How Taking Notes on Paper Supports Memory

How Taking Notes on Paper Supports Memory

When was the last time you took notes with pen and paper? Switching over to a technological solution may seem more efficient at first glance, but it’s easy to fall into a trance when typing. You end up typing your instructor’s exact words without really absorbing them.

To retain information more easily, pick up that pen and paper again. The time you take to write by hand encourages note-taking practices that will keep your brain engaged as you write. Learn how taking notes on paper supports memory and grab a notebook of your own.

Increased Efficiency

By “efficiency,” we don’t mean writing down every word your instructor says. Instead, efficiency denotes legible shorthand that will remind you of the concepts you learned. You’ll have to choose which elements are the most important and highlight them.

When you practice writing notes by hand, it’ll get easier with time. You’ll develop your own note-taking system that captures crucial information without wasting energy on tangential topics.

Improved Recall

It’s easy to zone out in front of a laptop. Many students type at lightning speed and can catch most of what their instructor says during the lecture. However, it’s easy for the important concepts to get lost in pages of typed text.

Writing by hand takes extra time, so you can’t waste it. When you whittle the lecture down to the most important points, you’ll be able to remember them more clearly later on.

Cognitive Exercise

Writing by hand tickles a different part of your brain than typing does. You employ different cognitive processes as you digest information and summarize it effectively. Think of it like mental weightlifting—the more often you do it, the stronger those neural pathways will be.

Practice writing notes by hand in your research notebook during a lecture. Notice how tired your mind (and dominant hand) may be once it’s done. However, you’ll also be thinking about that lecture more carefully down the line because you absorbed the information more completely.

While writing notes by hand may seem like a thing of the past, give your mind (and hand) a workout at your next lecture. Taking notes on paper supports memory and increases your cognitive function. Let Scientific Notebook provide the perfect materials for an avid notetaker.

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