Updated: Jan 6
I know, it's soooo much easier to type notes because you can type faster than can write. Plus, it's less difficult to find your notes later because they're probably just in your Documents folder somewhere.
But I promise you, writing your notes by hand is much better.
Here's the thing: When you grab a piece of notebook paper as soon as the lecture starts and you're writing down notes, you're forced to summarize everything the professor is saying so you only write down the important information.
But when you take out your laptop and type notes, you're just typing out everything the professor is saying verbatim. In that sense, you're not really learning anything.
I learned this the hard way with a Geology class I took back in college. I really didn't care about the material because I just needed the credits, so I didn't make the effort to write down my notes. The thing that made sense to me at the time was to just open a Word doc and get to typing.
But I struggled so much afterwards because when it came time to study for exams, I genuinely had no idea what I learned and couldn't retain any of the information when reading my notes.
As a result, I barely passed that class with a C but I really could've done a lot better and my GPA wouldn't have taken such a blow.
When you're translating the material in your own words, you're kind of testing your knowledge to see if you truly understand what you're being taught. And that's what hand notetaking does; ensure's that you know what the hell you are learning.
Also it makes it a lot better to study afterwards. When your notes are written in different categories and sections, possibly in different colors, studying becomes much more effective.
I know it's a pain in the ass to write everything by hand, especially when the material is very dense. Your hand could hurt after a while and it can become tedious.
But believe me, your long term memory is going to thank you later when you're in the middle of taking an exam and you can clearly recall pretty much all the material you learned.