In this day and age, it’s unusual to see someone carrying a pen and paper. The minicomputers in our pockets and larger ones at our workstations have rendered manual note-taking nearly obsolete. Why bother writing anything down in a place where you could lose it when it can be backed up on the cloud and live in perpetuity? We may be evolving towards a more digital culture, but there are 7 reasons why we shouldn’t give up on writing by hand just yet.
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1. Handwriting Increases Creativity
Writing by hand encourages you to think beyond the box. It allows your mind to breathe and express itself outside your everyday routine. In an unending stream of awareness, your mind might recycle the same anxieties. However, you are unlikely to jot down the same thoughts when writing repeatedly.
Writing by hand, in this way, drives your mind ahead to fresh discoveries and conclusions. It causes you to slow down and sift through your thoughts for those gleaming nuggets of insight. And this is undeniably true. For example, in one research, youngsters who were asked to write essays by hand expressed more thoughts than those who wrote at a computer.
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2. Handwriting Removes Any Distractions
Laptops and computers may be a playground for distractions with several tabs and notifications. And, while there are algorithms that prevent all of this, the temptation remains. A paper notepad is a distraction-free zone where you can temporarily forget about your email. Writing on paper allows you to focus on yourself rather than the Internet or other people’s thoughts.
3. Handwriting Helps Your Memory
Long-term memory recall is improved in students who take longhand notes during lectures. The spatial relationships between what you’re writing and the act of moving your hand across the paper both aid with long-term memory retention. Recent neuroscience studies have shown a specific brain circuit that is only active when we physically draw letters. And this road, which becomes more paved with practice, is connected to our total performance in learning and remembering.
Scientists believe that a writer’s cramp, or when individuals lose the capacity to write but can still accomplish other motor activities, indicates something specific about handwriting that distinguishes it from other motor actions. For example, writing takes a series of strokes to make a letter, not simply a single keypress for a single note. Studies have also proven these sequential motions to engage brain areas important for working memory.
According to researchers, physical activities like handwriting employ nerves and muscles in a complicated way, giving sensory data to our brains. The more complex the input, the easier it’s for our brain to remember. The intricate handwriting sequences provide more input to our brains than tapping away at a computer.
4. Handwriting Reduces Stress, Despair, and Anxiety
Trying to write by hand calms your thoughts, enhances mindfulness, and promotes tranquility. Writing, like meditation, boosts activity in areas of the brain. So many of our frustrations and grief stem from jumbled and unspoken ideas, which frequently recur in our minds in a loop. Writing by hand is thus good at fighting sadness and anxiety that therapists frequently prescribe.
5. Handwriting Increases Learning Understanding
Those who take notes during lectures retain more knowledge than students who type notes onto laptops. While handwriting is slower, it allows you to sift information and put it into your own words. Using a laptop to copy large lecture sections isn’t nearly as efficient. Writing notes on a computer is likely to result in more superb multitasking and distractions, both of which are detrimental to focused concentration. However, studies have shown that taking notes during lectures resulted in shallower processing than writing down longhand.
You’re also summarizing, paraphrasing the teachers’ remarks, and sketching brief illustrations of more sophisticated concepts when you take notes. Again, this is far more helpful for learning than simply typing out what the professor says.
Here’s how to take better-handwritten notes:
- Simplify and compress the information being said
- Identify the major themes and any terms that are frequently or highlighted.
- Use bullet points, arrows, and other visual cues.
- Highlight or use your own shorthand, especially if the subject is challenging.
- State the issue in your own words.
- To help you better understand the content, highlight, sketch, or draw diagrams.
- Practice your handwriting since evidence suggests that good handwriting is associated with higher academic success.
Ultimately, when using a laptop, you’re more inclined to write out the same sentences as your professor, which results in poor academic achievement. Other studies demonstrate that even reading from a paper helps us retain information better than reading from a screen – yet another reason to go analog if you want to improve your study habits while avoiding the distractions of the Internet.
6. Writing by Hand Reduces Mental Aging
It weakens like any other bodily component when you don’t use your brain as often as you should. Consistent writing by hand keeps your mind bright and allows you to remain interested. The research found that reading books, writing letters, and staying cognitively engaged in old age preserves the brain.
According to studies, mentally pushing yourself slows cognitive deterioration. Several doctors recommend handwriting as a mental activity for baby boomers who wish to keep their wits fresh.
Choose Writing with Your Pen Instead of Typing
Many of us quit handwriting the day we graduated from high school and ceased taking longhand notes as students. Instead, students should write or sketch notes by hand rather than typing them out for the most efficient learning and remember. The researchers inferred this since writing and drawing stimulated brain parts that typing does not. With so many benefits, that’s a good reason to start writing with a pen rather than typing.