What happens when the conference or meeting is over and you can’t recall the important bits of information you wanted to remember? A new study from Princeton University and the University of California shows that, to avoid such a situation, you should take notes with good old fashioned pen and paper, rather than on your laptop or iPad (or relying solely on memory). Over on The American Scholar, Jessica Love explains a theory why this is the case:
For the typists, researchers noted “greater verbatim overlap with the lecture” than for longhand note-takers. Why bother to think deeply about what we are learning, and how our notes should be structured, when we can just do our damnedest to type, verbatim, everything as it is being said? When we type quickly, we also spend less time with any given piece of information—important, because memories take time to encode….
The study offers an obvious takeaway: don’t let your mind go on the lam just because your fingers can keep up with a speaker.
Typing may let you capture more information quickly, but it also relaxes the parts of your brain that are essential for processing that information and (more importantly) recalling it later-on.
Whether you’re trying to take notes in a meeting or hoping to remember the most compelling information from your favorite speaker at a conference, do your brain a favor and use pen and paper to take notes.
But first, head over to The American Scholar to learn about the research and results.