By Jessica Lyons
When you think about the benefits of taking notes by hand, it becomes easier to understand why students still favor this method. First and foremost, Study.com poll respondents said that they feel more engaged in class material when they're taking notes by hand. When typing notes, it can be easy to get into a groove where your fingers do the typing without even realizing what's being typed. However, taking notes by hand might not feel so robotic and you might remain more focused on the task at hand.
Another benefit mentioned by students is that handwritten notes present far fewer distractions than using a laptop. With your laptop open, it could be too tempting to check e-mail, get on Facebook or play a few rounds of solitaire during class. Most likely you wouldn't be able to find nearly as many distractions in your notebook.
A notebook or binder with all your handwritten notes could also make it easier to refer back to information from a previous lecture. For instance, if your teacher starts talking about a concept from last week's class, you can easily flip back to your notes to refresh your memory or write down clarifying remarks. It might be a bit more complicated to try to find the right file on your computer.
Handwritten notes could even improve your peace of mind. Imagine the panic you'd feel if in the middle of class a problem happened with your computer and your note taking program shut down without saving what you had been typing. It could prove to be very stressful to have to worry about recovering all of that information. The good news for students who take their notes by hand is that as long as you have paper and a couple pens or pencils this shouldn't be a concern.
If you're trying to decide if you should take handwritten notes or type them, there's one more thing that you should consider - whether or not your professor will allow you to have your laptop in class. Because of concerns that students will not be paying attention if their laptops are open, some professors won't allow students to use their laptops at all during class. Before showing up to class without any paper or writing utensils, be sure to verify that you can actually take notes on your laptop.
Noticing a lot of errors in your notes or coursework? Check out these ways to avoid common writing mistakes.