Even in our digital age, pen and paper play a crucial role in society. Whether jotting down notes during a meeting or writing out a grocery list before running to the store, crafting a meaningful letter to a loved one or drafting your magnum opus, there is something inherently personal about writing by hand.
Whether you are looking to boost your productivity or strengthen your memory retention, here are three compelling reasons to take the time to write it out:
- Writing by hand forces you to slow down, making stronger arguments and thoughtful connections. This study by the University of Waterloo and published in the British Journal of Psychology found that students who wrote their assignments the old fashioned way, rather than on a computer, composed essays of overall better quality – from their vocabulary choices to sentence structure. Researchers hypothesized that this was because the students were forced to write more slowly, and were therefore more thoughtful and deliberate about what they put to paper.
- What you write by hand is more likely to stay in your memory than something you type out. Even when transcribing notes that aren’t your own thoughts (unlike writing an essay), writing by hand forces you to take your time and truly think about what you are recording. Writing by hand is also more of a whole body experience than typing on a keyboard, as it employs your entire arm. Adding these stimulating elements uses more parts of your brain during the process of writing than simply typing with your fingers, making stronger internal connections between the words and your mind.
- Handwriting itself is an art form and an outlet for creative expression. When you write by hand, it’s not just the words you are saying that can express your creativity, but the shape they take as well. From calligraphy and hand lettering, to the use of capitalization or little hearts over our “i”s, the style you use to write by hand can help put meaning behind your words, allowing for creative expression that may not be possible when using a word processing program.
Still not convinced? Over the years we’ve looked at a wide variety of benefits of going analogue – check out more examples here!