How to Speed Write Like a Pro

What is Speed Writing

Have you ever had to write really fast to keep up with someone talking or take lots of notes in a meeting? That’s where speed writing comes in handy. Speed writing is a way to write faster using shortcuts. Instead of writing out every single word, you use abbreviations and symbols.

The main point is to let you write much quicker than normal handwriting or typing. With practice, speed writing can get your writing speed up over 100 words a minute. That’s way faster than most people can write by hand, which is usually around 30-40 words a minute. Even fast typists only get to around 60-80 words a minute. Some real pros can do over 200 words a minute with speed writing tricks!

How Did Speed Writing Start?

People have been using shortened ways to write things down for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all used shorthand in hieroglyphics and other symbols. The first modern speed writing came out in the 1500s when guys like Timotheus published systems using Latin abbreviations. More styles came along after that in the 1600s.

But the most popular modern system was made by Isaac Pitman in the 1840s. His version used symbols for sounds instead of whole words. Pitman Shorthand became really widespread, especially in Britain.

Similar systems also got big, like Gregg Shorthand in America.

Today, there’s even ways to do speed writing on computers and phones using shortcuts. New styles have come around too, like Teeline. Apps also let you create your own speed writing for different devices. While it’s not as common as it used to be, speed writing is still very handy for note taking, transcribing audio and more.

How to Learn Speed Writing

  1. Pick your style – Do some research on different shorthand systems like Pitman or Gregg. Or look at cool keyboard styles. Choose what seems easiest.
  2. Start small – Focus first on basic symbols, common prefixes/suffixes, things that come up a lot. Baby steps are key.
  3. Practice every day – Even 15 minutes will help. Consistency is super important for learning anything new.
  4. Use practice pages – Find resources with fill-in-the-blank words and sentences to write over and over. Great for building up muscle memory.
  5. Record and watch yourself – Catching your mistakes on video helps know what to focus on improving next time.
  6. Transcribe notes – After practicing, write your shorthand notes out normal so you really learn what you wrote.
  7. Use sample dictation – Grab articles or find recordings online to practice writing quicker to real speech.
  8. Check online communities – Sites like Reddit have speed writing groups where you can ask questions or find study buddies.
  9. Be patient – It takes a while to get fast. Don’t sweat if you’re slow at first. Stick with it and you’ll pick it up.
  10. Use it for real! – Take notes in meetings and for school. Real application helps it click way better than just worksheets.

The key is making it a fun challenge through a mix of learning the basics and constant practice. Stick with it and your speed writing will be pro in no time!

Benefits of Speed Writing

Here’s why it’s so cool to learn speed writing techniques:

  • Write super fast – Get your writing speed up way past normal handwriting, which is great for notes.
  • Saves space – All the shortcuts mean you can fit more into less space on a page.
  • Quick transcription – When you need to type out your notes later, speed writing makes it a breeze.
  • Better memory – Some research shows it actually helps you remember stuff better than writing it all out.
  • Improves listening – You have to really focus to write fast enough.
  • Could help careers – Skills like court reporting still use it. And it’s handy for any job with lots of note taking.

Longhand vs Shorthand


  • No learning curve
  • Everyone can read your writing
  • May be better for creative writing


  • WAY faster note writing speeds
  • More compact notes
  • Faster to type out later
  • Could help memory and focus
  • Good for jobs needing shorthand

For general writing, longhand works fine. But for note-taking where speed matters, shorthand has big advantages. Use the right method depending on your needs.

Even in the Digital Age, Speed Writing Rocks

Even though computers and smartphones are everywhere these days, speed writing skills are still totally useful in the modern world. Here’s how:

  • Keyboard Shorthand – You can absolutely do speed writing on devices too! Just type shortcuts and abbreviations the same way. This lets you take lightning-fast notes anywhere.
  • Awesome Apps – Now there’s apps where you can create your own custom speed writing styles optimized for phones and tablets. Pretty sweet!
  • Court Reporters – Traditional shorthand is still essential for jobs like court stenographers that need to capture everything said verbatim. Tech just handles recording it now.
  • Sync Your Notes – Digital shorthand notes sync across all your devices. No rewriting everything by hand later. Total convenience.
  • Text Expanders – Combined with features that auto-expand your abbreviations as you type, it makes speed writing on a computer super quick.
  • AI Still Learning – Even Siri and Alexa have a ways to go before they can understand speech as well as humans. Shorthand is still faster than waiting for any program to process what you heard.
  • Adaptability is Key – The basics of using shortcuts and symbols don’t care if you write by hand or type. That flexibility lets you take advantage of new tech while keeping your speed writing mojo.

So while technology altered note-taking, speed writing principles stay helpful for absorbing information faster than devices can keep up. The core concept of abbreviations endures regardless of tools used.

With practice, it’s a handy trick for any situation where notetaking needs to happen lickety-split!