The Research-Based Benefits of Writing By Hand - The Verbal To Visual Podcast - Doug Neill

VTV 009 : The Research-Based Benefits Of Writing By Hand

In this episode of The Verbal To Visual Podcast I share some recent research related to the benefits of writing by hand. You can now subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. Feel free to leave an honest review via those platforms!

Notes & Links

We’re transitioning from Visual Vocabulary Month (May 2014) to Handwritten Font Month (June). Here’s the last blog post from May that gives a good recap of the resources I shared related to building your visual vocabulary.

Just a few days ago The New York Times published an article titled What’s Lost As Handwriting Fades.

I found that article thanks to a tweet from Nancy Duarte. Check out her work related to presentations – it’s both impressive and inspiring. Also, this resource on diagrams is particularly useful for visual note takers.

How Handwriting Trains The Brain, from The Wall Street Journal.

Some of the studies referenced by those NYT and WSJ articles:

Summarizing the research that I highlighted in this episode:

  1. Learning to write by hand makes you a better reader.
  2. Higher-quality handwriting corresponds to a more active brain.
  3. For note taking purposes, writing by hand is more benefitial than typing on a computer.

Applying those results to visual note taking:

  • The benefits of note taking by hand seem to be solid.
  • It’s worth it to develop good handwriting. (Good to know at the beginning of Handwritten Font Month here at the site!)

Topics for further investigation:

  • The impact of using multiple handwritten fonts in consistent ways.
  • The difference between cursive and non-cursive handwriting on the brain.
  • The difference between caps and lowercase handwriting on the brain.
  • The difference between writing on a screen (stylus and tablet) and writing in a notebook (pen and paper). Here’s a great video from Dave Gray showing how he digitally doodles.

Do you know of any research on these topics? Do you have your own experience to share? Let us know in the comments below.


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