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Taking Notes by Hand? Here’s Why This Works!

“Why take notes by hand when I can just put everything on my device?” is probably what you might be thinking.

Note-taking is so last year!

But have you considered that maybe taking notes by hand is more beneficial than recording them on your device?

How to Take Notes

Before we can reap the benefits of taking notes by hand, we should understand how to take notes. Unsurprisingly, there are dozens of different ways to take notes but let’s just briefly mention three before diving in.

First, visual notes don’t always require you to write a lot of words; you can also draw images or symbols that make sense to you, as well as and diagrams relating to the work.

Second, there are outline notes which simply involve writing brief overviews of your work.

And third, Cornell notes which is a combination of visual and outline notes and is one of the best ways to retain information for later review.

How Writing Notes by Hand is Beneficial

There are loads of benefits to taking notes by hand, but here are three main ones that might encourage you to make the change from screen to notebook.

Have It Your Way

Having all your notes on your device may seem convenient until you need to find something specific and you’re not quite sure where you saw that document last. Taking notes by hand lets you customise your notes the way that suits you best. Putting your notes into your own words ensures you know what you’re talking about. You could even jazz it up a bit and put doodles or stickers on your pages.


Yes, writing your notes out on your device is faster. Maybe you don’t even have to write the notes, you can take pictures and record videos. But by taking notes by hand, you are improving your memory on the topic rather than absentmindedly reading. Writing out your notes will also help with word recognition. Most of the time if you spell a word incorrectly, autocorrect will fix it and you won’t even have to look twice. Whereas writing it out can help you memorise how to spell certain words.

Improves Attention Span

It’s not surprising to find that we need to concentrate when we’re taking notes by hand. So if you’re writing your notes whilst listening to the person teaching, you should be able to concentrate for longer as opposed to how long you would concentrate if you were just looking ahead.

It might seem like a nuisance to now carry a notebook around with you, but there are benefits to this “old school” way of operating. Try it, and let us know how you get on.