Handwriting at speed

Most online material about fast handwriting directs you to learn a so-called shorthand system, like Gregg or Pitman. I don't want to do that, so here are some other tricks to speed up writing.

Mix cursive and print styles

Some research showed that the fastest writers do this, instead of sticking only with cursive or only with print.

I believe your basic approach would be cursive-first, and just changing some letters for the print version. I'm guessing the following print letters tend to be faster:

  • b, h, k, l, q

It also probably depends on what letter came before, so it's a bit of an art.

Simplify your print-letters

Omit the initial stroke on these letters: m, n, r, u

Draw these in a single stroke instead of two strokes: d, g, p, q

Draw s as a backwards c.

Omit the step where you "cross the T's and dot the I's". It looks weird but you get used to it. Letters affected: f, i, j, t

Do all the above, and I expect you'll need no cursive at all.

Make a personal list of standard abbrevs

For example:

  • the -> ·
  • you -> u
  • your -> ur
  • these -> dz
  • this -> ds
  • that -> dt
  • make -> mk
  • are -> r
  • and -> n
  • with -> w
  • without -> w/o
  • people -> ppl
  • conversation -> convo
  • them -> em
  • because -> bc
  • explanation -> xpl
  • have -> hv
  • high -> hi
  • is -> s
  • habit of dropping a vowel letter here and there
    • everything starting with "ex" -> start with "x"

Get in the habit of using ad-hoc abbrevs

It can be either an acronym you make on the spot, like if you're writing about the Second Law of Thermodynamics then the acronym "SLOT" will be clear from the context, or it can be a clipped word like "ind." for "independence".

Trust in your future-self to make sense of it.

If you're worried your future-self won't make sense of a particular abbrev, I guess you can add a legend for that one in the margins, afterward. But I'll bet usually as long as you make it obvious this is an abbreviation (clipped words should always have a dot at the end), that's enough to cue future-you into searching the context for meaning.

Break grammar rules

Sentences needn't be complete. Many word-classes can be omitted. "Chair on table" is equally clear as "a chair on a table".

Use the first word your mind coughs up

For example, you can write "A sentence needn't be grammarly…" even though you know you can't find "grammarly" in any dictionary. Future-you will probably understand, and that's all that matters.

Created (13 months ago)