Push Aside Your Keyboard: Handwriting Gives You An Edge At Work

Gather round, children: back in the day, they had something called " cursive handwriting." You know - the fancy letters they used to write the U.S. Constitution? Tricky to read? Capital "Q" that looks inexplicably like a goofy, oversized "two"?

Cursive is old-fashioned, complicated to learn, and harder to master than typing - assuming anyone ever bothered to teach it to you in the first place. With all those strikes against it, it's no wonder some see teaching cursive in schools as a complete waste of time.

But there are some compelling arguments for loosening the death-grip on your phone/laptop. You may decide, after reading these, to pick up a pen and make cursive part of your toolbox.

Improves memory: Fast, legible handwriting demands more mental focus and hand-eye coordination than typing. Studies have shown that while typing is probably still best for verbatim transcripts, hand-writing boosts your recall of events - giving you an edge over the folks tapping away on the keys.

Zeroes you in: Writing longhand compels you to condense and paraphrase what you're hearing. Making continual judgment calls on what to capture makes it easier to establish what's important.

Sets you apart: Removing the screen allows you to - gasp! - make eye contact and engage in active listening. A notepad, unlike a laptop, doesn't create unnecessary barriers between you and the people around you.

Makes documents beautiful: While there's an indisputable elegance to a well-designed typeface, cursive invests the most casual note to your wife or colleagues with old-school elegance, not to mention a sense that you cared enough to write it down. Never a bad thing.

Want to learn more about taking notes in cursive? Check out this comprehensive guide.

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