Writing by Hand @etsy @inbluethreads

Writing by hand, taking notes seems like such an old-fashioned way of getting ideas down. Yet, I find that when I do that, I am a more active learner and participant. These days, I carry an iPad (sans keyboard) and my trusty memo pad to take notes. 

Some folks say that writing by hand makes a difference...

Mental Floss suggests the following:

  1. Putting ink to paper stimulates a part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System, or the RAS. Source: Mental Floss
  2.  "I like the slowness of writing by hand." Susan Sontag
  3. Prevents distraction.
  4. "According to The Wall Street Journal, some physicians claim that the act of writing — which engages your motor-skills, memory, and more — is good cognitive exercise for baby boomers who want to keep their minds sharp as they age."
Others, like Sarah Selecky, suggest the following:

  1. It’s too easy to edit yourself brutally when you’re typing on a screen.
  2. To your brain, writing by hand feels more like making art.
  3. Handwriting is more real.
  4. The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts, remember things better, and reach your goals more surely.
  5. A couple of studies, though, substantiate why the physical act of writing really does boost learning and goal achievement. 
As a writer, I find I can write faster, longer with a keyboard. In fact, a device without a keyboard flips it into "consume" mode rather than "create" mode for me (why I prefer a Chromebook/laptop over iPad w/o keyboard any day of the week). But there are times when writing by hand is perfectly appropriate and this realization has rekindled my long-time love affair with notebooks, journals, and paper. 

And, that's probably why I'm fascinated by beautifully designed items like this:
Get your own from Mary Lynn Schroeder (inBlue)
My wife and I purchased one of these for our daughter, and I have to admit I snuck a purchase in for myself (but the smaller version).

If you're wondering what my favorite pen is, well, right now, it's those cheap blue ink BIC pens (not the fine point, I hate fine point) that gush ink out onto the page as you slide across it.


By the way, you may like this comparison from GigaOM of ipad note-taking apps...
Note App Feature List


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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