Best Resources: Why and How Paper Beats Digital

QuickNotes / Links
♦️ Pub: Apr 8, 2017  |  Modified: Aug 23, 2018 @  |  Reading: 3 min. | Words: 864 ♦️


I promise: you will never be the digital ‘hood rat I once was. We’re goin’ back to Sony Clie days, when one device handled only one chore. Net result: I played plumber, my waist band crying under the weight of <deep breath>:

    • Blackberry → email
    • Motorola Razr → phone
    • Sony Clie → notes
    • that soap-bar shaped swivel-screen device, the Danger HipTop (a/k/a T-Mobile Sidekick) → browsing (also an alleged phone; but hey, nuffin’s poifect, right?! 😏)

Silly rabbit!
And yeppie, GirlFriend thought she was atop Da Worrrrrld!

Silly rabbit!

Speed forward a decade-plus. One device handles most, despite behemoth web companies still inflicting woeful “mobile” views on  netizens. The fact that my Weekly Reviews ate time like a Sumo wrestler downs hot dogs woulda / shoulda/ coulda been my first clue. But noooooo, me be di-gi-tahl, Honey Bunch!

What finally grabbed my attention? The SaaS march, by Johnny-one-note app developers. Call me cheap, or anything else floating your hostility boat. This woman follows a simple rule: you want me to buy, show value. You wanna convert my wallet into your personal monthly ATM, with no end date? Yeah, lotsa luck wid dat, Shortie.

Essentially, the unrelenting / irrational greed of certain app developers chased me to a bullet journal. That group-think stupidity eased me into one of the most intelligent decisions of my life.

I’ve spelled out the benefits of a bullet journal elsewhere, with an annual update on the drawing board. This day, I focus on the conclusions pronounced by others, typically within the contexts of focus and retention.

Small icon Robin bird Brain Pickings: How the Joy of Handwriting Helps Us Draft the Meaning of Life
Indeed, the marks we leave on the paper are our most human trails of thought. Few things exercise — and exorcise — the not always seamless collaboration between brain and body like that direct line between the tip of the pen and the tip of the neuron.

Small icon Robin bird New York Times: What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades
New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep. … “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” said Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain.

Small icon Robin bird LifeHacker: Handwrite Your Notes Instead of Typing Them for Better Memory Retention
The Wall Street Journal discusses several studies that show students who took handwritten notes outperformed those who typed their notes on their computers.

Small icon Robin bird NPR: Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away
But the students taking notes by hand still performed better. “This is suggestive evidence that longhand notes may have superior external storage as well as superior encoding functions.

Small icon Robin bird ResoluteFP: Paper advantage: how handwriting makes you smarter
A growing body of evidence reveals that note takers as a whole fare better than their laptop-equipped peers when it comes to learning.

One study from researchers at Princeton University and the University of California at Los Angeles found that the focus it takes to write with a pen seems to enable students to process information in a way that is different from typing on a keyboard.

Small icon Robin bird Quo Vadis: How writing helps you think
One of the studies compared learning by students who took notes by typing on their laptop vs. students who wrote their notes longhand. The conclusion was that verbatim transcription (as people usually do on a laptop) did not engage the brain enough to promote learning, while writing longhand (which is slower and nearly impossible to capture speech verbatim) required the students to evaluate the material as it was delivered and capture the most important points. Reframing the material as it was received caused the information to be retained.

Small icon Robin bird Business Insider: Handwriting Helps You Learn
Earlier studies have argued that laptops make for poor note-taking because of the litany of distractions available on the internet, but their experiments yielded a counterintuitive conclusion: Handwriting is better because it slows the learner down.

By slowing down the process of taking notes, you accelerate learning.

Small icon Robin bird Lifehacker: Why You Learn More Effectively by Writing Than by Typing
The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts, remember things better, and reach your goals more surely.

Small icon Robin bird HuffPost: The Benefits Of Writing With Good Old Fashioned Pen & Paper
It fires up the brain in different ways.

Small icon Robin bird Association for Psychological Science: Take Notes by Hand for
Better Long-Term Comprehension
The results revealed that while the two types of note-takers performed equally well on questions that involved recalling facts, laptop note-takers performed significantly worse on the conceptual questions.

Writing Can be Therapeutic

Why write? Penmanship for the 21st Century

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