It may be difficult to accept that handwritten notes are the most effective when note taking, especially in this day and age when everything has become electronic. Nearly every school has a website that teachers post all their assignments on, and some even use online or electronic (iPad, Kindle) versions of textbooks. Most students in school these days have learned to type very quickly, whether from school or from social networking, and thus typing has become the norm when taking notes. It saves time and also saves your hurting hand from writing so many notes.
As much as you think it’s a hassle to take handwritten notes, you should! It is much better for learning and especially for remembering information.
1. It allows you to slow down and process information.
When you are typing class notes or a study guide, it is almost automatic, and you don’t absorb much of the information. Handwriting the information forces you to slow down and process the information as you are writing it. Generally, you’ll put the information in your own words when you write it down, but if you type it you’re tempted to copy it down as you see it from a textbook.
2. It makes for better studying.
Handwriting study guide notes is especially effective for studying. Even though it will take you longer, you’ll remember the information much better, which will save you time from having to study it later on. With study guides and review sheets, always start the notes early, handwrite them, and remember to be thorough. Putting in the extra time to write out notes by hand pays off in the long run and you’ll get more studying just by writing the answers to the study guide than you will studying a typed version of it.
3. You can avoid distractions.
Another reason that students overlook is the distractions that come with a computer when taking notes. Everyone is tempted to go on Facebook or YouTube and watch that funny video that someone mentioned earlier. This ends up with a lot of time wasted. Handwriting your notes eliminates the temptation to procrastinate (we’ve all been there) and helps you work more efficiently.
So, get a little old fashioned when doing your homework, put away all the fancy electronics, and go back to the basics of taking notes with pen and paper.
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