I'm sitting at my Macbook, which is parked on my desk near my Windows laptop. I have an iPhone 12 charging next to my Samsung Galaxy, whilst my iPad sits under my desk shelf. At some point or other I have used all of them to make notes, whether they are to-do lists or the notes I take whilst reading non-fiction. I've used countless note taking apps, styluses and even some voice notes. Im very interested in the potential of AI to take minutes during online meetings. Yet time and again in find myself coming back to pencil and note paper. Why is this?
In a world that is rapidly trending towards the digital space, it's easy to see why people would rather make notes on a phone or use a stylus on a screen. With the whole world practically being just a tap away, it makes sense that taking notes via technological devices is becoming the norm. However, there are several benefits to handwriting notes on a book that make it an experience that is irreplaceable. In this blog post, we will delve into the benefits of handwriting notes in a book versus making notes on a phone or using a stylus on a screen.
1. Handwriting notes in a book improves retention memory.
A study done by the Association for Psychological Science shows that handwriting notes enables an individual to retain more memory than typing notes into a digital device. When you write notes by hand, it strengthens the neural pathways within the brain, which leads to better retention memory. This means that if you write down notes in a book, you are more likely to recall them from memory vividly when you revisit the material. Hence why unwilling continue making my own notes during meetings regardless of how powerful AI becomes. The tactile nature of note taking has a similarity to reading a physical book rather than an ebook.
2. Handwriting notes on a book reduces distraction levels.
Writing notes in a book is a way of self-regulating your focus levels. When you make notes on your phone or on a screen, you are at a disadvantage because the temptation to check your messages or scroll through social media is high. Writing notes in a book is an intentional activity that requires my complete attention, limiting the chance of getting sidetracked off the task at hand.
3. Writing notes in a book improves cognitive processing.
Taking notes on paper improves cognitive processing, which is essential in analyzing and synthesizing complex information. Writing notes in a book allows a person to engage in the content in their own way, make connections, and map out the various themes, all of which informs their higher-level thinking skills. This is why taking notes whilst reading non-fiction is more effective than voice notes, reading a summary, or even highlighting the text.
4. Writing notes in a book encourages creativity.
Writing notes on paper is a creative process that frees the brain of limitations. The act of doodling or jotting down extra comments unconsciously stimulates the brain, making it more creative. Creativity is essential when it comes to how one visually represents ideas, categorizes material, and comes up with unique ways of understanding complex ideas that may not be possible with digital tools.
5. Writing notes in a book is a personal experience.
Writing notes in a book is a personal experience that is unique to the individual. Writing out your notes for a particular topic, using your own symbols, and visually organizing them in a way that works for you make the experience intimate. Handwriting your notes is an act of care for yourself, your mental capacities, and the knowledge that you are committing to learning.
Writing out notes engages the brain, enhances retention and cognitive processing of information, limits distractions, encourages creativity, and gives a personal experience that cannot be replicated by digital devices. While there are still benefits to having digital note-taking options, there is something special about writing things down by hand. The next time you have the opportunity to handwrite your notes in a book, go ahead, and give it a try; you might be surprised at how rewarding it can be!
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