faster. But without reviewing and studying those notes after an event, all of that extra transcribing doesn’t do much good. Psychology professors Dung Bui, Joel Myerson, and Sandra Hale at Washington University found that taking computer notes does offer the immediate benefit of better recall than well-organized, handwritten notes. So the computer wins…at first. But then their research, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, uncovered something interesting: that advantage disappears in about 24 hours. By that point, people who typed their notes actually performed worse on tests about the material. The researchers concluded that the typing notetakers had worse recall because they weren’t actively summarizing and synthesizing key points. “Taking organized notes presumably involves deeper and more thorough processing of the lecture information, whereas transcribing requires only a shallow encoding of the information,” they explained. Next time to you need to recall information from a lecture or meeting for more than 24 hours, consider handwriting your notes. The material will stick with you longer.

Some people prefer taking notes electronically because their handwriting has turned into illegible scrawl. If that sounds like you, don’t put away the pen and paper just yet! There are brain health and developmental reasons to keep writing on paper. Research from psychology professor Karin James of Indiana University evaluated children who hadn’t yet learned to read or write. Published in Trends in Neuroscience and Education, her study engaged children by asking them to reproduce a single letter by typing it, drawing it on plain paper, or tracing it over a dotted outline. Then the researchers put the children in a functional MRI brain scanner and had them study the image again. While reviewing the image, scans showed that kids who drew the letters activated three distinct areas of their brains. Brains of children who traced or typed the letter didn’t experience the same effect. The study demonstrates the learning benefits of physically writing letters, James notes, especially the gains that come from engaging the brain’s motor pathways. But that doesn’t mean the perks of handwriting only apply to kids. The more you use those neural pathways, the better it is for your overall brain health. The phrases “lifelong learning” and “use it or lose it” are never more true than with your brain. Both activities ward off debilitating disease like Alzheimer’s and keep your cognitive abilities strong. In other words, when you want to check out Facebook during a boring talk at a conference, go for it! That’s a great reason to have your computer open. But when you’re trying to capture and retain complex material — or simply stay extra-sharp — put the laptop away…and take out a pen.

Was the link to Best Ways to Take Notes removed? Read the full article here



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