Believe it or not. But today I discovered that I understand better if I take handwritten notes, than take notes directly on my Lenovo Notebook. Of course the reason has nothing to do with the laptop… but my mental process.

As it turns out, when I work on the laptop/notebook, the text that I am reading goes into the computer without me assimilating much (of course I’m taking notes and not taking everything down, but still I find that on the computer I’m taking notes that I have to “read” and I feel I’m skipping a few steps).

I found it much more enriching to take written notes while reading. I found myself understanding the argument better, and being able to think critically as well.

My theory is that handwriting is a visual medium and unlike “typing” is more akin to drawing/illustrating. Since I consider myself a visual thinker… it actual helps to see another visual construction of the ideas presented in the book. I also like the ability to see a large amount of notes in broad-sheet format… being able to manually flip through pages etc.

My theory is that handwriting is a visual medium and unlike “typing” is more akin to drawing/illustrating.

I am a little concerned, because it feels like duplicating work… ie. I would have to ultimately type anyway. Also, because I find myself understanding better, I don’t know if I should continue using writing as the primary notetaking medium… or develop a new skill of understanding through typing; especially considering that time for my PhD is at a premium.

However, if the great thinkers in the past only had a pen and paper… maybe it’s not so bad to rely primarily on ink. :)

ps. Just as I wrote this, I found another blog entry saying something on the advantages of using pen and paper. Chiefly, pen and paper have accessibility and mobility. Read the story here.

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