Note-taking has been made easy thanks to advanced technology and devices. Computers, tablets, and even smartphones are highly efficient when taking down notes since they’re quicker and can spot errors easily. But, research shows that handwriting still benefits the brain better than typing.

Handwriting helps the brain improve its capacity to retrieve information rather than typing. This is called the encoding effect, where written information is better stored in our memory since we write the actual letters. Also, the paper, notebook, or journal where we write information serve as our “external memory storage.” Aside from these, there are other benefits of using pen and paper when taking notes.

Based on research, typing on a keyboard basically forces us to take down notes as is without fully understanding the information (remember the copy and paste method?). This is also known as “non-generative” note-taking. Meanwhile, handwriting helps exercise our brain to actually function while we write: summarizing, paraphrasing, concept and vocabulary mapping, etc. In short, we tend to understand the information of whatever we write.

Visual learners benefit from handwriting, too. Florence Nightingale herself, a British nurse, used a pie graph to represent the details of modern technology in her documents. Pictures and drawings help in demonstrating information in certain aspects such as math and science.

Students in some countries take online classes during the pandemic. However, it’s still advisable for them to take notes using pen and paper to help them better understand the lessons. Don’t be dependent on technology too much, as the old-fashioned way of note-taking is proven to be more beneficial to us.