Handwritten Notes Versus Laptop Notes

Handwritten Notes Versus Laptop Notes

Soo Young Yoon, Writer

In a recently published New York Times article “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades” by Maria Konnikova, she claimed that handwriting of notes causes “recognition by mental simulation in your brain.” Does this mean that handwritten notes are better than laptop notes.

The Academy Chronicle was interested in finding out students’ thoughts on using laptops as opposed to taking handwritten notes to do schoolwork. We sent out a poll to all grades asking their opinions on using laptops and their use for classes, and we found out that BCA students were very much divided in their perspectives of using laptops over handwritten notes.

To begin, we wanted to get a general sense of the laptop usage in school. We sent out polls to all students to see if they have their own laptops available at school, and the polls revealed that almost 95 percent of the 168 people who responded had their own laptops which they use for school. Additionally, 65 percent of the students mentioned that they use their laptops almost all day at school, including taking notes for classes.


Next, we sent out a poll on students’ thoughts on the use of laptops during class. Though the results revealed the students’ enthusiasm for using laptops, some expressed concerns on how their laptop often distracted them from focusing in class or doing their work, distractions such as apps like discord or social media apps.      

Finally, we wanted to see what students thought specifically about how laptops can be used to take notes during class.


As shown, many students seemed to agree that taking notes on a laptop is effective most of the time. In fact, we interviewed three students to hear more their specific opinions on the pros and cons of using laptops. 


Question: What is your opinion on using your laptop to do classwork? 

Student 1: “[When typing], it is easier to go back and change anything or add in words that I would like to remember or use. This affects my writing positively as the comfort of being able to change anything at any time makes it less stressful to write. If I were to handwrite my notes, I feel like it would be a lot more time-consuming and tiring as opposed to typing it out.” 

Student 2: “I prefer writing notes on my laptop because it helps me keep my notes all in one place and I don’t have to struggle to find papers and lose them. It is also more visually satisfying to some extent. Sometimes it can really help you think through a math problem or any work that requires a lot of thinking. It’s also less time-consuming because you have all the necessary tools on your device; you don’t need to take the time to grab one. If you’re someone who wants to use a device but also wants to handwrite (because studies show that writing helps you to remember better), then taking notes on the laptop is the best choice.” 

Student 3: “I prefer to write by hand a lot of the time. The computer can be a distraction at times.” 

Overall, BCA students showed vastly different opinions throughout the survey and interviews. If you are feeling confused about how you should take notes, just remember that you have to find your own best way to take notes in class!