Every student does their work differently. Some type everything on a laptop, some make notes by hand, and some simply write nothing at all! But in the digital age in which we now live, is there a point in handwriting anything? The simple answer is yes, there are actually many benefits of handwriting certain aspects of your work rather than simply typing everything.
1. Better for Revision
There has been significant research to suggest that writing notes by hand is much more effective for memory recall and revision than typing out notes. The ‘Reticular Activating System’ part of the brain is stimulated by handwriting, something which has been proven to increase learning. Another benefit of handwriting is that it usually involves a notepad, and people often flick through their notepad to find a blank page before they start writing. Interesting research has suggested that your brain picks up on words and phrase whilst you are ‘flicking through the notepad’, and these phrases will be subconsciously stored in your long term memory. In theory, you can ‘revise’ just by flicking through a notepad!
2. Leads to more Productive work
Another benefit of handwriting is that it has less distractions. We have all been guilty of typing work on our computer, getting distracted, and suddenly finding ourselves scrolling through Facebook or YouTube. Of course, handwriting also has distractions, and many people doodle in their notepads when they are bored. But the distractions are much more minimal when handwriting, and this means your work will be much more productive.
3. Improves Critical Thinking
Handwriting is generally slower and requires more thought than typing, and as such it helps improve your critical thinking. It helps your brain both by encouraging multitasking and in forming connections between different phrases. As it is slower, it also encourages you to process what is being said (such as in a lecture), and summarise it in a more succinct way. This helps improve your critical thinking and comprehension skills, both of which are extremely useful skills.
4. Easier to be Creative
Despite the fact that computers are becoming more advanced, and ipads now allow you to draw with a stylus similarly to how you draw on paper, nothing will ever give you quite as much creative space as a traditional pen and paper. Mind maps are a fantastic way to revise, helping stick in your mind much more than simple lists or paragraphs. The ability to quickly sketch a mind map whilst handwriting notes is something which should not be underestimated!
We hope you enjoyed our blog. If you are looking for a high-quality and affordable notepad, then please visit our friends at Collins Debden, who have a fantastic range of writing products. If you want more tips on staying organised at uni, check out our guide here.