Is typing better than handwriting?

Is typing better than handwriting?

2020, May 26  —  Stefan Neculai

Is typing better than handwriting? Or is it the other way around? It depends on whom you ask. I like more to take personal notes in my notebook and to write articles on my laptop. I have friends that use only their smartphones when writing something down and others that use one notebook per month. I believe each way has its pros and cons and it depends a lot on the type of writing you’re doing and on the type of person you are. When you write something that you want to easily access later on, edit, and maybe share with others then typing is more convenient with no doubt. Though, when you’re just taking some quick notes, sketching an idea, or writing a thought before falling asleep, then using the classical pen and paper is the clear winner.

It is hard to draw a line between when it is better to type and when to handwrite, because it is after all just a matter of personal preference. I believe there is no winner and typing is here to stay just as handwriting proved efficient in the last thousands of years. Thus, I’m sharing below 4 pros for handwriting and another 4 for typing.

Handwriting comes with spacial memory

When you use a piece of paper to write down your thoughts, you will remember easier what and where you wrote it. Our brain is designed to easily remember what we write down when using a notebook rather than a virtual document because it uses spacial memory. When you type, the text might move around on the page and has no well-defined space. Though, once you write it on a paper, there is no way to undo that or move the text a little bit more to the top, or to the left.

Typing is much faster

If we compare the speed of typing with writing, handwriting will lose because it is much slower to write down your thoughts on paper. Moreover, no matter how fast your pen is moving on your notebook, it is much more painful to write for a long period rather than typing. Additionally, when using an electronic device you can enable amazing features such as autocomplete or dictation which tremendously improve the number of words you can write per minute.

Handwriting is personal

Your handwriting reflects your personality. Psychologists can tell things about you just by looking at your handwriting: you’re an organized person, you’re a perfectionist or you never take time to finish what you started or you are anxious about something. The words we put on paper tell more about ourselves than we might think. When you’re in a hurry, your writing is more negligent and it doesn’t look as beautiful as when you’re calm and taking your time to write down your thoughts. You can’t say the same about typing on a computer - you might make some errors while typing in a hurry, but that might also be because you’re distracted by something else. It is the personal handwritten letter that makes the other person feel important and helps in building a relationship.

Typing is efficient

Computer typing gets better and better. We have autocorrections, text analysis and even suggestions to rephrase what we wrote to sound better. Besides the fact that every letter you type looks good and you can follow the text easily, computers can help us to better deliver what we want to express to the readers. Apps like Grammarly or Hemingway help us adjust what we wrote and they make sure that we use the right language for our audience.

Handwriting comes with fewer distractions

We live in a world where each application we use competes for our attention. When writing on a device, be it a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, there is always something to distract us. You can take a notebook with you in an empty room and have nothing around to distract you. Though, when using a device to type your thoughts, the distractions are just a click or tap away. Just think how many times you are writing something and a notification pops out.

You can search what you typed

While handwriting comes with the advantage of remembering easier where and what you wrote, it lacks an efficient way of searching. Humans have an amazing memory and a great ability to innovate, but we are not even as close as efficient to computers when it comes to remembering things. When you use an electronic device to write something, you can easily determine when and where you wrote it, and find a piece of information you’re looking for. While it takes less than a second to search for a word in a text you wrote on your computer, the same action might take you ten times more when using a paper page.

You can handwrite anywhere

Handwriting doesn’t require anything else besides a paper and pen. We have handwritten words since ancient time and this way of writing proved it’s efficiency along the way. Once you write something down on a physical medium, it is easily accessible and you just have to read it with your eyes. You don’t need electricity, a screen or an operating system to understand what is there. You can take a notebook with you on a remote island with no electricity and it will still be of good use after ten years, while you cannot do the same about your smartphone or tablet.

You can edit on your computer

One of the major advantages of typing is that you can easily edit the text you wrote. Computers excel at offering us options for editing the text we wrote and moving it around from one place to another. You can emphasize something by making the text bolder or lighter, and you can share it with others to make suggestions on it. Moreover, even after doing several edits on a text written on a computer, it will still look good and you can easily read it without problems.

Summing it up, I believe typing and handwriting are complementary ways of writing down our thoughts and in the end the fact that we take the time to write down matters more than the way we do it.

Did I miss any pro for either handwriting or typing? Share it with us below!

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