The Evolution of Note-Taking: From Shorthand to Digital Apps

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The Note-Taking Evolution: From Digital Apps to Shorthand

Because there are so many apps available that are made to record and preserve every little detail, it’s never been easier to capture meetings, conversations, and fleeting ideas in our digitally-centric society. The transition to digital tools represents a substantial break from the conventional approaches that hitherto ruled the note-taking space.

A Retrospective Look at Shorthand

Shorthand was the preferred technique for quickly capturing information before the invention of recording applications and digital note-taking. The Greek historian Xenophon is credited with originating the idea of shorthand, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. But this kind of writing became popularised throughout the Roman Empire, enabling scribes to swiftly record speeches and conversations as they happened. Before it began to wane throughout the Middle Ages, this antiquated system was in operation for more than a millennium.

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The Rebirth of Handwriting

During the Victorian era, shorthand saw a comeback and was crucial in the Reformation, especially for speedier transcription of Bible translations. Modern shorthand systems were developed as a result of the Industrial Revolution’s surge in need for speedy writing. A more sophisticated form of shorthand was created by Sir Isaac Pitman in 1837, and his brother brought it to America in 1852. Pitman’s approach was the chosen way in Britain, whereas John Robert Gregg’s system—which was first developed in 1888 as Light-Line Phonography and eventually became known as Gregg Shorthand—was the preferred method in the United States.

The Workings and Current Applications of Shorthand

The ability of shorthand to reduce words to the fewest possible strokes allows it to write far more quickly. This technique, which is distinguished by a variety of dots and loops, frequently seems mysterious and is more akin to Arabic lettering than English. Once learned, Gregg’s shorthand allowed one to write at a speed of up to 280 words per minute. Even though it is less frequent now, shorthand is nevertheless useful in secretarial, legal, and medical settings where taking notes quickly is essential.

Thinking Back on Shorthand’s Influence

What do you think of the practice of shorthand? We would be interested in learning about your experiences, whether you have used it yourself or you know someone who has. Spread the word about this intriguing, venerable script and its influence on modern information documentation by sharing this post!

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