Alice Priestley compares the ways of taking notes in lectures. 

Ah, the joys of note-taking. We all have to do it, but these days there are plenty of ways to jot down the most important content of your lectures. Be it the good old pen and paper, the popular laptop, or even iPad, each have their own benefits to make both listening and learning as effective as possible. Here are the pros and cons of laptops and notepads!

  • Your notes are always accessible and what’s more, printable. Having them straight on your desktop means you can edit if needs be.
  • It’s much quicker than handwriting. When typing, you can also add extra thoughts of your own, as well as the lecturer’s points, without getting that crippling hand cramp!
  • When essay time comes around, you can easily transfer your notes straight into your plans, or even the body of work itself.


  • We’ve all been there – led astray by the Facebook tab or online shopping when the lecture becomes too much to bear. Being easily able to disguise your internet usage, you risk losing valuable data, plus getting caught out is just embarrassing.
  • Your battery could run out or you could experience a technical difficulty. As a result, this could cause you to leave the lecture with no notes whatsoever.
  • With the fast typing, it’s easy to lose track whose work is whose and you could accidentally end up plagiarizing someone else’s ideas.
  • Some people feel uncomfortable straying from traditional ways. I myself, admit to being a bit old fashioned, and writing yourself can be quite therapeutic!
  • Writing has been proven to make information resonate more in the brain. Plus, with the lecturer’s pace to keep up with, this makes you inevitably concentrate harder on what they’re saying.
  • Notepads are light and portable, and come with an unlimited battery life!

But …

  • It can be time consuming copying up notes onto a laptop.
  • If you have shocking handwriting like mine, it can be challenging to read and distinguish the valuable notes later!
  • If you lose your notes, you effectively lose some of your essay material.

So, there you have it. When it comes to taking notes and studying, everyone has their unique learning style. But, whichever method you choose, they each come with lots of benefits, so essentially, you don’t lose either way. What’s most important is that you actually turn up to the lecture itself! [polldaddy poll=8758436]


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