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Why writing with our hands is still important

A lot of my peers are surprised that I take notes with a cheap pen and a MUJI notebook instead of on my iPad. I think better on paper.

Turns out, there’s some science behind it…

A few years back, there were a bunch of sto­ries in the press about the sci­ence of writ­ing things by hand. As it turns out, our brains work dif­fer­ent­ly when we form let­ters with a hand-held imple­ment – and we learn more effec­tive­ly than when we type. This makes total sense. I’ve long noticed that when I’m writ­ing in a paper jour­nal, it men­tal­ly feels dif­fer­ent than when I’m typ­ing out my thoughts on a com­put­er. I thought it had some­thing to do with the more focused nature of paper vs. con­nect­ed devices. As it turns out, there’s more to it than that.

Source: ReadWrite

Now technically, you can write with your hands on an iPad. But the apps that do that still aren’t a good replacement for paper and pen. The fidelity isn’t good enough, and the screen is too constraining. And I feel like something is lost without the tactile response you get from physical objects.

As I think about mobile and virtual learning, this is something I often keep in mind as well. There are certain activities that are just better done offline.

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Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

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