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January 18, 2021, 06:37:12 pm

Author Topic: Handwritten or typed notes?  (Read 687 times)  Share 

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Lani Sweerts

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Handwritten or typed notes?
« on: November 24, 2020, 05:39:23 pm »
It's almost orientation week for year 12 and I've started preparing all my folders and pencil case for the new school year as we get to have a week's head start on content.

I'm not sure whether I will type or handwrite my notes for my final year of school. In the past, I have hand written my notes but switched to typing at the end of the year. I want to stick to one method but unsure of which one. I find handwriting my notes a lot more pleasing and I am able to absorb the content better but with typing, I find it's a lot quicker and easier. Is it just me or is it easier to study for exams with typed notes?

What do you prefer: handwritten or typed notes?

On a side note, what pens are best for writing pretty notes? This year, I used the Muji 0.38 gel pen but it takes me ages to write because they don't flow well for me. I like writing with a normal ballpoint pen but it doesn't look as nice because they smudge easily.

On another side note, what colour coding systems do you guys use for your handwritten notes and if you type your notes, do you use google docs or word and how do you set up your notes?

Thank you,
Lani x
2020 - 1/2 Italian, 1/2 Methods, 1/2 Legal, 1/2 English, 3/4 Biology, 3/4 Psychology

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Re: Handwritten or typed notes?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 06:22:01 pm »
I prefer handwriting my notes as I find that I remember the content better that way but if you think that you can still absorb the content well by typing up notes, I'd suggest that you type them up instead because you can save some time.
I did 3/4 Biology this year and did most of my notes by hand but before every SAC, I typed up some notes under each dot point of the study design and this really helped me, so I guess it just depends on how you learn.

And for pens, I usually use the Muji ballpoint pen or the Muji 0.5 gel pen. If you want a pen that's smooth, I'd recommend both of these over the Muji 0.38 pen. (The clicky pens, not the one with the cap)

And when I'm handwriting notes, my subheading is in red, my dot point is in black and the rest is in blue and when I'm typing up notes, I usually just do all of it in black but I underline the subheading and bold any definitions.

Hope that this helped!  :)


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Re: Handwritten or typed notes?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 07:56:31 pm »
I'm also starting year 12 next year and I'm planning to handwrite my notes, as I find it helps me synthesise the information better– however in a time crunch/when I'm feeling lazy typing works too. What could be an option is typing out rough notes in class, and turning that information into handwritten notes in your free time (with study design annotations, diagrams, cute colours etc).

Pen recs: I've really been enjoying the BIC Atlantis pen these days, as well as the PaperMate InkJoy 100RT 1.0mm pens. They're smooth, and they aren't smudgy in day-to-day writing, but I wouldn't recommend them for times that you need to write quickly, like an exam. (I find that my Muji pens tend to feel a little scratchy or the ink is too runny when I'm taking school notes).
Layout: I'll write my headings in red pen, subheadings in whatever colour I'm feeling that day (usually blue or purple (sometimes with subheadings I'll highlight over black pen) and general notes in black pen.

EDIT: Adding a pen that I forgot to mention– the Daiso 0.8 (oil ink?) pens that say Item no.39 (the exact name is in Japanese on the pen  :'( )They can run out pretty fast if you write a lot, but writing with these feels like butter and I highly reccomend.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 08:24:46 pm by blueycan »
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Re: Handwritten or typed notes?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 08:00:25 pm »
Re: pen choice, there's many past AN threads that discuss the best pens to use. You can search for them or hopefully someone has the links to the threads handy!


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Re: Handwritten or typed notes?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 08:20:12 pm »
Hey Lani Sweerts!

This is a good question. I prefer typing out my notes as well as handwriting them (if I have time), but below I have listed the pros and cons regarding both options.

Pros for Handwriting:
✔Increases critical thinking to retain concepts
✔Actively engaged with the material present
✔Strengthens hand and handwriting speed, which is very useful for HSIE subjects and English
✔Allows for creativity without restrictions

Cons for Handwriting:
❗Can't delete a word if you write/ style it the wrong way
❗Unable to keep backups of the set of notes, hence it is more likely to become wrecked by water, food or other environmental factors (Unless you photocopy them)
❗Can take longer to write up notes
❗Can't really change the format of them half way through

💻Pros for Typing:
✔Faster, efficient and accurate. Typing notes out is particularly helpful if you are tight on time
✔Can create backups of the file on various devices (eg. USB)
✔Can print out multiple copies of the notes, meaning you can view/ store them at different locations
✔Can carry less with you around school (eg. Instead of physical folders and papers you can have it all stored on a single device)

💻Cons for Typing:
❗Need the appropriate software, such as Word or Google Docs
❗Can be distracted by other background applications or social media (eg. Netflix or a game)
❗Cannot see what the final product will look like (I had a problem where I made the margins wide, then when I printed my notes, the printing margins cut off a lot of the text, then I had to re-type the notes out again)

I would recommend first typing out notes then handwriting them out (But make sure you do this in chunks to assist retention). I did this for my Preliminary studies (Year 11) and found it help a lot for exams. For Example, each time you complete a dot point in the syllabus/ study design, you may type up the notes in class, then when you get home, you could write them out in a workbook and then practice questions on that topic. This way you get the best of both methods.

Anything else other than notes?
Equally important as doing your notes is attempting past paper/ practice questions because it is good that you have a solid set of study notes, but at the end of the day, the final assessment will be an exam. So doing questions throughout the year will ensure that you are not cramming last minute, rather you have a solid understanding of how to approach, answer and structure a high level response. Maybe you could add structures of practice questions into your notes also?

Styling Notes - Tips:
I strongly recommend the shading tools on Microsoft Word to make headings more appealing, because I found highlighting the headings makes the notes look more confronting. For Example:

For written notes, I would recommend just trying to find pens that are good (eg. have good ink flow, doesn't smudge). For some notes I used Artline pens (0.4mm nib) and when taking notes during class I used Bic Uniball pens which seemed to work well and last a long time. Another tip is that I have seen people write the title, then go over it with a highlighter.

I hope this helps and goodluck with your studies in Year 12!
Coolmate 8)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 08:49:46 pm by Coolmate »
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Re: Handwritten or typed notes?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 04:01:57 pm »
in my opinion, typed notes are better. they take lesser time and you don't get caught up in making it look neat or pretty. I think you should spend minimal time on your notes (make sure they are concise and informative) and instead focus your energy on actively consolidating information by doing practise questions. notes are just something to look back at and consolidate info but I personally think that spending too long on them, which what I feel when I handwrite, is a waste of time.

each person is different so try out whatever suits you. you have this headstart period to figure it out.
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Re: Handwritten or typed notes?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2020, 09:49:42 pm »
I usually handwrite them as well but not for any particular reason other than it's always been a habit. It does tend to be slower than typing, but I feel better focused when I write things in my book. I don't really focus on making them pretty, but just organised enough so it's not a pigsty. All you need are distinct subheadings and highlighters.
If you are looking for pen suggestions, I don't use ballpoint as they just don't feel comfortable while writing, so it's either mechanical pencil or gel pen. I recommend the Zebra Sarasa Study Gel Pen 0.5 mm or the Sarasa Dry Gel Pen 0.5mm, no bleed or smudge (on non-coles/kmart paper because that is actually just sandpaper), great feel when holding and about the same price as Muji ones.
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