Need to Know

You Need to Know: PEN & PAPER, OR LAPTOP?

Inspired by a question that was asked on my other blog, check out this brief Pro-Con list that I made, comparing note taking using a laptop or using a good ole’ pen & paper!


  • PROs
  1. For some people, typing is faster
  2. If you have vision issues, you can pull up lectures slides right on your own screen (if they are posted online)
  3. There are a number of really great note-taking apps & programs available for laptops that can help you keep track of your notes
  • CONs
  2. If you can’t type fast, it will slow you down
  3. You can’t draw diagrams, unless you have that option in your note-taking program
  4. When you’re looking at your screen and typing, you may not be paying attention to what’s being said in lectures
  5. The bright light from the screen can be distracting to others – especially if you’re watching a video or something and not typing notes
  6. If you forgot your charger at home or can’t find a usable plug in class, you might not be able to use your computer


  • PROs
  1. Studies have shown that writing with a pen and paper can help you to retain more of what you are learning
  2. You are able to draw diagrams, if needed
  3. Less distraction (unless you’re a doodler, like me)
  4. If you write faster, you can take down the information quicker
  5. You don’t have to check on the battery life of your pen and paper!
  • CONs
  1. If you do not have your notes organized in a binder or folder, it becomes very easy to lose a whole day’s worth (or even a semester’s worth) of notes
  2. If you are a slow writer, you won’t be able to write down as much
  3. Good luck reading your work once some coffee/water has been spilled on it…but I guess the same goes for a laptop

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