Why Writing Notes Is Better Than Typing: Benefits Of Handwritten Notes

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Are you tired of staring at a screen all day? Do you crave a more tactile way of learning and retaining information? Look no further than the humble pen and paper.

Writing notes by hand engages different areas of your brain than typing, leading to improved memory retention and creative thinking. Not to mention, it’s a great way to promote mindfulness and relaxation in a world that’s constantly buzzing with technology.

Think of it like taking a scenic route instead of rushing down the highway. Sure, you may take longer to get to your destination, but you’ll see things you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise.

Handwriting notes is like taking the scenic route to learning and processing information. It allows you to slow down, fully absorb the material, and make connections that you may have missed while typing.

So, put down the keyboard and pick up a pen. Your brain (and your handwriting skills) will thank you.

Key Takeaways

  • Handwriting notes engages different areas of the brain and promotes mindfulness and relaxation.
  • Writing notes allows for making connections missed while typing and improves problem-solving skills.
  • Handwriting notes is a more personalized and creative way of note-taking that can lead to feeling less overwhelmed and improved mood.
  • Writing notes can improve focus, concentration, and overall cognitive function, as well as fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and memory recall.

Engages Different Areas of the Brain

Handwriting notes activates diverse regions of the brain, making it a more stimulating and efficient way to retain information than typing. Cognitive benefits of handwriting notes include improved memory retention, enhanced creativity, and increased critical thinking skills. When you write by hand, you engage the parts of your brain that control your fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and memory recall.

This combination of cognitive processes works together to help you absorb information more effectively and retain it for longer periods of time. In addition to the cognitive benefits, writing techniques also play a significant role in the effectiveness of handwritten notes. When you write by hand, you have the ability to customize your note-taking style to suit your individual learning needs.

For example, you can use different colors and sizes of pens to highlight important information, draw diagrams, or create mind maps. This level of customization is not possible when you type, as you are limited to a standard set of fonts and formatting options. By using unique writing techniques, you can increase your engagement with the material and improve your overall understanding of the subject matter.

a woman writing notes in her notebook
A woman writing notes in her notebook

Helps with Selective Note-Taking

When it comes to note-taking, prioritizing information is key. By being selective in what you write down, you can ensure that you’re only capturing the most important details. This not only saves time but also helps you stay engaged with the material and better retain the information you’re learning.

So, next time you’re in a lecture or meeting, try focusing on the most crucial takeaways and see if it helps improve your note-taking skills.

Prioritizing Information

Focusing on the most crucial concepts and condensing them into concise points can help you improve your retention and recall of the material. When prioritizing information in your handwritten notes, you’re forced to actively listen and determine what’s most important. This allows you to develop organizational skills by categorizing and summarizing relevant information.

When typing notes, it can be tempting to write everything down verbatim. This results in a disorganized mess that’s difficult to study and understand later on. Prioritizing information in handwritten notes helps you better understand the material and retain it for longer periods. Additionally, writing by hand improves memory and cognitive function, making handwritten notes more effective for retaining knowledge.

Next time you’re in class or a meeting, consider taking handwritten notes to improve retention and recall of important information.

Staying Engaged with Material

You’ll never fully absorb the material if you’re not emotionally invested in it, so make sure to actively engage with the content by asking questions and relating it to your own experiences.

One way to do this is through active listening, which involves paying attention to both the speaker’s words and their nonverbal cues. By actively listening, you can better understand the material being presented and ask relevant questions to deepen your understanding.

Another way to stay engaged with the material is through the personalization of notes. Take handwritten notes and tailor them to your learning style, using symbols, diagrams, and colors that resonate with you. This will help you internalize the information and make it easier to recall later on.

Additionally, when you personalize your notes, you’re actively engaging with the material, making connections and associations that will help solidify your understanding.

By prioritizing active listening and personalization of notes, you’ll be able to fully engage with the content and retain the information for future use.

Improves Memory Retention

By handwriting your notes, you can better remember important information and recall it more easily later on. This is because writing notes by hand engages your brain in a more active and tactile way than typing on a keyboard.

When you write notes by hand, you’re forced to process the information and rephrase it in your own words, which helps you understand and remember it better. On the other hand, typing notes on a computer can lead to mindless copying and pasting, which doesn’t require the same level of engagement or critical thinking.

Note-taking techniques can also play a role in improving memory retention. When you use techniques like color coding, underlining, and highlighting, you’re creating visual cues that can help you remember important information.

Note-taking apps may offer some of these features, but they don’t provide the same level of customization and personalization that handwriting does. By taking the time to create your own notes and use your own note-taking techniques, you’re more likely to remember the material and be able to recall it when you need to.

a woman writing down her ideas in her notebook
A woman writing down her ideas in her notebook

Boosts Creative Thinking

Now that you understand how writing notes by hand can help you retain information better, let’s talk about how it can also boost your creative thinking.

Handwritten notes allow you to take a more organic approach to note-taking, giving you the freedom to doodle, draw, and jot down ideas in a way that typing simply can’t match.

This process of enhancing imagination can lead to improved problem-solving skills, as you’re able to approach ideas from different angles and perspectives.

By writing down your thoughts, you’re better able to connect ideas and concepts, leading to a more comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand.

So, the next time you’re taking notes, consider grabbing a pen and paper instead of your laptop – you might be surprised at the results.

Promotes Mindfulness and Relaxation

When you take a moment to slow down and write with pen and paper, you can feel your mind and body relax, promoting a sense of mindfulness and presence in the moment. This is because handwriting requires a level of focus and attention that typing does not.

As you write, you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to connect with them on a deeper level. This mindful practice can help reduce stress and anxiety, as it allows you to be fully present in the moment and let go of any outside distractions.

In addition to promoting mindfulness, handwriting can also be a form of stress relief in itself. The physical act of writing can be calming and therapeutic, allowing you to release any pent-up emotions or frustrations. This can be especially helpful during times of high stress or anxiety, as it allows you to express yourself in a healthy and productive way.

So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break from your computer and grab a pen and paper. You may be surprised at how much better you feel after just a few minutes of mindful handwriting.

These are the differences between Writing notes and Typing notes


By engaging different areas of your brain, helping with selective note-taking, improving memory retention, boosting creative thinking, and promoting mindfulness and relaxation, handwritten notes offer a wealth of advantages over typing.

But there’s more to it than just the benefits. Consider the simple act of putting pen to paper. It’s a physical connection that symbolizes your commitment to the task at hand.

By taking the time to write down your thoughts, you’re showing yourself and others that you value the information and ideas being presented.

So, embrace the power of handwritten notes and watch as your productivity and creativity soar!

Photo of author


Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories. She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.