The pen is quickly being relegated to history, as our use of phones and tablets increases.
But much of the information we type into our devices could be seeping just as quickly out of our brains.
A recent study of university students found that notes taken on a computer were forgotten far easier than when students used pen and paper.
“You’d think that a laptop notetaker [would] have all this content written down, so maybe if they went back and studied it later, they’d be fine – but we found that that wasn’t the case,” lead researcher Pam Mueller, a psychologist at Princeton University, told Public Radio International.
“We were really, really surprised by that.”
The problem seems to be that students who take notes on a computer try to take down every single word, which prevents them from processing and memorising the information.
But even when computer note takers went back and studied their notes, it did not seem to help.
“Even if they got to study their notes, the longhand notetakers were still doing better,” Ms Mueller said.
Victoria University student experience expert Claire Brown recently wrote for The Conversation that electronic and hand written notes can be combined to take advantage of both.
“For tasks like formulas and diagrams, handwritten notes can be integrated electronically using a stylus.
“Handwritten notes on the electronic device become searchable, too.”