Why You Should Be Taking Notes by Hand This Semester (and always!):
Easier is not always better when it comes to studying. While it’s true students often take more notes when they use a laptop during lectures, they are rarely better notes. More so, taking copious amounts of notes does not translate to more retention or improved testing. It is the opposite. Our brains are momentous devices, and they like to be challenged. This is particularly useful to know when studying.
The physical act of writing something down not only makes more neural connections in the brain, but the connections are also more substantial and varied. “Students remember what they think about,” says cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham. When you write notes by hand you are training your brain to discern the most important parts of a lesson. In a world where quick texts and fast responses are the norm, writing things down is becoming a superpower of its own.
🚨 Fun Fact Alert! 🚨
Did you know?
According to a recent IFOP survey, nearly 50% of young people aged between 12 and 25 believe that handwritten notes encourage memorization. This survey is supported by numerous studies and international research. Although digital tools are now an essential part of life, a paper and pencil remain valuable allies, too!
Five Things That Happen When You Write Stuff Down:
1 Encode. When you write something down you encode it in your brain. The more involved you are in this process, i.e., visualizing the words, writing them down, etc., the more your mind connects with the material.
2 Incidental repetition. Here at hamelin, we have made an observation: once you have notes written down in a notebook, you are likely to come across them accidentally as you flip through your notes in search of something else. This acts almost as subliminal messaging to yourself.
3 Prioritize. By writing and highlighting the items of importance, you train yourself to pick out the points of interest and synthesize concepts.
4 Boosts Neural Connectivity. All this activity devoted to recording information creates new neural pathways that help solidify the lessons you are learning, and connects previously encoded material.
5 Reassurance. Writing things down allows your brain to move onto the next topic or point of focus.
Writing by hand: our brain says thank you!
Moreover, this claim is confirmed by a study conducted by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer, researchers from the Universities of Princeton and California. It highlights “the superiority of the pen over the keyboard when taking notes and memorizing. “The reason is simple: when we tap on a keyboard, our brain focuses on the letter and not the content, leading to a word-by-word transcription. In contrast, when we take notes during a meeting or lesson, we encourage our brain to synthesize the key ideas. This analytical effort, combined with the visualization of the words on the paper, greatly improves memorization.
As tapping keys require less motor effort, doing so intensively might even prove negative for our ability to remember. This is highlighted by a Canadian study published in August 2013 following a series of tests on students. Michelle Dresbold writes in her book Sex, Lies and Handwriting “The keyboard has superseded the pencil for a large number of reasons. However, the lack of use of the exercise of writing by hand is likely to deplete our cognitive skills.”
If you're looking to really take your notes to a noteworthy level, take some time and listen to Jens expert advice:
👇 These links probably won't hurt either ;)
Simply put: if you want to memorize something, write it down. Hamelin notebooks make handwriting a great joy. With our smooth OPTIK PAPER TM you'll fall in love with handwriting like you never have before.
Reduce the distractions and give yourself some clarity this semester by putting your pen to Hamelin’s thick smooth paper that won't bleed through. It will improve your ability to understand big concepts and motivate problem solving skills. Check out the 7 unique colors, sturdy hardcovered construction, graph, college ruled, 2 sizes & much much more!! If you enjoyed reading this blog post & found the resources helpful, let us know! Our friendly staff would love to hear your feedback, input & experiences with handwrititng & memorization. Don't forget to follow us on our social media channels to join in on the conversation and never miss a new post!
Bonus Noteworthy Tip:
🥰 Once you've fallen in love with the benefits of handwriting... ✍️
.... why not switch to the best quality paper?!! If you haven't heard of OPTIK PAPER TM yet, take some time to learn about the many benefits that come along with superior paper.