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handwritten notes

  • Pens-Only Classrooms At University

    laptops in the classroomWith everyone back in school, I thought it might be a good time to revisit a topic that pops up in university classrooms every year: the banning of laptops.

    The Globe and Mail reported in August that it's becoming standard practice in Canadian universities to prohibit laptops from lecture halls. American universities are also getting on board with no-laptop policies, as the campus newspaper of the University of North Carolina explained earlier this year. In the UK and Europe, while banning laptops seems to be less widespread, it isn't entirely uncommon.

    Typically, it's not the universities, but specific professors who tell students at the beginning of the year that laptops are verboten and that classrooms are pens-only. Some even include it in the syllabi.

    Why? Continue reading

  • No Good Way To Convert Handwritten Notes To Text?

    wpx-170_1zLike a lot of you, I carry a notebook every day and take a ton of handwritten notes about most everything from grocery lists to my someday novel.

    I prefer writing on paper with a pen and have no interest in using handwriting apps for the smartphone, digital pens or tablet and stylus to capture my thoughts. Something about that just seems to suck all the creativity right out of the process. Over the years, we've heard from many of you who feel exactly the same way.

    The problem is that I end up with a whole lot of written material with no easy way to organize it and little to no searchability. It's frustrating when I can remember writing down some brilliant idea that's hanging right there at the edge of my memory, and I have to flip through every page of a dozen notebooks just to find it.

    So, what I end up doing periodically is transcribing my handwritten notes book by book into Microsoft OneNote. As you can imagine, it's a tedious process.

    That's why I was really excited the other day when I saw a headline in the Guardian, "How can I convert my handwritten notes into Word documents?" Unfortunately, my excitement had dimmed considerably by the time I finished reading . It seems there is no really good way of converting handwritten notes to text. Continue reading

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