Leave the Computer at Home: Why Taking College Notes in a Journal is a Better Idea

Guest Post By Maria Rainier

There is nothing more I love in this world than my Apple Macbook computer. It's perhaps the single greatest investment I've ever made in my life, and, no, I'm not exaggerating. As a full-time writer, I greatly depend upon my computer to help me put together my work each and every day. If there was ever a time I didn't depend upon my computer, however, it was in college. While other students would pull out their laptops during class, I'd reach for a ballpoint pen and a wire-bound journal to take my notes. It might seem odd for a girl who loves her computer so much to forgo a laptop in the classroom, but the truth is that I knew the benefits of not using a computer during class. For those of you who are new to the college classroom, here are three reasons why a journal is a better idea to take notes in than a laptop computer.

Journals are less distracting

Computers are one of the most distracting forces on the planet. Not only are they full of innovative, exciting programs, but they also have the ability to access the Internet. Though you may think you have the self-discipline to stop yourself from going online and looking at blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. during college classes – it's much easier said than done. A computer is essentially a vessel of distractions, and as most any college student will tell you, it's never good to be distracted during class. Inevitably, you'll miss your teacher going over the key concepts and theories you'll need to understand in order to succeed in the class. With a journal, however, you'll be able to focus on the class and give your professor the full attention he or she deserves.

Journals won't crash on you

Almost every person I've met has had their computer crash at least once. I personally had mine crash during my sophomore year of college, which – at the time – seemed like an absolute disaster. I had stored countless class and work documents on my computer that I wasn't able to ever restore. If you take class notes on your computer, you always risk losing documents through computer crashes. Journals, on the other hand, never stand the chance of crashing. As long as you don't lose your journal or get caught in a nasty rainstorm, you never have to fear losing all your important class notes.

Journals have more personality

Perhaps the greatest thing about journals is that you can diversify the notes you take inside of them. With computers, you're restricted to taking notes in mundane programs like Word or PowerPoint, which severely limits the diversity and creativity of your content. Journals, on the other hand, allow you to do useful things like draw pictures and write in short abbreviations that can greatly aid you in your studies. Although computers might be more innovative, journals definitely have more personality.

Technology is finding its ways into college classrooms and our everyday lives, but that doesn't mean we have to surrender ourselves to its force all the time. If you want to succeed in taking thorough, effective notes, always choose a journal over a computer.

Maria Rainier is a freelance blogger and writer for an online degrees blog. She is interested in all things concerned with higher education and is particularly passionate about technology in the classroom. Please share your comments or questions with her.