DO NOT PUBLISH Downside to typing out your notes

Amy Kessler - Consumer Technology Reporter Email at [email protected]

Heather Bailecki, a junior human development and family studies major, takes her notes by hand because it is easier for her to comprehend what she’s writing down.

Kyle McClain, a senior political science major, types his notes out on a laptop because he can type faster than he can write and finds it easier to organize his thoughts when typing, rather than writing notes down.

But is the pen mightier than the keyboard or vice versa?

David Moore, the academic program officer in the Academic Success Center at Kent State, says writing down notes makes you have more of a connection and retain more information.

“When you type something very quickly, it doesn’t connect as well,” Moore said. “When you are writing something on paper, you are trying to make sure it is legible and you spelled everything correctly.”

A study done by UCLA states that people remember lectures better when they hand write the notes, rather than typing them out.

Christal Mull, a junior visual communication design major, enjoys taking notes by hand because it helps her think about the information rather than when she is typing out notes.

“I can type fast without thinking; it’s just copying what I see,” Mull said. “When I write, I am putting down what is important, what I don’t already know in my own words and in a way that I will remember information better.”

Even though McClain prefers typing out his notes, he explains how he can get easily distracted by social media on his laptop

“I get on Facebook, Twitter and read news articles,” McClain said. “It all starts with the professor saying something and then next thing you know I’m on Facebook. Sometimes when other people use social media, it distracts me.”

Mull has tried taking notes on a laptop.

“When I go over my notes that I write I can remember some of the things that my professor was discussing,” Mull said. “When I go over notes that I type out, it feels like I wasn’t there and they are just notes that someone sent me because I wasn’t thinking about it while I was typing. I can type anything I see so easily that my mind can be wandering plenty of other places.”

Bailecki explains that even though she thinks that writing notes by hand is the best method, there is a downside.

“I think the biggest con is having to write so fast so when you go back to look at your notes you don’t know what some of the words say and your hand cramps up if you have to take a lot of notes,” Bailecki said.

Whether you like taking notes by hand or by laptop, Moore says it’s up to the student to find out what works for them.

“If they are more comfortable doing it on a laptop, use a laptop, or if they are more comfortable writing it down, do it on hand,” Moore said. “The most important thing is to get the notes down, regardless of how you do it, just get the notes down.”