Sometimes it may seem impossible to write both neatly and fast. It is one of those skills that eludes many people.
When trying to write fast, your handwriting ends up looking unreadable and messy. When you try to write neatly, it seems to take forever.
You may be frustrated and wondering - What is the solution? Is it really possible to write fast yet neatly? Let’s find out…
Why Would You Need to Write Neatly and Fast?
There are some instances when you will have to write very quickly, yet legibly. Students for example often face this dilemma during lessons.
If you are studying, you will need to be able to listen and take notes at the same time. Often, the speaker will not slow down and it’s up to you to keep up.
They may also have to increase handwriting speed when answering tests or exams. With limited time, they need to record their answers as fast as possible. Being able to write quickly could be the difference between a pass and a fail.
Another instance is when you have a flash of inspiration and need to jot it down quickly.
Many creatives have this problem. They think of a brilliant idea and by the time they make a note, it’s forgotten. Quick handwriting skills would definitely come in handy in such situations.
The Role of Your Pen When Writing Neatly and Fast
“The pen is the tongue of the mind.” Horace
As Horace said, the pen reflects one’s thoughts and is the ultimate tool of the (writing) trade. No matter how technologically advanced a society is, the pen is always present. It can never be replaced.
When wondering how to write neatly and fast, you will need to find the correct equipment.
Your pen will play a big role in the speed and legibility of your handwriting as well as handwriting style.
Key features to look out for in a ‘fast pen’ include:
Balance - Where does the weight lie on the pen? Is it towards the tip, the back or the middle? One way to check is to lightly hold the pen in the crook of your thumb and index finger.
To identify a well-made pen, there should be no excess weight towards one end.
Tip friction/pressure - The point at which the pen makes contact with paper should have minimum friction. It should allow for easy, quick ink-flow.
The more viscous ink, the more pressure required to write. This may result in muscle cramps and slowed writing speed.
Nib/writing point size - The thickness of the nib/writing point will determine speed.
Tips between 0.7mm - 0.9mm may be easier to use but they result in larger strokes which take more time to complete.
Use thinner tips for smaller letters (explained below). Fountain pens and rollerball pens are the best when looking for a thin-tipped pen.
Fit - Your pen should have no loose or ill-fitting parts. The cap should close snugly and the clip should be able to snap back when tugged slightly.
The ideal pens for ‘speed-writing’ are fountain and rollerball pens because minimal pressure is needed. The ink flow is constant and the light touch lets you write much faster.
Take a look at this comparison table for various pens and their advantages. Each one has a different impact on your handwriting style.
Best Tips to Writing Neatly and Fast
Use the Most Comfortable Pen Grasp
Everyone holds their pens differently and your grip is entirely personal. As long as it results in legible handwriting, no single grasp can be labeled right or wrong.
1. The pen is between the thumb and index finger and the body of the pen rests on the middle finger. The ring finger and little finger are tucked into the palm. This is the most commonly used handwriting method, known as the dynamic tripod grip.
2. The pen is between the thumb and both the index finger and the middle fingers. The body rests on the ring finger. Known as the dynamic quadrupod grip, it is also widely popular and one of the most effective.
They are accepted as a way to reduce strain on fingers and wrists and are the most popular grasp methods in handwriting techniques.
The lateral versions of these grips are also common in handwriting. The one major difference is the way the thumb crosses over the pen and touches the forefinger.
However you hold your pen, you want to make sure you hold it lightly with minimal tension to improve your handwriting.
A wider pen allows for a more relaxed grip so stay away from thin-barrelled pens. These cause you to squeeze the pen causing unnecessary strain on fingers.
Use Small, Tall and Skinny Letters
You can increase your writing speed by decreasing the size of your letters. The smaller each individual letter is, the less time it takes to complete it.
You do not want to decrease the letter size so much as to make your note illegible. Rather, a reduction of 10 - 15% is enough to increase your handwriting speed.
It has also been found that it is easier for us to write up and down than side-to-side. This is because our fingers only bend up and down so sideways motions are more difficult.
Making your letters taller and skinnier is a way to reduce horizontal movements.
Another simple way to improve your handwriting is to use lined paper. The lines give guidance and are a way to keep the letters neat.
Your posture when writing will determine the amount of stress placed on your various muscles and thus influence the speed.
If you have incorrect posture, your muscles will cramp, and inevitably, cause you to write slower.
These tips outline what posture will help improve your handwriting.
• Your feet are flat on the floor.
• Knees are at a 90° angle.
• Your back is straight and slightly inclined towards the desk.
• Forearms rest in the desk with elbows at 90°.
• Non-writing hand holds onto paper at a 45° angle.
• Your neck and shoulders are relaxed.
• Your body faces the desk directly.
• Paper tilted to the right (for right-handed people). The opposite applies to left-handed people.
Use the Arm Movement Method of Writing
According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the normal method of handwriting taught in schools often causes cramps as it uses the smaller hand muscles.
Another mode of writing known as the ‘American method’ is a movement of the full arm off the shoulder. It does however not lend itself to rapid writing due to the energy required to move such large parts.
The best method for rapid writing is the ‘Arm Movement Method’. Here is a breakdown of how to use this method of handwriting. (Note: This is for right-handed people. If you ’re left-handed, just reverse the instructions to fit)
• Place the center of your forearm on the desk, with the fleshy part taking the weight.
• Extend your arm behind the elbow over the edge of the table.
• Rest your hand on the third and fourth fingers (or preferred pen grasp).
• Use your wrist and forearm to move across the page instead of just your fingers.
• Keep your elbow at an angle of more than 90° to avoid excessive flexion.
Although there are numerous Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to correct positioning, the actual arm movements are key. If you want faster writing, try to use your forearm muscles to move across the page. Avoid relying on the delicate wrist and finger muscles.
Tip: Cursive handwriting is often faster than print. More connected letters allow for a smoother and faster transition between words.
Finding the Right Pen for Fast Yet Neat Writing
We have seen that fountain pens and rollerball pens are the best for fast, neat handwriting.
Luckily, there is no need to spend hours trying to find the correct pen in your quest. We believe that handwriting is an art and should be treated as such.
That is why we offer a wide range of customizable pens that will enable you to write neatly, yet fast. Only the highest quality will do, as experienced by this happy customer.
Even better, we offer free engraving on all pens to make your ‘tool’ unique and special.
Why wait? Shop online now for speedy delivery.
Image courtesy from Pixabay