Why I Love to Write by Hand


When I was in 5th grade, I won my class’s handwriting contest.

I realize that this might seem like a quaint idea by today’s standards. Do children even practice their handwriting anymore?

Anyhoo, I was thrilled that my classmates had voted that I had the clearest, neatest handwriting. I think I won some candy or maybe a sheet of stickers.

By high school, I was required to type all my papers, but I still wrote by hand every day. I love the feeling of putting pen to paper, and I feel sad for people who don’t understand the joys of handwriting.

I am especially proud of my handwriting because I was born a leftie but was forced to write with my right hand when I started school. My left-handwriting is still legible, but slow.

When was the last time you wrote by hand? And I mean besides scribbling a quick grocery list.

Here are a few reasons why I love to write by hand and why you should give it a try.

For a Better Memory

It’s been my experience that I’m better able to remember things I write in my own handwriting. There’s something profound about drawing out each letter rather than tap-tap-tapping on a keyboard.

A few of you have requested that I save my worksheets as PDFs that you can type into instead of having to print them out and write your answers by hand. Sorry to disappoint you, but I have my reasons for making my clients write things out longhand.

There’s a sense of ownership when you touch your pen to the paper and deliberately write out the words.

As a coach, I ask you to delve deep into your most personal dreams and desires. I want to know what you are passionate about!

By writing down their visions and the steps they plan to take, my clients remember why they’re working so hard to change their lives.

You remember what you write!

For More Efficient Work

When I used to work in an office, I was teased by my coworkers for always carrying a notebook wherever I went—even to the bathroom!

It made sense to me to always have a way to write something down, such as a request from my manager, a coworker’s phone number, or the deadline for my next project. My head can only hold so much information, and I found I got more done when I wrote it down.

Once at an old job, the IT department was switching my department to a new email system. This was just a trial for my department, and the rest of the company would continue to use the old system.

The IT guys swore to us that all our meetings, appointments, and tasks in our calendars would transfer over to the new system.

You can see where this is going, right?

They did the transfer over a weekend, and on Monday morning we discovered that our calendars had been wiped clean. Our meetings with clients and people in other departments were still scheduled, but no one in my department had a record of when and where these meetings would be held.

That is, except for me.

I have a habit of writing appointments in my planner even if they’re in my email calendar. For weeks, my coworkers were coming to me asking when the meetings were. This situation cemented in my mind the necessity of writing things out by hand.

For the Fun of It

Your handwriting is a part of you, and it reflects so much of your personality. Be thankful that you are able to draw out the letters instead of peck at the keyboard on your laptop or phone.

I like to celebrate my handwriting by adding to my collection of notebooks and planners. You can never have too many!

Online calendars and planners are so impersonal. I love seeing someone’s hard copy planner covered in scribbles, notes, and doodles.

Handwriting can strengthen your relationships too. Nothing is sweeter than receiving an actual letter or card in the mail with a lovely note from a friend who thought you were worth the time to write a special message by hand.

“She may have looked normal on the outside, but once you’d seen her handwriting you knew she was deliciously complicated inside.” Jeffrey Eugenides

In what situations do you write by hand and when do you choose to type your words?

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  1. Sarah @ This Is What I Eat on February 13, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I pretty much write everything by hand too. I type up blog posts and emails and whatnot but otherwise all of my lists, notes, recipes, etc. are handwritten. I even made my friend a hand written cookbook for the holidays a few years ago. It’s just a habit I’ve gotten into and I think it definitely helps me remember things 🙂 I agree with you, I LOVE receiving handwritten notes and letters. I think they are more special!

    • Sage Grayson on February 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      A handwritten cookbook sounds like a beautiful present. I save most of the handwritten cards I receive, but I rarely find a email special enough to save.

  2. Gillian @ GrowingUpGillian on February 13, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I write everything by hand…except for blog posts, pretty much. It is just so much easier for me to remember important things and stay connected when I sit down and actually write it out. Especially with my personal schedule. I tried a million apps but nothing works better for me than my mini planner and a mechanical pencil. I’m assuming that “handwriting champ” is listed on your resume?

    • Sage Grayson on February 13, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Oh, of course! “Handwriting champ” is on my resume along with “cupcake eater” and “puppy cuddler.” I’m multi-talented. 🙂 I type my blog posts, but my editorial calendar and idea lists are written by hand.