Writing something by hand engages the brain (and the whole body) differently than typing it digitally.2 Writing helps to improve your memory and allows you to learn more effectively.2
While it may seem “old-fashioned” to write things out using pen and paper, studies have shown that students who use handwritten notes perform better than those who study using digital notes.1 The written notes are easier to understand and are often more meaningful and interpretive, compared to laptop notes which tend to be verbatim.1
This means it’s important to develop good, consistent, and clear handwriting to make your notes easier to work with. Here are a few tips to help you improve and fine-tune your handwriting.
How To Improve Your Handwriting
These 10 tips will help you to gain confidence and speed while improving the appearance of your handwriting.3,4
Use a good pen.
Choose a good quality pen that’s comfortable to grip, and gives you good consistent ink flow without you needing to press too hard.
Get the right grip.
Keep a firm but relaxed grip on your pen – don’t squeeze the pen or tense the muscles in your hand too much, or you’ll soon get a cramp or feel tired out from writing.
Use lined paper.
Choose lined notebook paper (with broad lines) to help keep your writing neat. Once you’re more confident, you can switch to unlined notepaper if you prefer.
Before you start writing, relax your hand and arm. Shake your writing hand until it feels nice and loose. Take a deep, relaxing breath in and out before you get started.
Get your posture right.
Good posture will help to keep you comfortable during long writing sessions. Sit in a position with your back straight, your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the floor. Avoid curving your arm around the page while writing; sit up straight with your forearm resting on your desk, and let the movement come from your arm rather than your wrist.
Handwriting is slower than typing. Don’t rush yourself, especially when you’re practising. You’ll speed up as you get more comfortable over time.
Do some writing drills.
Start each session with a few minutes of practice, making consistent shapes with your pen. You can use a writing worksheet or draw your own warm-up shapes and characters.
Rotate your paper.
You might find that keeping your paper at a certain angle works better for you than keeping it in a vertical position. Experiment with different paper rotations until you figure out what’s most comfortable for you.
Doodle and scribble.
Spend some time doodling and scribbling when you get the chance. This is a relaxing way to practise moving your pen smoothly while encouraging your hand and eyes to work together.
Do some relaxing daily handwriting activities.
Start keeping a diary or a bullet journal. This will give you a fun and relaxing reason to write something every day.
Remember, handwriting is a very personal thing and it’s always evolving. Your handwriting is a unique reflection of you! Don’t worry about getting it 100% perfect – instead, focus on keeping it neat, clear, and easy to read.