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Write It Down!

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What inspired me to write this blog was my countless during one of my countless attempts to make the switch from handwriting/ paper planner to the electronic-Google synced- calendar on my phone. My reasons for attempting the switch were simple. I didn’t always have my planner on me so the convenience of having my smart phone and set reminders versus the bulky, stick note invested, scribbled mess of my planner just seemed like a no brainer as to why I would change from paper to electronic. I also felt that by not buying a planner, I was saving money and the environment.

I ran into several problems. The biggest was not being able to keep dates and times straight; so I double (if not triple) booked myself A LOT. Or whenever I needed to schedule meetings I felt awkward at first (and a little self conscious that I would come across as rude) by pulling out my smart phone just to look at my calendar. My reminders weren’t always going off when I wanted them to. And I wasn’t always checking my daily events or looking ahead in my digital calendar. Why was my smart phone calendar not working out?

Science has found the answer! Apparently we remember more concepts and ideas when we write them down as opposed to typing. This peaked my curiosity. How does note taking in general differ between handwritten notes to the speed and accuracy of typing? Studies have shown that while laptops do allow a person to take copious notes they still were more likely to take verbatim notes. Quality over quantity comes to mind though when it comes to note taking. A person can record all they like by typing up lectures, however, when tested on concepts and ideas from the lecture they did not measure up.

There is evidence that shows the connection between handwriting and memory. Typing doesn't require the same brain power as handwriting, which in and of itself is pretty fascinating.

I’ve since returned to my archaic ways of writing important dates and notes to myself in the form of a planner, however, I still use my Google calendar for convenience sake and make sure to check both sources when planning. 

My advice to those of you attending lectures, bring a notebook and not a laptop. You will remember more key concepts and an added benefit of not awkwardly hunting for an outlet to help keep a charge on your laptop. While technology has certainly made many advancements and continues to make life easier for most, it has also created a sort of dependency and set backs.