Would learning shorthand (e.g, handywrite, gregg, pitman) increase productivity?
I came across David Allen's anecdote about calculating how much time over the course of a career/lifetime is wasted by not learning to touch-type. That got me thinking about low-tech improvements, specifically replacing my mixed longhand/printing with a shorthand method. Has anyone here experimented or have anecdotes to share about learning shorthand as a productivity improvement?
Even though I have a computer related job, I still do a lot of low-tech writing in staff meetings (notes), low-tech collection/paper inbox, annotating printouts, and journal entries (work and personal) among other things. Assuming I write an hour a day on average, every business day for a 25-year career, that comes to an amazing 6,250 hours. Even a 50% improvement would result in ~1 year of added time (!). From what I've read about systems like handiwrite and Gregg, the improvement could be much more than that.
Of course the tradeoff is that it takes quite a lot of practice to get proficient at shorthand, and that's time that could be spent doing more productive things. Shorthand would take longer to learn than typing...
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