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Prompting Creativity:
Computer and Keyboard vs.
Pen and Paper

By Bill Lester

Interested in prompting creativity? Are you a tactile, visual, or audio learner? The psychology of learning states that most people prefer one of three methods when learning new principles and ideas.

To break it down a little further, physically creating or practicing, visualization or observation, and hearing or saying. Each learning style has strengths and weaknesses, and research has shown that most people become proficient in one learning style while adapting to the world around them with a second learning style.

Being familiar with your learning style is a great benefit to prompting creativity because it is directly correlated with your ability to generate new and original ideas. You may guess that a visual learner has the best chance of creatively producing ideas. Well, not completely.

With computers, phones, and tablets, it's never been easier to rapidly keep track of any notes or ideas you come up with. Applications that store digital versions of your notes make organization and preservation extremely simple. Remember to utilize these resources when brainstorming or working.

With all the virtual note taking now available, the invention of the touch screen interface has introduced an entire world of newcomers to the digital age. Grandparents, children, and even house pets have been easily transitioning to, and even enjoying, new technology. What do we all have in common - the ability to physically touch – tactile – our environment. If you prefer to get in touch with your ideas, you may be at an advantage.

In order to enjoy all of the new technology around us, you must be able to visually comprehend all that you see. Does it take a visual learner to truly embrace a digital learning format? Maybe so. 

Pen and Paper a Thing of the Past?

Considering that all learning styles benefit from a digital format in creativity, is the idea of pen-and-paper work obsolete and of no use to us any longer?

If your focus is on the speed of productivity, a digital format may be your preference. It all depends on your skill with typing. Most people prefer digital note taking when their proficiency with typing is high. Still learning how to master the keyboard, though? Stick with pen-and-paper.

If you are on-the-go and looking for prompting creativity, a traditional notepad is the path to creative enlightenment. Notebooks, tablets, and other devices require a power source. When they are not properly charged, your creative adventures are put on "hold." However, printing with HP printer ink can preserve ideas from digital to physical. Sharing with others is easy and timeless.

The tactile learner is notorious for scribbling and doodling while brainstorming. Did you know many note taking applications now support digital drawings? Simply convert them into easily saved PDF files and they are available for viewing and printing. That translates into clarity for all uses, whether you digitally share, post, or pin your ideas on the board.

Does it pay to be a tactile learner? Will you greatly benefit from the visual learning style? What about audio learners? While all styles come into play depending on the situation, the debate between pen-and-paper or digital note taking may be endless. So long as both resources are available, every creative individual will have the ability to exercise their skill and share ideas with the world around them.

Bill Lester recently obtained his certification for senior economics at the high school level.

Done with Prompting Creativity? Go back to Guest Posts.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.

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