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Many of us have become so accustomed to typing, that our handwriting has become nearly illegible.

While typing has become both a necessity and a convenience for most these days, this is no reason to abandon handwriting altogether. In fact, handwriting has been found to offer several benefits, for children and adults alike.

Luckily, improving your handwriting does not require months of learning. The following resources will help you to quickly find your flow again, so you can turn those awkward scribbles into something legible, and even elegant.

The benefits of handwriting

So, is the pen really mightier than the keyboard? Research has found that there are several benefits to writing by hand.

One study found that students who take notes longhand are able to better retain the information, compared to those who type out notes using a laptop. This comes down to the way you process the information as you take down notes.

When typing out notes, students tended to simply take verbatim notes. However, when writing out notes by hand, you engage your brain, which has a positive impact on your ability to remember the material. Not only does this improve your memory, but it also gives you a better grasp on the subject, as you are not merely mindlessly processing the information.

Handwriting has also been found to improve cognitive skills, the development of fine motor skills while also leading to the expression of more ideas.

Start with the right materials

Don’t worry; you won’t require a fancy fountain pen to help improve your handwriting. Choose a pen that is comfortable to hold and does not require you to push too hard on the paper to get the ink out.

When it comes to choosing the right paper, you want to opt for lined paper. You should start off by choosing paper where the lines are not too narrow. In this case, traditional school writing paper works well.

At the beginning, you should be writing larger than you normally would to ensure that the letters are properly formed. Once your writing has improved, you can shrink it back down again.

Retrain your arm and hand

If you find your hand starts to cramp up when you try to write by hand, then it probably comes down to the way you move your arm and hand as you write.

If you write with your fingers, then you put the full weight of your hand on the paper and “draw” the letters. That means that you form the letters with your fingers, and then pick up your hand and move it across as you write.

Instead of drawing the letters, you should try to keep your arm and wrist in the same position as you write. The following video shows you the correct pencil and paper positioning:

Video tutorialYouTube

You can also use this thorough guide to learn how to re-train those important writing muscles and learn the right habits.

Complete online writing lessons

If you are looking to improve your cursive writing skills, then there are several free handwriting lessons you can follow online.

The following resources include things like practice exercises and even free printable worksheets to help get you back into the writing rhythm.

Sometimes it helps to see the lessons in action. There are plenty of lessons available in video form, which go through the basics of writing in cursive.

This Complete Cursive Writing Lesson from Tech Angel also comes with practice sheets for you to work from.

Video tutorialYouTube

Use a handwriting course book

By switching to the right writing materials and hand positioning, you will already notice a big improvement in your handwriting. However, if you want to improve your writing even further, you will need to practice.

Going through a handwriting course book will get you to practice your handwriting on a daily basis until you perfect it. Here are a few books that will help you get there:

Handwriting lessons

If you’re the kind of person that prefers more of a hands-on learning experience, then it may be worth signing up for handwriting lessons. Having a tutor there to help guide you through the process, set assignments and point out areas for improvement on the spot can help you to improve your handwriting in no time.