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4 Pros And Cons Between A Laptop And Handwritten Notes In Class

August 27, 2014

Over the years, there has been a gradual shift in trends from handwritten notes to typewritten notes within the classroom. It poses the question, are laptops more efficient than handwritten notes? Which do you prefer?

For many students, it’s a no-brainer: Quicker note-taking is made possible and easy with a laptop. For other students, handwriting their notes feels more authentic. Here are four pros and cons that of each option outline their major differences:

PRO: Laptops allow for quicker note-taking.

With solid typing skills, students can blast out notes at a fast pace, which means no information is missed. As you write down one point and the professor rattles off an example, a laptop enables you to keep up with the pace of the lesson.

CON: Laptops influence mindless note-taking.

On that same note, typing has become second nature for many of us and we find ourselves mindlessly typing as we listen in class, without actually engaging. When we find ourselves guilty of this, we walk out of class having next to no idea of the lesson at hand.


PRO: Handwriting notes translates to better retention.

As you follow along with a lesson, handwriting your notes means you have a better chance at retaining what you’re manually copying down.

CON: Handwriting notes leads to missing information.

Although you have a better chance at remembering the information after the lesson, handwriting notes leaves you vulnerable to missing information as you’re trying to catch up with a teacher who’s speaking rather fast.


PRO: Laptops allow for quick searches and more examples at hand.

If the teacher explains an aspect of a lesson that you can’t really grasp firsthand, you have the best resource at your disposal: search engines. As you take notes, it’s easy to perform a quick search that will provide you with endless examples to support the lesson.

CON: Laptops provide distraction.

Conversely, with the Internet at your fingertips, it’s easy to fall victim to the number-one distractions of social media and other sites.


PRO: Handwriting notes keeps you engaged in the lesson.

If you’re following along with a lesson and actively taking notes, you must be fully engaged. Missing information is not an option for those dedicated to manually copying down notes.

CON: Handwriting notes requires excellent organizational skills.

If you’re going to hand-write your notes during every class, you must maintain organization of said notes. If one piece of information falls out of line, it could completely misguide you and throw off the accuracy of your notes.

So, which option is better-suited to your needs? Have you found that one option or the other has additional pros and cons? Let us know in the comments!

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