What Happens When you Jot Notes by Hand



When five-year-old Mike is asked to write out his alphabets on a piece of paper, he stubbornly refuses and instead reaches out for his mom’s iPad. However, his mom Linda is relieved that he loves using the notes-taking app on her iPad as it’s as good as writing on a piece of paper. 

Sure, there’s nothing like good old pen and paper when it’s time to learn handwriting or take notes. However, walk into any college today, you will find students peering into their laptops, typing away their notes to the continuous sound of pounding keys. 


Pen is surely mightier than the keyboard

Do laptop users actually benefit in the long run? The answer is no, according to this study carried out by Pam A. Mueller of Princeton and Daniel M. Oppenheimer of UCLA. 

Here, students were assigned to take notes, either through a laptop or longhand, using a notepad, when they listened to a TED Talk. The researchers found that when it came to conceptual questions, those with handwritten notes performed better. In a follow up study, the researchers asked laptop users not to type verbatim, yet found no improvement in their performance. 
                                                         

Source: www.lifehack.org


Why handwritten notes outweigh laptops 

This is evidence of how handwritten notes are still not obsolete. It was observed that laptop users tend to write verbatim and spend more time in transcription than comprehension.
Oppenheimer states that handwriting helps recreate content, and context, thereby providing more effective memory. Besides, students using laptops also tend to get easily distracted, they might spend more time browsing Facebook or the News. 


Striking the right Balance – Note taking Apps


         
                                      

So is it possible to get rid of technology and rely on traditional note taking methods alone? 

It depends on what floats your boat as both methods have their pros and cons. However, there is a perfect solution! Popular note taking apps like Noteshelf have revolutionized note-taking by seamlessly blending it with technology. These apps help you take beautiful handwritten notes, make sketches, and are loaded with features.You can record lectures and play back your notes, which is great for audible learners. Digital note taking also ensures that searchability is simplified. You no longer have to flip through pages just to find that one pit of information.                                               

What’s more, you can archive your notes in the cloud storage and share them with your classmates or colleagues on the click of a button. All this, in your own personalized style. Call it having the cake, and eating it too!   
                             

The Apollo 13 Notes    

                                                                                                                                                                          Source: www.technicalwritingworld.com

Talking of handwritten notes, do you know that two bits of paper with handwritten notes scrawled across them actually helped save the crew of the failed Apollo 13 mission?

Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, who were part of the mission, marked the checklist in red and black pens in space noting critically important instructions when an explosion rocked their craft. It is a real time step by step account of how the crew powered down the craft to conserve power to get them back to Earth. 



 

Source: www.technicalwritingworld.com


Later Haise described it as, “A sheet that played an important part during the emergency conditions of the Apollo 13 flight. It is a record of the real time steps the NASA and industry team developed for us to perform ensuring our safe return to Earth.” The crew’s survival using the notes is one of the biggest tales of triumph in space history in the 20th century. 


So, tell us what you think. Do share your experiences of using handwritten notes and how they helped you. 


References:
lifehack.org
technicalwritingworld.com
dailymail.co.uk