As I was out travelling lately I was put in a situation I don’t often find myself in these days. I was using both my phone and computer in a lecture, sharing both screens with all the people in the room and then I got some valuable input form one of the people listening. I normally use my phone to take notes if I am using my computer and the other way around, but this time I was using both on the big screen. I had my little note pad with me and I used this to write down my notes.

Now my handwriting has never been described as pretty, and I have often received comments on this in the past. But while I would never win any calligraphy awards it has always been easy to understand. So imagine my surprise when I looked at the notes from the lecture to pass on the good idea I got from the audience and I could not, for the life of me, understand what I had jotted down. Luckily I have a decent memory and I did not wait to long before I looked at my notes and decided to put them down in an email, so the information was not lost to the world, or me. But it did get me thinking about how seldom I use a pen and paper these days.

Using my new notebook on the plane

Almost everything I write I do on an electronic device. Mostly because I always have them with me and it’s very easy keeping up with my system for organizing my notes and such. But for as long as I can remember I have always loved to have different little notebooks with cute designs that cheer me up when i use them. The drawback of this is, while I am quite an organized person when it comes to thinking, remembering and mental structuring, I am nowhere near as tidy when it comes to all my stuff. This means that I have had occasions where my notebooks was not where I needed them when I needed them. And as the tools for organizing my notes on the computer and phone got better it seemed there was no point for me to write things on paper that I would later transfer over to an electronic device later. Or so I thought. I do know that I don’t want to loose my handwriting skills.I want to still be able to write myself a note and be able to read it later and still manage to understand what it says.

So when I was done with work for the day and went out to explore the town I was visiting, I entered a book shop and got myself a nice little notebook and a good pen and vowed to do a bit of handwriting every week. Yes, I know I have quite a few of them at home, but I was not at home so I thought that qualified me to not buy a new one before I have used the ones I already have. I got a pocket sized one so that I can carry it with me in my pocket and hopefully I will not leave it at home with the rest of them, but actually use it. That also meant that I could start what I had set my mind to quite soon and it gave me something nice to do on the plane journeys back home. After a while my hand had started to cramp up and there was as much ink on my hand as there normally was when I was younger and had to try to write as much as possible in a short amount of time for an exam. This made me more sure that I do need the practice from time to time. Lets just say if I had to sit an exam today and give my answers in handwriting I would feel very sorry for my fingers and whom ever had to read my paper.

What about you? Have the electronics completely taken over or do you still use your handwriting in the everyday? Is it a skill worth preserving or am I just being terribly nostalgic?

35 thoughts on “Handwriting

  1. Sometimes the hands or another part of the body has to physically say what the heart is unable to say. Its all about biology and spirituality.

  2. I use my handwriting to make notes.
    Only time I use an electronic device for notes is when away from home to make notrs of times when I took my inhaler, then copy that where I usually write it once back home.

  3. Maybe because I am old and a stickler for good handwriting, I write notes on paper. I am not prone to lose things I write down on paper, but computer files are another story! I lose them easy!

  4. I’m an artistic person in many ways but handwriting, not!!!😊 We all have our talents but I really do appreciate beautiful writing ( both kinds). Your artwork is lovely.

  5. Fascinating question…is it wrong for people to gravitate to the new method of writing and documenting…do we NEED to be able to write legibly? Oh wait, what happens when there is a power outage?I think it’s crucial to be able to survive in a non-electronic world…

  6. I still use handwriting. I like written notes and lists. I think they are more personal. If I am still asleep with my husband leaves for the day I always have a hand written note on my bedside wishing me a good morning with a cheerful sentence or two!! So much better than a text!!

  7. I keep a Moleskine diary and use as notebook and jot down thoughts, mainly about books and films. Albeit I must say there are many empty pages, but still a tool to help me keep the skill of writing alive. 🙂

  8. The ultimate question of a techy. 😉 I have a niece that was never taught how to write in anything but print. I think it takes away from the (cursive) handwriting which is an artistic form of expression. I write all my personal mail, notes and I journal morning and night in cursive or longhand which is another name for handwriting. It can be more expressive of my moods when I write and I’m old fashioned in wanting to write my cards that way. I have different colors of fountain pens for each. I back up all my notes and important data with notes on paper. I have lists on my phone but also in a little notebook. I can’t tell you how often family and friends say they have forgotten their lists. I never forget my phone though. Each has a purpose and sometimes combining them is best. My blog is written here but sometimes started from notes in the middle of the night. 😉 I hope you don’t give up your handwriting. It says so much about you and you can actually change how you are in the world by changing your handwriting. It took practice but it worked.

  9. I still feel the connection between hand and pen/ paper is important when a poem wants to
    be born. Scribble away, another word in margin etc. Alive and direct.
    Feels connected.
    In main though, computer does take over a major part.


  10. This is an interesting post, Maja and got me thinking about my own rather unique situation.
    I lost the majority of my eyesight at 18-months-old. I was initially taught to read and write braille, and later to touch type. Whilst I did have some hand writing practice, I never mastered this (other than the ability to sign my signature).
    I never use a pen in my day job, and all of my poetry is done using a laptop.
    I have heard some writers say that the act of using pen and paper aids them in their composition, however, having never used a pen (other than to sign my signature) I am unable to comment on such matters.
    I wish you good luck with your new pen and notebook.
    All the best, Kevin

  11. I have similar challenges with my handwriting. Recently, I’ve become very adept at the Notes feature on my iPhone and can take great notes on it including formatting. It doesn’t help me much though when I have to send a greeting card.

  12. Thank you Kevin. I will always do most of my writing on electronic devices, but I think it is important to maintain the skills one used to have. But for people with different challenges it is very good to be able to do without this skill.

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