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What We're Reading Now

In Support of Longhand

11 August 2015

Allison read What You Miss When You Take Notes on Your Laptop by Maggy McGloin and appreciated this research as children get ready to go back to school and grown-ups try to retain important information at work.

Tags: allison read, communication, learning, writing

I’m a big of fan of writing as a better way to start the day. Rather than letting technology set the tone by checking email, social media, etc. right away in the morning, I encourage clients to freewrite (stream of consciousness writing with pen and paper) in an effort to strategize about the day they want to have. It turns out that this kind of writing can even help you recover from grief, set goals and learn to be happier.

In her recent Harvard Business Review post, What You Miss When You Take Notes on Your Laptop, Maggy McGloin shares compelling research for yet another reason to use your notebook rather than your computer or other devices. McGloin isn’t a Luddite. She recognizes the importance of technology in meetings, but as a business writing expert, she also found herself wondering if there’s still a compelling argument for longhand.

McGloin discovered three major studies conducted by Princeton’s Pam A. Mueller and UCLA’s Daniel M. Oppenheimer designed to answer this question, “Is laptop note taking detrimental to overall conceptual understanding and retention of new information?” As you get ready to send your children back to school and you think about your own note-taking in meetings, I encourage you to read what McGloin learned and find out why taking notes by hand may improve comprehension and retention.


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