Why I Don't Take My Notes On My Laptop

Laptops are great. I can write essays and submit homework, and I'm not even going to get into the Netflix binges I watch. But one place I will never lug my laptop to is a lecture hall.

Typing may be faster and perhaps a little more convenient. But, not to sound like a grouchy old person harping on millennials, there's just something about paper and pen that will never be replicated by electronics.

First, there's the excitement you feel simply buying and packing the tools every day. Picking out pretty 8x11 notebooks is one of my favorite things– sometimes an unruled printed cover and sometimes just a plain old spiral bound notebook will do. And don't even get me started on pens. I keep a little pouch of colored felt tip pens and highlighters in my bag at all times. There's nothing like seeing your notebooks fill up with your own rainbow colored handwriting.

Not to mention, carrying notebooks is far more convenient and lighter. Every time I have to bring my laptop on campus for printing or club meetings, I feel the knots forming rapidly in my back.

And of course, there's the scientific benefits. NPR released an article in 2016 about the research of professors at Princeton and *cough cough* UCLA about taking notes by hand versus electronically. They found that because it takes more time to write notes by hand, long-form forces note takers to better process the information and are able to parse out the most important information in a lecture. Because of that, they are able to do study for tests more efficiently.

When I first started college, I will admit I got swept up in the allure of typing on my computer. However, I found myself spending more time correcting typos, getting the WiFi to work on Google Drive and rushing to write down slide information than I was enjoying learning new material.

So, I think I'll be sticking with my cute notebooks and pens when sitting in class – writing in cursive or all caps or pink or orange or pencil – and enjoying every minute of it.