is gregg really for me?

hello, i have been looking around but noone has much information on shorthand. i have bad handwriting, it is legable but not very good. I want to learn some kind of shorthand, but i dont know what kind, it has to be somewhat easy because i dont have much time (chaotic high school), i will be able to practice every day but only for 1/2 hour or so. i really dont need to write really fast, i just want an efficient way of writing down notes and stuff. any pointers?

(by computer-tom-com for everyone)

15 comments Add yours
  1. Hi Tom: if you want to check out the basics of Gregg Shorthand, which is a very efficient way of writing, you can view/download a free manual at:

    I bought my Simplified manual at Barnes & Nobles—you can get it at their website too. Ebay has tons of books, so does

    A half hour a day is not too shabby, if you stick to it. It takes some time—in six months to a year, you may be able to write in shorthand at least as fast as you already write.

  2. also i looked at the manual thingy, and gregg looks cool, and logical. i have bad handwriting will that make it harder for me? Also, am i encouraged to develop my own style or should i try to make it close to what is in the books? (what i mean is do i make it so others can read it easily?) thanks again

  3. Somewhat easy Gregg is not. It's fast, but not before you give it a year. That said, a half an hour a day is probably more than most of us give it.

    Perhaps one of the newer alphabetic shorthand systems is for you? Google Teeline or Forkner. Teeline texts are more expensive, but it's reputedly a good, somewhat easy system, and it's popular (in the UK, at least).

  4. 1/2 hour is better then some of us here (me). So you will be doing great.   Alphabetic shorthand systems? – link on other alphabetic shorthands that might interest you if you think you might prefer to learn something quicker. I learned speedwriting (and a few real quick ones) in alphabetical, but I liked Gregg from the beginning (had trouble learning it at first) and really like it.  You may not, and that's fine.  Good luck in your search. gregg-shorthand-comparison.pdf – link to a document that shows the various Gregg versions.  Good luck. Debbi

  5. I am not an expert, but from what I have seen, people with horrible handwriting have no problem learning Gregg.  The important thing is not that your lines and curves are beautiful, but that you can distinguish them from eachother—that is, it's fine to write ugly, as long as you write ugly consistently.  For example, M is written with a long line like this: ____

    N is written with a shorter line:
    __   So, as long as you make your N's shorter, and you M's longer, you can make them as ugly as you want.  That said, I have found that studying Gregg has actually had the unexpected bonus effect of improving my regular handwriting!  By being forced to pay so much attention to the size of your strokes, you train your hand and arm to have greater pen control.  The shapes of the Gregg letters were designed around the beautiful script handwriting of the 1800's, so if you make an effort to mirror the slants and curves in your manual, you may be pleasantly surprised to see it carry over to your handwriting.

  6. Study the Palmer Method of cursive writing. It will greatly improve your shorthand. There are books on Ebay, etc. Shorthand is based on cursive writing. If you improve your cursive, you will improve you shorthand strokes and vice versa. Vic/San Jose CA

  7. I agree wholeheatedly with John above — while writing cursive helps, it is not a necessary requirement to learn Gregg.  I've seen people with horrible cursive write Gregg very nicely.  Proportion is the key.  And yes, writing Gregg can improve your handwriting because you will tend to control the size of the strokes, making letters nicer looking.

  8. Learning the Palmer Method may be harder for you than learning shorthand. Although generations of American school children were taught the Palmer Method throughout their years in grade school, only a few mastered it. Most learned to write letters that more or less resembled the Palmer models, but few mastered the "muscular movement" that is the essence of the method. In "muscular movement" the forearm rests on the desk, and the wrist does not rest on the desk. The fingers remain still, and the letters are formed by arm movement. Those who mastered this movement wrote beautifully. Their slant was absolutely uniform. Their downstrokes were absolutely straight. But mastering it is no mean feat.

    Martin J. Dupraw, asked whether shorthand writers should use finger or arm movement, said, "Just write." (See his essay, reproduced in Gregg Dictation Simplified.) Trying to practice muscular movement while learning shorthand is more likely to be a distraction than a help, I think.

    Winifred Kenna Richmond, who wrote the beautiful shorthand in the Anniversary edition plates, almost certainly used the "muscular movement" taught by Palmer, So, probably, did Charles Rader, who wrote the plates in the Simplified series; but these people had probably mastered the Palmer Method when they were children, so that employing "muscular movement" in the writing of shorthand was for them automatic. You are in a different position.

  9. The fingers have no muscles of their own, so all writing movement comes from the arm muscles, really. Bruce E. is right: trying to concentrate on one or the other would be distracting.

    Resting your arm on the desk instead of your hand or wrist gives you more room to move. This makes it easier to write continuously rather than a few strokes at a time.

  10. Hi Everyone. This is the first time posting to this site. I like it a lot. I am just starting to learn Gregg. I've always wanted to learn it.

    I've only been studying for about 2 weeks now. I've been slowly developing Parkinson's in my hands and was beginning to be discouraged that I may not ever be able to write shorthand. My hands have good days and bad days. But reading mcbud's comment about "proportion is the key" gave me a ray of hope that I can learn this system. I don't intend for others to read my notes. It's just for me.

    So far I've only learned A, S, F, V, E, N, M. I am following the Simplified (2nd Edition). I really wish the book had arrows to show the direction of how some of the words are written. I've been making myself my own worksheets to practice on while I have downtime at work. I wouldn't mind having someone look at some of my words and to get their opinion on my writing.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. This site has such a wealth of great information on Gregg shorthand. I'm glad I found it.

  11. Thank you for the reply mcbud. You are very knowledgeable about Gregg shorthand.

    Once I can scan a page of my shorthand practice sheet, how do I upload it for others to see and to offer suggestions? (Sorry for such a newbie question).

  12. Go to the main page. Below the welcoming message, you will find a box titled "All Messages." On the lower right corner of that box, it reads "Add to Blog." Click on it. A new message box will appear in which you can type anything you want, as well as post images using the toolbar provided in the editing box.

    I have made it even easier for you. If you click here, you can get to the "Add to Blog" page directly.

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