The more notes you take, the more you learn, right? Wrong. Though it may seem counterintuitive, new research shows that students who take notes by hand learn more and retain information better than their laptop-using counterparts. Typing allows for faster note taking (and practically verbatim dictation of the professor’s lecture), but this method of saving the lecture for later does not necessarily mean you get more out of class.
Taking notes by hand forces you to process the information as you go, choosing what is most pertinent to write down. In a study by Mueller and Oppenheimer, pen-and-paper note takers demonstrated a better memory of conceptual and factual detail, as well as a better ability to synthesize the material. Scientific American tells the full story.