Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writing versus typing

Most of my ph.d. thesis and a large component of my papers - especially the discussion portions, i hand-wrote. I have actually filled up several notepads - not just with scribbling and and doodling but full-fledged sentences and paragraphs. Even now, while writing out a research plan for myself, I choose pen and paper. Later on, I transcribe my notes to word and also use some mind-mapping tools like free-mind. I have always been able to think better, have my ideas flow better when I'm writing on paper. While typing on a screen, I often feel a little intimidated or find it difficult to keep my thought streams going. I can also accommodate and organize my thoughts- which are often spilling over in all different directions- when i'm writing on paper, so that i can keep track and come back to some points later. This helps a lot in the early stages of conceptualizing a project or writing out hypotheses, rationale, evidence, IF-THEN flowsheets, etc. I just bought one of those stands/easels type thing that you can place next to your monitor, so i stick my notepad on there and transcribe my notes into a typed out document so i can share it with others or just store the final form.

Today I came across this tip on productivity.com and felt one of those happy, i've-been-doing-this-all-along type feelings. :)

There was some research done into what parts of the brain were triggered when writing at a computer versus what parts were triggered when writing with a pencil and paper. The experiments showed that writing by hand triggered activity in significantly different portions of the brain than when writing at a computer....

3 comments:

Janefield said...

really? interesting study...gotta find me a pen and paper pronto! and forget about blogging again :P just stick to good ole journaling or 'diary writing' then. i can type faster than i can think/talk/write though. life's tough i say.

and what is productivity.com? sounds interesting.

shub said...

Wow, your entire thesis on paper? Respect for you went up a whole notch :) Wow.
I love putting pen to paper as well. Helps me think clearer. Plus it feeds my stationery love ;)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

jane,
yeah start writing and scanning. :p

shub,
not entire- well chunks of the thesis..that needed to be thought out..not the more mundane stuff like protocols etc..
and yes, i like stationery too :)