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Why Taking Notes by Hand is Better than using a Laptop

March 30, 2017

If you attend any lecture, you can see that most students use their laptops for taking notes. Sure, these devices are of great help in doing academic work: you can easily develop presentations and work on papers, get instant access to various libraries and information, and take a great amount of notes as you surely belong to those students who type faster than write.
Although students who use their laptops for taking notes can do it significantly faster, recent researches have shown that students who take notes on paper learn much more.

Why Writing is an Effective Note Taking Strategy?

Writing requires digestion. Our brain uses different types of cognitive information processing while writing and typing. Laptop users usually type everything they hear without any processing of meaning. To put it in simple words, when you type, you are just mindlessly transcribing, which requires no cognitive activity. However, when you are writing your notes on the paper, you cannot write down every single word, so you have to listen, summarize, and list just the main points. This means that your brain is more engaged in the process of comprehension and you remember the material better.

Laptops are Distracting
Students spend almost half of their class time using various productivity killers, starting with chats and emails and ending with browsing the web. Just take a moment to think whether you are paying a huge amount of money to watch funny YouTube videos. If not, try using some of best tips for students that help to take notes by hand more effectively.

Use the Right Formatting
Have you just switched from your laptop to taking notes by the hand? Imagine the way you put down your notes in the writing application you used before. Make big titles while writing, use lists, and underline important phrases. In addition, leave some white space between the notes to add some extra information later. This is one of the tips on how to learn more due to the effective notes taking technique.

Master Shorthand
There are various shorthand systems and techniques for writing words much faster by turning them into symbols. All you have to do is to remove unnecessary letters and transform the words into simple alphabet symbols that are faster to write. If it is difficult for you to shorthand entirely, adopt your own system for most commonly used words, like “cld” for “could” and “+” for “with.”

Ensure you do not lose the cheat-list!

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