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June 09, 2011

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Completely agree with handwriting engaging the brain. Taking notes by hand allows me to visually link points raised at different stages of a meeting as it progresses which, in turn, represents the structure of ideas. Try that with a keyboard! In fact, for any type of creative task, my first draft is handwritten, since it's only handwriting that can keep up with the flow of thought. But the screen is invaluable for kicking things into their final form efficiently. Another thing about handwriting is that it guarantees confidentiality - mine does, at any rate, since no one else appears to be able to read it.

Yes!! I definitely notice somehow being more engaged when using pen & paper versus a digital tool. I especially like using pen & paper (or chalk/whiteboard, etc)for creative tasks like initial brainstorming, sketching rough storyboards, communicating ideas in meetings (better than prepared PPT), etc. Unfortunately my handwriting is terrible, so I defer to computers when rapid or heavy note taking is necessary :-).

Well, I agree to the most part. I'm feeling though that if I use the coumputer/keyboard to actually summarize and "work on" what I've just read or heard my brain/mind/neurons get to work a bit more than if you just retype something out of a book.
On the other hand, not mentioned above, is the fact that keyboard typing is so fast that you actually bypass your consciousness sometimes and you yourself become the "first reader" of your text. This is extremely powerful and cannot be achieved with a pen and paper!

Hmm--good point that when you get going with typing (assuming you're a good typist), you can overcome your "first reader." Although I've also found that it makes it easier for me to get rid of what I wrote though. That "delete" key! :-)

I absolutely agree that writing something down enhances my ability to recall it. I use a combination of hand-written and typed notes for speech preparation. I always hand write subheads or triggers for transitions on the typed speech notes to help me segue from one topic or point to the next, and I use typed notes for facts and statistics that I want to be able to cite with accuracy. Enhancing the typed speaker notes with handwritten cues is critical to my recall and presenting in a more natural style.

On a completely different note...As a singer/soloist, I use pen and paper to learn and memorize song lyrics. If I write the lyrics out separately to learn a song and not just read them off the sheet music, I am able to have it memorized sooner and can recall the order of stanzas and any lyrical variations better than through repetition alone. I truly believe it also helps me to fully understand and interpet the song writer's meaning if I write out the lyrics before performing it.

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