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.
WHY IS THIS NOT STANDARD?
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
SHARE WITH US
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.
*** READ THE FULL ARTICLES HERE ***
3 Scientific Links Between Handwriting Your Notes and Memory
Published on Redbooth.com
Authored by Suzy Frisch
The Best Ways to Take Notes so You Actually Remember Information
Published on LifeHacker.com
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
The Best Ways to Take Notes so You Actually Remember Information
Note-taking can help you in class or meetings, but it can also turn into a mess fast. In class and in meetings, note-taking is important. You want to be able to review what was said, commit it to memory, and use it going forward, whether on tests or in your job. It sounds easy, but can be pretty hard. Think of all the times you’ve looked back on your notes only to find they’re filled with incomprehensible nonsense scribbled in the margins and a bunch of totally disconnected ideas that probably made sense when you wrote them. You can learn to take better notes, however, and there are a number of proven methods you can try out. Find the one that works for you.
The outlining method
This one is recommended by the University of Tennessee Chattanooga and involves dashing or indenting parts of your notes. It works best for classes that aren’t science or math. Here’s what you need to know:
As you’re listening in class or a meeting, pay attention to general ideas. Write those along the left side of your paper, with room underneath for supporting and related facts. Go back through and add the specifics under the general headers, indenting them somewhat to the right.
Thanks to the left-aligning and indenting, you’ll be able to broadly review the major points before diving into the specifics underneath. The primary disadvantage here is that you’ll have to think more in class or in your meeting, as you’ll be analyzing what you’re hearing and pulling out the major themes. As a result, the UTC warns, “this system cannot be used if the lecture is too fast.”
The Cornell method
This one is also recommended by UTC, and involves a systematic format for condensing and organizing your notes without having to do much recopying. You’ll need to leave space along the left side of your paper, so mark out about two inches on the left and leave about six inches to the right for your notes. During your meeting, jot down information in that six-inch area as you hear it. After class or when your meeting ends, go through what you wrote down and complete any missing phrases or add additional information you didn’t have time to put in there. To the best of your ability, sort the information into relevant topics, separating key ideas with a few blank lines.
Finally, go back to that two-inch section. Use it to label those groups of notes with a cue or general idea. You should be able to cover up the six-inch section, look at the cues on the left, and remember what information is hidden on the right.
The mapping method
Yet another strategy recommended by UTC, this note-taking method is more of a graphic representation of the content you’re learning. You’ll write a key theme in the middle of your paper, then draw branches off of it. So if, for instance, you’re studying world history, you might write “World War II” in the center of the paper, then branch “causes,” “countries involved,” and “lasting impact” off of it. You then expand your first set of branches, so “countries” would develop two new branches: Allied Powers and Axis Powers.
You’re not putting much detail into this and it will look pretty messy by the time you’re done, but if you’re more of a visual and participatory learner, this is a great option for you. It’s hard to know how much space you’ll need in advance, so don’t be afraid to redo your map more neatly when your meeting is over.
The charting method
This comes from Grammarly, and is best employed when you’re dealing with multiple topics—use it to compare two ideas or break idea one down into multiple parts, like pros and cons.
Divide your page into two (or more) columns and label each column to match what you’re hearing, whether that involves a comparison or a breakdown. Whenever you hear a pertinent fact related to one of your labels, stick it into the appropriate column.
The SQ4R method
Also recommended by Grammarly, this one is only for when you’re reading, but can really help you retain what you read so you can participate in meetings or class afterward. The acronym breaks down like this:
Survey: Taking three to five minutes to skim your reading, writing down major headings, subheadings, topics, and points (like you would with the outlining method)
Questions: Write down any questions you have about the content after briefly surveying it
Read: Actually read the text, bit by bit, and keep an eye out for the answers to the questions you just wrote down
Recite: After each chunk of text, write down the major ideas, keywords, and concepts, plus any answers to your questions
Relate: Consider whether you can relate to anything you just read in a personal way or if it reminds you of anything in your life, which will help you remember it
Review: Reread your notes when you’re done, which will help you retain what you wrote down
Other things to keep in mind
When you’re done note-taking, no matter which method you used, add some information to the top margin, like the date and any key concepts, so when you’re flipping through your notes later on, you have an easier time finding the pertinent pages. Don’t let your note-taking distract you entirely from the conversation happening around you, either—listening to the speaker or your group is more important than writing everything down perfectly, and you’ll retain more information if you actively participate in any resulting discussion.