There is something about sitting down with a piece of paper and a pen, and physically writing something down that has a different feeling than taking notes electronically.
I started using a popular note-taking tool for taking electronic notes on my computer or mobile device. I found that I just wasn’t able to retain the information the same way as if I wrote it down by hand. It was so much easier to take the notes electronically – I can type a lot quicker than I can write, but there was something lost in the process of hearing or reading the information, and then the process of internalizing and transcribing it that caused me to miss the message that I was trying to capture. It became less about internalizing the information, and more about just capturing it for review later. Often that “review later” never happened.
I started reflecting on this when I found Susannah Conway’s site and flirted with the idea of taking her e-course Journal Your Life. By simply watching the video and reading about her experience with journalling, I remembered how therapeutic it can be. I picked it up again – electronically and on paper. The same philosophy I found worked for me here as well – journalling on paper versus electronically had such a different feel to it and it served the purpose of being mindful about what I was writing.
Everyone processes information differently, and I still value having an electronic location for to-do lists and for my calendars, but I’m realizing that there is value in having an old-fashioned pen and paper when processing or internalizing is necessary. And its so much more fun when you have tons of colored pens, new notebooks, and fresh clean sheets of paper to use! 🙂