Boost your Memory through Writing

Many people are unaware of the benefits that writing can have on our lives. Amongst one of them is the ability to boost one’s memory! In this digital era that we live in today, it has become the norm for students to type notes on their laptops and smart devices instead of using pen paper. Not using pen and paper and relying on technology for notes can actually put the student’s academic performance at stake.

A recent study showed that taking down notes with pen and paper, as opposed to typing them is actually beneficial for the memory. Notes that have been written down are easier to recall and enable the students to understand the concepts more effectively.

The Science Behind It:

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Writing helps you utilize your brain power to the maximum, allowing you to remember things more effectively. While we simply take notes, the brain is actually taking notice of these words more carefully than it would notice the words, had we typed them. As a result, the writer is able to recall the written information with ease. Here’s how it works in regards to basic neuropsychology.

The human brain is segmented into different regions. Different kinds of information are processed in these regions. For instance, there would be a separate region to process visual information and a separate one to process information that is auditory in nature. These regions have the ability to communicate to each other, thereby triggering different senses. Something unique happens in the brain that one can’t help but notice. Listening to a lecture gets the language and listening region engaged. Information is passed on to memory quite haphazardly.

When a person takes down notes with pen and paper, something interesting happens. As the person writes, spatial relations are formed between the various chunks of information that is being processed. These spatial tasks are passed on to a separate part of the brain and the verbal information is passed on to another. The process of creating a link between the spatial information and the verbal one actually triggers the brain to filter out the information that is less important. As a result, the brain is able to retain important information.

How Writing Can Help The Brain And Aid In Better Memorization:

Writing assists the brain in a number of ways. Here is how it proves to be a good aid to the memory:

  • It calms the senses.
  • It helps with better cognitive skills.
  • It sharpens the mind allowing it to stay more focused.
  • One’s mind is more actively engaged in comparison to a typing session.
  • It allows room for creativity.

Although writing takes longer than typing, it proves to be more useful for the person. Writing allows one to spend more time processing the information that is being presented to them, this time alone is sufficient for aiding the memory. When the person is required to recall the information, he or she will be more likely to remember it since they spent more time writing it.

On the other hand, a typing session will not be as effective since it will be easier and faster to type the notes than writing them. The use of a laptop or personal computer may also be a cause of distraction due to the availability of a vast source of information through the internet. Switching between different web page tabs and formatting the notes as one is typing can affect the focus and compromise the ability of the typist to recall the information. 

Also, don’t forget to check out our ultimate “Writing to Learn” guide at Writings for some great tips on getting the most out of your writing sessions.

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Eliminate Mindless Processing

Although writing helps one remember things better as opposed to recalling notes that had been typed, the effectiveness can vary. In order to eliminate mindless processing, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind whilst taking down notes.

  • Be an active listener.
  • Write down notes with a pen instead of a pencil. Better visibility will help.
  • Separate the notes into numbered points or bullet points.
  • Try to write down the important points and skip the minor details.
  • Be clear in your writing so anybody can read your notes without struggle.
  • Avoid writing too long sentences and focus on keeping your notes concise.
  • Organization is crucial when it comes to writing notes. Link similar notes with each other and space others out accordingly.
  • Write in your own words.
  • Highlighting your own notes can help.
  • Read all your notes to ensure that they are clear to you.

Keeping these points in mind, your brain will efficiently be able to recall all the important information that you had written down. Your ability to utilize your memory’s potential will be dependent on how well the notes had been written.

The Role That Well-Written Notes Play At College And University:

A good note-taking practice is essential for maximizing your learning ability at college or university. There is so much new information that a student is presented with and the student must be able to process this information quickly and effectively. For this reason, writing down good notes will aid the memory to retrieve important information when it is needed.

Well-written notes also help students…

  • Focus on the important information.
  • Remember what one learns.
  • Understand the material better.
  • Avoid plagiarism since the notes will be written in one’s own words.
  • Write better structured assignments.
  • Write down any questions to ask later.

As a result, writing helps maximize the student’s memory and the student is able to perform academically well. This not only helps a student excel in their academic career but also helps in one’s day to day lives. Mastering the art of well-written notes can help with household chores and one can prioritize and organize their tasks more effectively. Simply ditch the smartphone notes and use sticky notes instead. You will notice that you’ll be getting more out of your “To-Do” lists than ever before!

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