The next time you go to a meeting, you might want to consider leaving your iPad behind and instead taking along a pad and pen.
That’s because a new study shows what many of us have suspected for some time: That we’re better able to retain and understand information if we write it longhand instead of using a laptop or other device to take notes.
In three studies by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer recently published in Psychological Science, it was found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand.
Mueller, a Princeton University doctoral candidate, says that one surprising aspect of the study was that even though someone can take more notes via a laptop, transcribing those notes verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning. In other words, you may write slower than you can type, but you’re also listening, digesting and summarizing what you hear.
This research may give bosses more ammunition when it comes to advocating that workers take notes by hand during a meeting to retain more (and to avoid the distraction of checking Facebook). It also may back up the complaint by managers that workers who don’t write down instructions or other information are sure to forget it later or make an error in their thinking.
Of course, toting along a pad and pen to a meeting also increases the chances that workers will begin doodling, which isn’t possible while typing on a keyboard. While bosses (read more here)