Pen or Laptop: Which is better for Taking Notes in Meetings?

Infographic: Pen or Laptop: Which is Better for Taking Notes in Meetings?


Due to modern day innovations, the good old pen and paper are considered as classics when it comes to note taking in meetings; as gadgets – particularly laptops -are now the present-day means of taking down notes.

So, what is the most effective way to record the relevant points in a meeting?

Pen and Paper


  • Translates to better retention of information
    Writing your notes by hand will give you a better chance of retaining the information that you are manually taking down.
  • Keeps you engaged in the meeting
    If you are following along with the speaker and actively taking notes, this means you are fully engaged.
  • Illustrative thoughts
    Notebooks allow more free-form customisation for your note taking, such as underlining and encircling for emphasis.
  • Selective note taking
    You can choose which information you need to write down and which you would rather disregard.


  • Leads to missed information
    It’s easy to miss vital information when you are busy catching up with your notes.
  • Requires excellent organisational skills
    One simple piece of information that falls out of line can completely affect the accuracy of your notes.
  • Difficult to read and hand cramps
    Quick note taking can lead to illegible writing and hand cramps.



  • Quicker note-taking
    With solid typing skills, you can blast out notes at a fast pace – which means no information is missed.
  • Allows quick searches and more examples at hand
    For incomprehensible topics or points of discussion, your best resource is just one click away!
  • It is organised
    You can have your agenda, the calendar and other resources all neatly organised in one place.
  • The power of copy and paste
    You can easily copy and paste if you want to do another set of notes or quote something.


  • Provides a distraction
    With the Internet right at your fingertips, you might be tempted to side track your attentions – e.g. using social media.
  • Verbatim note taking
    Taking down every single thing you hear can be passive, as you are not absorbing as much information as you can.
  • Technical difficulties
    Laptops can glitch out at the worst times – leading to lost notes and wasted time and effort.

After carefully evaluating all the pros and cons of each method, a study published by the Association for Psychological Science showed that using laptops is a less effective note taking means, due to shallower mental processing – meaning the traditional pen and paper comes out on top!

For training rooms in London that can contribute to your meeting productivity, contact &Meetings on 0800 073 0499 – we have free notepads and pencils in our venues to aid the note taking process!


Posted by Julie Tucker


Blog Latest