With our smartphones and laptops, we’re typing on keyboards more frequently than writing by hand. Typing has become our go-to method of writing for everything, from work emails to personal to-do lists. While typing may be faster and more convenient, research shows handwriting has its own unique advantages.
So, if you’re an avid typist, do yourself a favor and take a look at these key benefits of handwriting vs. typing. Pick up a pad of paper and pen to take some handwritten notes!
Effective Memory Recall
Though a little more time consuming, there are many benefits of handwriting your notes. Longhand notes allow for better short- and long-term memory recall because they contain your own words and handwriting. These can serve as effective memory cues by recreating the context and content from the original lecture or meeting.
When you write things out, you create spatial relations between each bit of information you’re recording. Handwriting activates parts of your brain involved in thinking and working memory, and allows you to store and manage information. The movement associated with the pen and your hand can help you encode and retain information long-term.
Sharpened Critical Thinking
Comparing handwriting vs. typing, you’re more exposed to critical thinking when you write by hand than when you type. Handwriting allows you to think more thoroughly about the information you’re recording. It encourages you to expand upon your thoughts and form connections between them. This can be further enhanced by using different colored pen types as a color-coding system to organize thoughts and form more connections.
Strong writers can identify relationships between abstract ideas and also develop unconventional solutions to complex problems. If you do not write regularly, it may be more difficult to extract meaning from text and interpret the context of words and phrases.
Stronger Conceptual Understanding
When you write your notes by hand, you develop a stronger conceptual understanding than by typing. Since handwriting is slower and more tedious, it makes it harder to take notes verbatim. Therefore you have to actually process the information and summarize it in a way that makes sense for you.
This illustrates one of the other benefits of handwriting vs. typing. Handwriting forces your brain to mentally engage with the information, improving both literacy and reading comprehension. On the other hand, typing encourages verbatim notes without giving much thought to the information. This mindless transcription can lead to a lack of meaningful understanding and application of the information, although you may be able to type more words quickly.
Finding Your Pen Types for Handwriting
Handwriting is a neurosensory exercise, so it’s important to choose the pen types that fit your writing style and needs. Stylizing your handwritten notes gives you a chance to further analyze and organize thoughts and ideas to make note taking more efficient and personalized.
Five of the most popular pen types include:
Ballpoint Pens – the perfect solution for those looking for a no-frills pen that’s both easy and accessible to use.
Rollerball Pens – offer consistent ink flow with a variety of styles and point-sizes. Rollerball pens are great for those who want variation but still expect dependability.
Marker Pens – ideal for people who want a versatile pen for more than just writing. Typically marker pens are available in multiple pen tip sizes.
Gel Pens – designed for the bold and the creative, gel pens provide a smooth writing experience with eye-catching colors and effects.
Stylus Pens – combine tech with traditional writing. Stylus pens are an all-in-one solution for people who like writing by hand, but want the digital convenience associated with typing.
The benefits of handwriting don’t stop at more efficient and effective note taking – handwriting also allows you to take a deeper look at your personality. Now that you know more about handwriting vs. typing, see what your handwriting says about you! View our What Does Your Handwriting Say About You? infographic.
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