Bad News: If you take notes in a meeting using your laptop, or if you create a to-do list using an app, you might be undermining your ability to recall the information later.
A recent study published in Psychological Science found that the pen is mightier than the keyboard when it comes to remembering what you just jotted down.
Princeton University psychological scientist Pam Mueller, lead author of the study, noticed the difference while she was a graduate teaching assistant. She normally brought her laptop to the lecture to take notes, but one day she didn’t have it. “I felt like I learned a lot more,” she recalls.
. . . .
“Students who took notes on the laptop were basically transcribing the lecture,” says Mueller. “Because we write by hand less quickly, those who took notes with pen and paper had to be more selective, choosing the most important information to include in their notes. This enabled them to study the content more efficiently.”
In the second study, Mueller told the laptop note-taking group to try not to take verbatim notes; however, students were unable to do that. “It’s an ingrained technique,” says Mueller.
. . . .
“People should be more aware of how they are choosing to take notes, both in terms of the medium and the strategy,” says Mueller. “There are times when taking notes by hand can be much more beneficial, and there are times when your laptop is the right choice.”
When you’re in a situation where it’s important to form a deeper understanding of the material, such as during a conference or workshop, taking longhand notes will allow you greater processing while you’re listening. When you’re writing, you’re thinking more, says Mueller, and you might have more insight about what is most important at the time.
Link to the rest at FastCompany
When PG thinks of the trillions of words he’s typed over the years, he’s surprised he can remember . . . uh, remember . . . .