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LostInParadise's avatar

When was the last time you used a pencil?

Asked by LostInParadise (24577points) August 12th, 2017

This question is inspired by a Freakonomics episode on NPR, which I highly recommend and which you can catch here One intriguing thing that it suggests is that students who take handwritten notes when listening to a lecture retain more than those who use a laptop.

Handwriting, which used to be taught universally in elementary school, is being taught less frequently every year. Sales of pens is rising slowly, but pencil sales are declining. I still use pens, but I can’t remember the last time I used a pencil.

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30 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

This morning, when I did a crossword.
And yes, I have noticed that it is rarer and rarer for handwriting to happen. But I’m old, so I still take notes by hand.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I used a mechanical pencil today. A real pencil I used to write my exams last year.

ragingloli's avatar

Some years ago when I did a magic trick.

Jeruba's avatar

I use pencils every single day. I have dozens on hand and keep several in permanent locations so they’re readily available. My main use is to annotate books I’m reading and to keep a reading journal alongside the books, but I also use them for lists and notes. For practicality, convenience, and economy, you can’t beat a pencil and paper with anything that plugs in, requires a battery, or consumes energy just sitting there.

I recently allowed myself to be given a mechanical pencil because it’s handy for travel, not needing to be sharpened, but a mechanical pencil is never quite sharp enough. Also I take an art class where we do graphite drawings.

I have noted the decline of penmanship instruction in schools and wondered if that was going to turn out to be a costly loss. For one thing, how many people still have actual signatures?

ragingloli's avatar

I certainly do not. Mine is a horrible scribble that is different every single time.

Pachy's avatar

Several times today—doing crosswords and working on my budget. But I rarely pencil-write even short notes because my handwriting has gotten so bad. I do better with pens (though not much).

kritiper's avatar

Yesterday or the day before. I made an addition to my work schedule by adding a new customer.

Kardamom's avatar

About a half hour ago. Even though I make most of my purchases with a debit card, I collect the receipt and write down the purchase in a check registry. It’s just easier for me to keep track that way.

PullMyFinger's avatar

aT thhis verrrrry momnt

typng wiht my lfett hnad

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I always handwrite notes with a pencil.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I use a pencil for drawing woodworking & household repair projects. I use a carpenter’s pencil (it’s flat so it doesn’t roll off the table) for marking wood for cutting.

The last time was a week ago.

I use pens for everything else. Or, more common, type on the computer.

AshlynM's avatar

I use a pencil when I feel like drawing, so a couple of weeks ago.

Sneki2's avatar

A few days ago.
Then I switched to typing info on my computer. It’s faster like that. My way of seeing what I know is writing it all down and then comparing it with the official notes. It’s faster if I type it, there’re no tons of wasted paper. (and I can delete it and start over again if I didn’t learn it well)

I still handwrite notes in class and rely on writing by hand. I don’t use cursive, though.

zenvelo's avatar

I used a pencil yesterday at work.

Zaku's avatar

A couple of days ago. I have bunches of pens and pencils and I use them regularly. I use computers too but I am finding that there really is a difference for me between typing into a computer and writing on paper. I relate to real paper differently, and is has me think differently. I think that there’s a real object I’m relating to has some effect – computer docs and even computerized writing with a stylus occurs for me more like “headspace” activity.

Mimishu1995's avatar

This morning, when I did some English tasks and doodled on my drawing notebook.

As someone who like drawing, pencil is a necessity. I find it more convenient to make draft with pencils too. I can control what is on the paper easily. Although I’m starting to move to digital drawing, I still have to draw properly on paper before moving to my computer.

I notice that people here are starting to neglect pencils. They think of using pencils as being childish, unable to face errors. They favor ballpoint pens more. But I think pencils have nothing to do with being stupid. It’s merely a preference.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Earlier today. I sketched Sam&Dave (my border collies) and a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible

flutherother's avatar

I keep a notepad and pencils by my computer desk and though I often take notes they are nearly always in ink. The last time I used a pencil was about one month ago.

flameboi's avatar

I keep a pencil and paper in my night table. I love the ability to erase what I have written if need to, not like in life where everything is permanent, and when you try to erase it, it will leave marks.

si3tech's avatar

@LostInParadise I use a pencil always when balancing my checkbook.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I haven’t used a graphite pencil in years, probably a decade or more.
I have used colored pencils, but not in recent months.

PullMyFinger's avatar

Pay no attention to her, No. 2

Most of us will be loyal to the end….

JLeslie's avatar

I used one a few months ago sketching out a house plan.

rojo's avatar

This morning. My ear was itching deep down inside.

PullMyFinger's avatar

Keanu Reeves killing half the people walking by aside, many years ago an Ear, Nose and Throat guy told me to never, ever put a a Q-tip (or any other kind of solid object) beyond the outer rim of your ear hole.

Sticking anything beyond that can do serious (and sometimes permanent) harm, but will never achieve anything positive.

Strauss's avatar

Friday I was putting up some shelves and didn’t want to permanently mark the wall

SergeantQueen's avatar

Like 2–3 days ago. I actually hardly have to use a pencil. Especially during the school year because almost all my school work/homework is online.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

this morning

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