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Discussion on: Why is a good strategy to take written notes

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Τobias Whetton • Edited

Very true Miranda! This hit the headlines in 2014, with Muller & Oppenheimer’s paper, 'The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard…'. Laptop note-takers could take notes faster so had the ability to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than the longhand notetakers who had to think about the information they are given and rephrasing it in a shorter more concise form.

However, all these studies focused on traditional long form note-taking applications, which made it easy to quickly regurgitate what you are learning without thinking about it. One thing that excites me at the moment is the wave of new note-taking / knowledge based applications which are applying the science and behaviour of learning to a digital environment. I'm building one of these such applications and we have done a lot of research into creating a format suited to knowledge retention – our platform is based around short-form note-cards rather than long-form documents. This helps our users to break down their information into more thoughtful pieces – not dissimilar to a Zettelkästen system.

Having said this, I definitely recognise that studying is a very personal experience and not always a science – some methods work for some and not others. Whatever works best for you, is the one you should continue to use.