As part of the Handwriting Matters campaign
to highlight the importance of putting pen to paper, Pen Heaven has quizzed 400 people in the UK about their handwriting habits. With so many gadgets making it possible to make notes or send messages without ever picking up a pen or pencil, there is a risk that people’s handwriting skills may be becoming a little rusty.
"Almost one in three people think their handwriting is terrible or needs improvement."
"Men think their handwriting is significantly worse than women’s."
"Handwriting is still alive as a note taking tool, but we don’t send handwritten letters."
How do you rate your handwriting?
The survey result showed that while 43% rated their handwriting as above average, more than 30% of people still felt their penmanship needed a bit of work. More people thought their handwriting was terrible (16.5%) than excellent (13.9%).
And the findings suggest men have a worse opinion of their own handwriting than women. 51% of women thought their handwriting was above average, compared to only 35% of men. Just 11.1% of men described their handwriting as excellent compared to 16.8% of women. One in five men thought their handwriting was terrible. At Pen Heaven we suspect that women tend to take more care and pride in their note taking, but we’d love to know what you think.
The perception of our handwriting dropped as we reached middle age. 67% of 18 – 24 year olds thought theirs was above average, compared to 43% for 35-44 year olds. This could be a result of handwriting losing its importance as we leave education. Perception of handwriting did then pick up, hinting at handwriting having more importance for the older generation.
More than half of people still write every day
Using computers, smartphones and laptops as part of our daily lives means people can now swap their pen for keyboards or touchscreens if they choose to. But the Pen Heaven survey found that most people still write by hand every day, suggesting the majority still see the value in putting pen to paper.
Out of those who took part in the survey, 51.4% wrote by hand on a daily basis, while 21.4% picked up a pen to write at least once a week. However, on the other end of the spectrum, 16.5% of people admitted they couldn’t remember the last time they wrote something by hand.
Men write less regularly than women with 19.4% saying they were unable to remember the last time they wrote by hand compared with 13.5% of women.
Many people assume the older generation places a higher value on handwriting than younger people who may be more likely to use gadgets to communicate instead. But the Pen Heaven poll indicates this isn’t the case at all.
Just 39.5% of over-65s wrote by hand every day while 18-24-year-olds were the most likely age group to pick up a pen with 60% saying they used a pen or pencil to write daily. At Pen Heaven we have previously discussed the memory benefits of writing
Using a Notebook is still very Popular
Pen Heaven also asked participants whether they used a notebook to jot down their thoughts, ideas and reminders. The results proved that scribbling down notes was still a popular way to stay organised with 28.8% saying they used a notebook on a daily basis, and 28% at least once a week.
One in five (20.3%) though admitted it was something they never used. Women were more likely to use a notebook with 32.7% using one every day compared to 24.9% of men.
Sending Letters is a Lost Art
Although using a pen and paper is still a very popular way for people to express themselves and keep on top of their busy lives, most respondents turned to modern technology when they wanted to send a message to their family and friends.
The most popular way for people to communicate remotely was text message (32.7%) followed by email at 19.2%. Just 9% of those taking part in the survey said they sent messages using post, although 18.2% used WhatsApp and 16.5% used Facebook as their preferred method of communication.
Whilst the older generation did send more letters by post to loved ones (as we’d expect), it was still very small compared to modern technology, suggesting handwritten letters are becoming a lost art (and so too the pen pal
). Only 14% of those over 65 used the post to send letters, compared to 73% using email and text.