B_Naz

Pen vs Keyboard note taking

12 posts in this topic

Big fan of note taking, and I've  always took notes with pen and paper, but recently I've been taking notes on keyboard since its faster and neater

However, I've read some research that notetaking with pen and paper helps memorisation and engages you more than keyboard since keyboard seems to only be output rather than input

What do you guys think?


You're not human, you're the universe

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In class, I take notes on lecture slides, hand-writing on the iPad, which is pretty convenient. Then I formulate questions and answers in a google sheet document (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIyDJK_SAjs)  and when it comes to study I test myself on those. I found this works well with subjects like biology and physiology, but I have no experience with humanistic subjects.

If you were thinking more about self-help books, I personally re-type what I underlined in books. I don't think it makes a difference whether I type or write, because I'm just copying and not formulating my own sentences. I'll then bold the key expression in my notes, for when I look at them again. By typing them I have a digital version, which is much more accessible and practical.

The mental process and cognitive effort when you're taking notes and reviewing them (eg recalling information using your own words) is more important for retention than the way you record information. 

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When I take handwritten notes they feel more personal. I have found that I am more likely to actually revisit them compared to written notes.

My handwritten notes are more of a drawing/sketch than notes. F.e. When Leo talks about balancing two things I will draw a seesaw with the two items. 

 

 


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Me, I do both! I'm keyboard typing when I have too many thoughts running up in my head, or when I wanna do some stream of consciousness writing! When it comes to contemplating very deep & personal things about myself, or planning for the future, I use a pen and a notebook!

For class notes I recommend typing! It just saves time!

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Waves said:

The mental process and cognitive effort when you're taking notes and reviewing them (eg recalling information using your own words) is more important for retention than the way you record information. 

This makes a lot sense. Either typing or writing, you still have to review the notes regardless of how you recorded them, so I think I will stick to keyboard since it make my notes neater, which can help with recall. I've had a look at the youtube video and wow, very interesting way to actually test yourself. Bookmarked it :)

2 hours ago, Psychonaut said:

My handwritten notes are more of a drawing/sketch than notes. F.e. When Leo talks about balancing two things I will draw a seesaw with the two items.

You should share some of your drawings, sounds very cool. It reminds me of Mooji's drawings as well

2 hours ago, Sir Raz said:

Me, I do both! I'm keyboard typing when I have too many thoughts running up in my head, or when I wanna do some stream of consciousness writing! When it comes to contemplating very deep & personal things about myself, or planning for the future, I use a pen and a notebook!

For class notes I recommend typing! It just saves time!

Tell me about it... Typing just feels so natural to me and I can quickly take notes and think about them whilst in classes and listening to somebody (Leo's videos :D)

Overall though, this boosted my confidence in typing. I've had my doubts with typing but it doesn't matter how you record info, it's the recalling.

Thanks a lot <3

Edited by B_Naz

You're not human, you're the universe

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Glad you found it useful :) You should check out other videos of him, he gives practical ways of studying efficiently.

3 hours ago, B_Naz said:

I've had my doubts with typing but it doesn't matter how you record info, it's the recalling.

If you want to push yourself even more you could already type notes in your own words, which is what people who hand-write tend to do because they have a slower writing speed, so they have to choose carefully what to record and cannot just write all the speaker says. If you can do that while typing I think you make most of the gains possible, and yeah, it then comes down to how you play with the information and how well you can concretely apply it.

In general I find that I remember stuff I hear just once only when it's really relevant to my situation, according to the good old principle of "good shit sticks" (heard it from Tim Ferriss).

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Man, why don't you do both? Pen is more convenient sometimes. Keyboard is more convenient other times.

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Both. I use keyboard when it's more technical or I'm taking in theory or planning in my OneNote. For more intimate and emotional writing I prefer to do it by hand. I think writing by hand can be great for stuff you don't want other people to read. I don't trust technology to hold my secrets and most emotionally intimate thoughts and insights. 

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13 hours ago, CreamCat said:

Man, why don't you do both? Pen is more convenient sometimes. Keyboard is more convenient other times.

Because I feel like I need to keep all my notes in one place instead of having mixed paper and digital. There are just so many studies that suggest that writing on paper engages you more than typing, so I just wanted everybody's opinions :D

https://www.communicaid.com/communication-skills/blog/writing-skillsbusiness-writing-skills/taking-notes-better-using-laptop-tablet/

here's a link to the laptop v paper argument, and there are thousands of these debates. It seems that writing is far better than typing

However, I just feel better typing, and I hate writing soooo, probably going to take your advice and just do it for convenience i guess

 

13 hours ago, Sir Raz said:

@B_Naz if you want to type, then type! Simple!

Will do :)

 

1 minute ago, SunnyNewDay said:

Both. I use keyboard when it's more technical or I'm taking in theory or planning in my OneNote. For more intimate and emotional writing I prefer to do it by hand. I think writing by hand can be great for stuff you don't want other people to read. I don't trust technology to hold my secrets and most emotionally intimate thoughts and insights. 

The technical writing or planning is way neater on digital than paper, and you can transfer files easily on your other devices, but I haven't really dived into the emotional writing or journals so I can't relate to this sadly ;(


You're not human, you're the universe

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@B_Naz I like to mix and match, but mostly everything on computer. I find I have a shit ton to write, a lot of organizing, erasing, seeing the written content well formatted, and interact with the text with highlights and stars, etc. So I keep most of my writing on computer. However when I really want to just focus, get away from distractions, maybe do some creative work, I use a paper and pencil 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, B_Naz said:

here's a link to the laptop v paper argument, and there are thousands of these debates. It seems that writing is far better than typing

However, I just feel better typing, and I hate writing soooo, probably going to take your advice and just do it for convenience i guess

The meta issue is that you are not decisive. Just pick one, and go with it.

I don't think writing medium is such a bottleneck in your life that choosing one over another has noticeable impacts in the long run.

Premature optimization wastes your time.

That said, I recommend transferring paper notes to computer inbox.

Edited by CreamCat

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