From the Attic
The Value of Taking Notes… by Hand
When was the last time you held a fountain pen in your hand? Do you remember the sound of the nib smoothly traveling over the paper, leaving behind a permanently embossed message or reflection; paper slowly absorbing, creating a textured surface as you flip the pages…
There is an old truth in the saying “Paper remembers, people forget”; therefore — write it down.
In the outpour of digital era, we are rewarded for efficiency rather than quality, favoring robotic note-typing over thoughtful note-taking. Conversely, when we type, we bypass the part of the brain (Reticular Activating System or ‘RAS’) responsible for filtering information when we actually write. Writing down information not only helps keep us accountable but also has proven scientific brain and habit-forming benefits that make things stick. We can avoid and dismiss almost anything in our head all day long — but if it is written down, we have to make the mental and conscious effort to throw it away.
Technology introduces a lot of distractions, an ironic reality when we consider its use proclaims so many benefits to productivity and multitasking. However, monotasking linked to hand-writing allows for mindful retention of information and ignites processes of conceptual understanding and connection-making. And more simply, though just as vital: furthermore it contributes to our ability to remember facts better. People who takes notes are more likely to remember details compared with those who don’t.
Those are only a few reasons why manual note-takers are on the faster track to success. The process of writing information, ideas, and thoughts down engages the brain’s active learning abilities. However, it is not just about scribbling the ideas down, it is as well about enabling the creative process within us and translating them into actionable and measurable goals. When we take notes, what we’re really doing is composing and orchestrating. Creation and Composition requires focus at one think a time. And as much as we all love technology, it does not always encourage creation — too often, in fact, it blocks our path to creativity by rerouting us to time-wasting distraction.
Why not try this: Find that fountain pen that’s waiting in the attic, dusty and dry from disuse. Press its tip to a fresh sheet of paper; let the ink flow. Find pleasure in the sound of the nib touching the surface, listen to your thoughts as you tune out distractions. As you tune in, let your on the path of exploration of your mind’s true potential.
Originally published at www.kasiajamroz.com on December 12, 2016.