I have been studying shorthand periodically since the 1970s, all self-study. I use it occasionally for note taking.
When I first started learning, I expected that one of the uses would be taking notes in class, but I never really used shorthand for that. When I finally got enough speed to be able to write things down, I was in graduate school studying mathematics, and I already had a lot of math abbreviations for taking notes, so shorthand didn’t add much to my note taking abilities. Also, I decided that taking class notes for later studying was problematic, because I cannot scan shorthand at a glance the way I can scan handwritten notes.
What I found shorthand useful for is taking notes for purposes other than later study. This would include writing to-do lists, taking notes on the phone when I have to write down a lot of information, jotting down reminders, and so on. There are two situations in which I have found shorthand to be particularly useful. The first is when interviewing job candidates, either on-on-one or in group interviews. With shorthand, I could quickly summarize answers to interview questions, add my own impressions and observations, and still spend some of my time paying attention. The second situation in which I naturally gravitate to using shorthand is when I want to write desk procedures for personal use. There are chores that I do at work as part of our regular production, but that no one else needs to do. I find that I can jot down in shorthand all the steps as I do them, and I can easily follow the notes later when I want to do the same chore again. If I need to share, I can always type the notes later at my leisure.
I’m trying to expand my use of shorthand. To that end, I am interested in improving my writing fluency. I used to use Anniversary, or at least try to use it. I found the system attractive when I started, because I had trouble writing longer outlines quickly in Simplified. With Anniversary shorthand, the actual writing does not take as long. Even writing at a relatively slow shorthand speed, I found that I could write faster than I can type, or perhaps even could type, even with extra typing practice. What I found annoying about Anniversary shorthand was that I could never get to the point where the writing became automatic. I was continually hesitating, wondering whether I had the correct form, or maybe thinking about what the form should be. I wanted to check the dictionary whenever I was unsure about an outline. That is distracting when I’m trying to write something, and I want to think about what I am writing rather than how to construct outlines to write it.
So I am trying to learn Diamond Jubilee, and learn it to the point where I can follow the rules automatically. That seems to me to be the fastest way to get to a level of skill where I don’t have to think about anything other than what I want to say. I have picked up some textbooks to have a supply of reading material for practice.
This web page is a great resource. I have been reading the blog, and I am impressed by the discussions I have read. It is wonderful to hear from so many people at all levels of experience who share an interest in writing Gregg shorthand in all its varieties.