The internet has changed the way we look at handwriting. We are no longer required to write using our hands on a daily basis — indeed, most of us spend our days typing out information on our phones or computers. The things we do write are usually rough plans, where the only thing we need to do is write down our thoughts in a legible form so that we — and perhaps co-workers — can read the plans. These plans to not need to be perfect; they just need to be readable. Indeed, we are taught to write in schools and practice that skill for our entire tenure in education. But after we move into the workplace, the art of handwriting gets lost. We move to using computers and phones more frequently, and so the need for us to maintain good handwriting decreases.
I for one still believe that handwriting is an important skill to use, especially after you have finished school. Perhaps the main reason for practicing handwriting after school is so that if you are ever required to write something on paper for someone else, then you know that your writing will be legible enough so that they can easily read it. Many people are surprised when they write after give years of graduating college to see how much their handwriting has changed. The reason? They have not been writing enough. If we practice handwriting consistently, we do not have to face this revelation, and are able to meet any outside expectations for us to write something down.
Another benefit of handwriting is that it looks more professional, especially in a time when most people are using computers. Consider this scenario: if you are a venture capitalist, would a founder see you as a professional if you were taking notes on your iPhone, or with a Moleskine notebook? I think most people would prefer to see the investor taking handwritten notes. There are a few reasons I think this is true. Firstly, handwriting is engrained into our society and we expect that when someone is handwriting, they have something important to note down. Further, because there are no apps on a notebook, the founder can be assured that the investor is only taking notes about them rather than checking their social media — the investor is fully focused on the founder. Handwriting shows you are serious about something; so serious you are willing to put in the effort to write it down.
Handwriting has become a great way to set yourself apart from other people. The people who take the time to send handwritten thank you notes after they have attended a party are generally remembered more than those who sent a text. Why? Most people don’t send handwritten notes now, and the recipient will understand the amount of effort you have put into purchasing a card, writing your note, and sending it via traditional mail. Indeed, there may only be a few occasions when sending a handwritten note is appropriate. However, writing handwritten notes is still a great way to cultivate closer relationships with other people.
I think that people need to spend more time on handwriting and start to take more notes on paper. I find that I prefer to take down ideas on a notebook rather than on Dropbox Paper or Google Docs because it feels great and authentic. I keep a notebook on my desk at all times where I take notes and reflect on my thoughts — having it there ensures that I use it whenever I have an idea. In addition, I also use my notebook to journal every day. I find that journaling on paper is more effective than typing out your thoughts because you do not have the distractions associated with technology to worry about — you can focus solely on your pen and paper. You can truly reflect on your life and write as much or as little as you want. You are in complete control when writing in your journal using a pen or pencil. In sum, don’t forget about handwriting; it is a lost art, but I think it should make a comeback.
Write your ideas on paper. Keep a notebook close to you. Embrace writing with a pen or pencil.