Forrest Brazeal: How I got a CS degree with pen and paper (and why I’m doing it again)


I could write faster than I could type, but without knowing shorthand, this method still wasn’t fast enough to allow me to perfectly transcribe every lecture slide. So I was forced to write smarter, not faster. I’d listen carefully to the lecture while paraphrasing anything that seemed important, in real time, using as few words as possible.

I have tested this out a few times, where I have used my laptop to take notes in entire subjects, and the result is always the same: I remember way more of what I was told in a lecture or seminar when I take notes by hand, and the same goes when I take notes while reading.

I manage everything I do at work with pen and paper; a combination of Midori Travelers Notebook, Field Notes and the notebooks we have at work. There is no reason to do everything digital just because I work as a web developer.