Write Your Notes by Hand Instead of Typing for Better Memory Retention

Typing on a keyboard (hardware or virtual) may be faster than writing with pen and paper, but handwriting is more important to learning and long-term memory than the keyboard.

The Wall Street Journal discusses several studies that show that students who took handwritten notes outnumbered those who typed their notes on their computers:

Compared to people who type their notes, people who write them by hand appear to be better at learning, retain information longer, and absorb new ideas more easily, according to experiments by other researchers who also compared note-taking methods.

The problem seems to be that, when taking notes on a laptop, we cannot help but take notes by heart, almost word for word. We take more notes on the computer faster, but we don’t put as much thought into them as we do when we write by hand.

Writing works better than typing because it stimulates and engages our brains more.

So the next time you want to learn new information, ditch the keyboard and get out your paper notebook or start writing on your tablet.

Can handwriting make you smarter? | Wall Street Magazine


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