When it comes to journaling, the biggest question people ask is whether to handwrite or use a digital journal? The answer depends on what you are trying to accomplish with journaling. (sorry, there isn’t a simple winner!)
In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of each method – handwritten or typed. Afterwards, we will go over how you can choose the right medium – written or digital – for your situation.
1. Typing is too fast, new, and distracting for our brains
When we type it is faster than writing so our brains can’t follow the train of thought. Also, the habit of hitting keystrokes with your fingers on a keyboard is new to our brain. It is more used to the connected experience of the hand and mind through thousands of years of human expression.
Lastly, when typing our brains are multitasking and distracted by notifications and other pop-ups that happen on the phone or the computer.
2. Handwriting engages your sense of touch
Human memory is triggered by senses (ever remembered something because of a scent?). When using a pen and paper, the sense of touch helps with better retaining the learning from that journaling session.
3. Handwriting allows for in-depth processing
If typing is too fast (see point #1), handwritten journal provides the opportunity for in-dept processing. Have something deep or heavy on your mind that needs to be articulated? A handwritten journal will serve you better vs. a digital journal.
4. Handwriting makes you brief and succinct
Handwriting is allows for different articulation than typing. This is because we process at a different pace when handwriting vs when we are typing. Furthermore, our brain is focused on just writing when we are handwriting – all the other options of edit, delete, correct spelling etc are not needed.
Type it or handwrite it? Proceed with caution.
Handwritten journal is more beneficial for deeper processing (reflection, ideation, etc) whereas digital journal is often considered more convenient for factual matters (todo list, recording what was done, etc).
Knowing when to handwrite journal and when to use a digital form of journal will help you improve your journaling habit.