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Learning Tool: Take Notes by Hand

Laptops allow us to participate in numerous online activities as well as increase the number of notes we take in a meeting. However, at one point, notetaking becomes verbatim. There have been recent studies that have shown a beneficial outcome of handwritten notes rather than detailed online drafts. These findings can increase your ability to understand the client’s needs and conference meetings. 

More is NOT better (in this case)

Of course, having more detailed notes can help you smoothly through the learning curves of understanding content and requirements. 

In a recent study done by Mueller and Oppenheimer, they observed a classroom of students taking notes. Half of them used laptops and half wrote by hand. Those who wrote by hand wrote fewer notes but overall observed to have understood the material more conceptual than those with laptops. 

Cognitive Processing

Taking notes by hand requires a different type of cognitive processing than taking notes on a laptop. Each process has its positives and negatives.

Taking notes by hand:

CONS: slower, ungainly 
PROS: Generalize the information and write down enough for when they review they can capture the essence of the information. When forced to focus on writing and comprehending, the brain is engaged with heavy interaction, causing the material to stick. 

Taking notes on a laptop:

CONS: Focused on writing everything rather than learning. Can’t devote enough time to learn the content
PROS: Can produce a written word-for-word report of the lecture. 

Business Practices

Although this study was formed around students, businessmen and businesswomen can benefit from these findings as well.

Whether you are the one leading the conference or client session, understanding the best way to take notes can be crucial to your planning process.

Having your employees be required to take notes by hand can benefit their understanding of client needs, offer a detailed layout/graph of a project, and even help incorporate brainstorming ideas. 

Remember, more isn’t always better! 

Offer an alternative solution for your clients and employees when it comes to information overload. Help them to grasp important topics in group sessions and when interacting with a client face to face. It’s better to understand specifics rather than guess to impress.

Blue Archer would love to hear how your company continues to operate in a learning environment. Contact us today to chat. 

 

 

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