How to take notes FASTER on keyboard

Written by Charaf Mrah

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineering major currently studying in college. The purpose of this website is to share my learnings and insights with you, in the hopes of providing value and assistance to those who may need it.

Updated Mar 3, 2021

Online school forced everyone to use their computers extensively. While some people still take notes using a pen, what if you decided to use a keyboard? how can you increase your note-taking speed?

The obvious advantage of using a keyboard over pen and paper/iPad is that it’s faster. So how can you utilize this advantage and take notes faster on the keyboard?

I have some tips here for you that will come down to 2 things: typing speed and your environment. Let’s get started:

Learn fast typing

The only tip that will increase your note-taking speed significantly is that you need to learn how to type using ten fingers.

Using ten fingers will allow you to reach high typing speeds that aren’t possible using just 2 fingers. I mean it just makes sense 10 > 2… right?

If you’re willing to learn how to type using ten fingers (called touch typing), then I will recommend that you check is free to use and has multiple step-by-step tutorials on how to type using ten fingers.

If you want to learn more about how to increase your typing speed then check my post about this here:

RELATED: How to improve your typing speed to save time

Get a good keyboard

A good keyboard isn’t good for your typing speed only, it’s also good for your wrist.

With online school now, programmers and gamers aren’t the only people on their computers all day long.

Because we’re using the computer consistently, then I would suggest that you think about investments that will make your experience healthier (a good chair, a big display….).

One of the best investments is a keyboard. While typing the wrist isn’t in its natural position, and thus long term you might suffer from some problems due to that.

While you just buying an expensive keyboard won’t be the solution, getting a decent keyboard with better support for the wrist might.

7 Reasons You Need an Ergonomic Keyboard

Use a second display

If you’re using a laptop for studying, then I highly suggest that you get an external display.

The bigger display will be easier to look at (generally speaking) and thus make your note-taking speed easier.

The best thing about using 2 display in my opinion is the fact that I can have the professor’s stream on one of them, and the notes or google on the other one.

This is also very handy when taking an open book exam or while revising.

If you’re a desktop user, however, then just one big display should be enough as you can split the screen.


Taking notes fast on a keyboard ultimately comes down to your typing speed and how comfortable you are. That’s why I suggest that you learn touch typing (using ten fingers) and making yourself as comfortable as possible by getting the best environment. You can improve your environment by getting a good keyboard for example, or using a bigger display to make it easier to open multiple windows at the same time.

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