Monday, March 31, 2014

Taking Notes By Hand Is Better than Using a Laptop

Basically, the idea is that when you take notes with a laptop, you can almost take down verbatim notes without really having to process the information, whereas taking notes with a pen and paper requires you to distill the information into more concise bits.

There's definitely something to this. In law school there were students with laptops who took down such detailed notes in class, the notes probably resembled a transcript of the lecture. Looking back, that's not the best way to learn.

I had a laptop in law school, and I would have probably done better if I had ditched it for a pen and pad.


  1. I had a teacher in High School in the last century - electronics - and during the war he had been assigned to transcribe Morse code messages using an arcane device, the typewriter. He was one of many listening to Morse code on a headset and translating it into an alphabetic key stroke. These men found that this process became so automatic that they could do their job and read magazines at the same time. Taking notes with a laptop is no different - the learning mind disengages. Hampton's Redshirt

  2. I used a laptop to take notes in law school and finished first in my class. Focus is independent of note-taking style. The key is what type of notes you take, not the medium with which you take them.