The Benefits of Writing on Paper
Do you like writing on paper? Keep it up, it helps your learning and memory
When we meet new people and they find out that we are in the paper agenda and notebook business, they often say: ‘I still prefer paper over an electronic device, I’m old-fashioned.” But maybe they aren’t. According to several studies, paper lovers seem to simply be making the most effective choice. Smartphones and computers are fantastic tools, but humans have been writing by hand for over 5000 years and our brains seem to have adapted to do so.
Today, January 23, is National Handwriting Day. What better moment to delve into and discover some of the advantages of writing on paper:
1. Handwriting helps us to learn and memorize
If you are a student, you may find that taking notes on a laptop is faster than writing by hand. However, studies have shown that taking notes by hand increases the level of understanding, and as a result, the learning of concepts heard in class. Handwriting forces us to process information and summarize it, thereby activating reflection and critical thinking.
We also memorize better when writing by hand because we have “body memory.” Holding a pen, feeling paper and moving our hand according to our thoughts are all actions that activate different areas of the brain and create better lasting memories.
2. Handwriting helps us to focus
A computer connected to the internet is a powerful source of distraction, no doubt. But even if we only use it to take notes, a computer is not as effective as pen and paper in promoting concentration.
Handwriting stimulates a part of the brain called the Reticular Activating System. The RAS acts as a filter for everything our brain needs to process, allowing us to focus more precisely on what we are writing, while leaving out less relevant information.
3. Handwriting fosters creativity and deliberation
Handwriting can be very useful during activities like brainstorming and goal-setting. In her book “Write It Down Make It Happen”, Henriette Anne Klauser argues that writing down your goals is the most effective way to reach them.
Many creative writers (for example, Quentin Tarantino, as stated in this interview prefer handwriting over typing, in particular for the first draft of their works. They support the idea that writing by hand sparks creativity by allowing us to break free of predefined formats and layouts.
So, if you love writing on paper, you have several good reasons to continue doing so. Paper is a tool of creation, learning and memorization that is definitely modern!