In today’s increasingly digital world, the trusty notepad can often be overlooked in favour of to-do list apps and other digital note taking alternatives. It sometimes seems as if the good old fashioned practice of putting pen to paper has lost its allure. However, science shows that there are numerous benefits to writing things down – some obvious, and some unexpected.
1. You Learn More
According to a number of studies, there are benefits for learning and memory as the very act of using a pen or pencil to put things on paper can help you better retain information. The physical act of writing allows for signals to be sent from your hands to your brain to build motor memory.
2. It Frees Up Some Mental RAM
Your brain is like a hard drive – a multi-layered, crazily-complex hard drive. When you note down your ideas, thoughts and emotions it helps your brain to unload some baggage. This gives your brain room to think about things or better still, with all that extra space, it could even begin to relax.
3. You Gain A Sense Of Achievement
Writing things down can give you a sense of achievement and progress. Whether finishing a weekly report, taking a chapter-worth of revision notes for an exam or completing your to do list, by writing down everything we need to do in a particular order, we can gain an additional sense of satisfaction when we can cross the completed item off the list. Feeling productive enhances our productivity, creating a virtuous cycle.
4. It Allows Clearer Thinking For Problem Solving
You simply cannot hold that many thoughts in your head at once. If you want to solve a problem, it can be helpful to write down your thoughts, facts and feelings about it, then you don’t have to use your mind for remembering but instead use it to think more clearly. Having it all written down gives you an overview and makes it easier to find new connections that can help you solve the problem.
5. It Can Help You Cope With Hard Times
When you are going through life’s pressure, writing about it can actually make you feel better. Writing organises your thoughts and can offer you an emotional release which allows you to then file the problem away. Set aside 15 minutes each day to write about an event and how it made you feel – don’t worry about grammar or style as this is just for you – you will soon notice a difference in your emotional wellbeing.
So now that you know some of the benefits of writing things down, write a lot and write every day. Don’t let your pens and notepads sit gathering dust. It also gives you an excuse to buy yourself some more amazing stationery – go on, treat yourself!