10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Handwriting

by Ryan Hart

Updated on February 14, 2019

Handwriting Illustration

In this post you’re going to learn easy ways to improve your handwriting. If you follow these tips you’ll have perfect penmanship in no time.

In fact:

I used these same tips to make my handwriting better in just a matter of days.

Ready to learn how to write neatly?

Let’s get started!

Use a Nice Pen

The first step in learning how to write nicely is to use a nice pen. No, it does not need to be an expensive or rare pen, just high quality.

Nice pens help improve your handwriting because they have more consistent ink flow and offer more control. However, there is not one perfect pen. You will need to experiment with a few until you find one that feels good in your hand and gives you the consistency to create identical letters every time.

Consider experimenting with ball point, fountain or fineliners at first. Each pen style will produce a different line thickness and give you a different feel.

Learn Correct Pen Grip

At this point in your life you probably don’t even give a second thought to how you hold your pen. But the experts agree that there are really only one or two correct ways to hold a pen.

The primary way is to hold the pen between your thumb and index finger with the body of the pen resting on your middle finger.

The next most common way is to hold the pen between your thumb and both the index and middle finger with the pen resting against your ring finger.

Whether you decide to change your pen grip or not, the most important thing is to hold the pen lightly. Your hand should be relaxed and comfortable with no tension.

Use Your Wrist and Arm

There are two main types of writers: those that write with their fingers and those that write with their forearm and shoulder. Your fingers should be used as a guide rather than to draw the letters.

If when you are writing for an extended period of time and your hand starts to get tired, then you know you are a “finger” writer. Using your shoulder and forearm will be much less tiring and give you a more consistent handwriting style.

To improve your handwriting focus on keeping your forearm, wrist, and fingers still and let your arm and shoulder move the pen.

As you are writing move the paper away from you as you move down the page. Do not move your hand into an uncomfortable position that will affect your handwriting.

Maintain Good Posture

When you are writing in your notebook or bullet journal it is important to be in a comfortable position and maintain good posture. Try to sit up straight and avoid hunching over your paper.

You should be able to move your arm and shoulder freely without anything on your desk getting in your way.

Having perfect posture can improve your handwriting, but staying relaxed and comfortable in your chair will yield the greatest results.

Take Your Time to Improve Penmanship

During my first year of architecture school we were required to hand draft all of our presentation drawings, or “blueprints” as some might call them. That means we were required to draw our floorplans by hand with lead holders rather than using a computer program and printer.

After we spent dozens of hours working on one drawing, the last step was to title the board.

Our professor encouraged us to just think about just one letter at a time to avoid making a critical mistake at the last minute. So if I was writing the word “FLOOR PLAN” my professor told me to say the letter “F” out loud as I was writing the first letter. Then “L,” “O,” “O,” “R,” etc.

Sure, I probably sounded ridiculous sounding my letters out loud, but this was an incredibly easy way to improve my handwriting. I suggest following a similar process if you want better handwriting as well.

As you write, think about or say each letter out loud. Focus on writing each letter as neatly as possible. Over time you will be able to write faster and still maintain your perfect handwriting. But in the beginning, taking your time will help you dramatically improve your handwriting.

Use Lined Paper

If you open a blank notebook or bullet journal and start writing, you are going to have less control over your handwriting than if you used lined paper.

Handwriting looks neat when lines of words are properly aligned and is consistent across the page. If you are trying to improve your handwriting the first step is to use lined paper.

In the event you need to write on a blank piece of paper, put a piece of notebook paper underneath to give you a guide or draw lines lightly with a pencil that can be erased when you are finished.

Use Proper Spacing to Write Neatly

What’s the difference between good handwriting and perfect penmanship?

The answer is proper letter spacing and alignment!

Each letter must be the same size and equal width apart. When writing in cursive your letters should maintain the same angle at all times.

When printing your letters respect the space above and below the letters when writing “g” or “t” or other tall letters. Do not let your letters touch the row above it and mainain a clean white space between lines.

Practice Each Letter of the Alphabet

If you want to make your handwriting better, you should practice writing each letter of the alphabet.

Yes, practicing your letters seems like something your third grade teacher might tell you. But I’m here to remind you that prefect handwriting is the result of deliberate practice.

Print out worksheets you find online or dedicate a few pages in your bullet journal just to practicing your letters.

Stick With One Style of Handwriting

One mistake I’ve made in the past when trying to improve my penmanship was constantly changing my handwriting style.

I would switch from cursive to printing and then to a lazy combination of both. It was like I was having a handwriting identity crisis.

I even experimented with different signatures!

Please don’t make this same mistake.

Pick one style of handwriting and continue to practice until it’s perfect. Then, if you are feeling abitious, you can move on to mastering calligraphy or other forms of handlettering.

Get Inspired By Pretty Handwriting

If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my journey to improve my handwriting, it’s that I’m my own worst critic. If you’re anything like me, there’s hope.

To avoid becoming discouraged with my handwriting I started looking for inspiration online. My handwriting wasn’t horrible to begin with but I knew it could be better. So I started searching for images of handwriting that I liked, but was still similar to mine.

These images gave me ideas on how to improve my current handwriting without having to change my handwriting completely. Then, I was able to focus just on improving the parts of my penmanship that were less than perfect and leave the good parts.

Image of Ways to Improve Your Handwriting

Now It's Your Turn

And now I’d like to hear from you.

Do you have neat handwriting?

Why do you want to improve your handwriting?

Either way let me know by writing a comment below right now.