12 Reasons Why You Should Be Writing Things Down

You can make significant improvements for an unexpected future by making small changes to your daily routine. Simply start keeping a physical record of your thoughts. Writing down your thoughts can provide remarkable benefits. Setting aside a few moments each day to put pen to paper can greatly enhance productivity, encourage creative thinking, and improve overall well-being.

After ten years of running an eco-friendly stationery business, I might be a bit biased, but stay with me — writing things down has become my secret weapon for success, and I want to share why.

Person writing in a journal with a long warm jumper on and a mug on the desk.

Why You Should Be Writing Things Down

Want to overcome overwhelm right now quickly? Take a moment and list down everything you have in your mind. From “pay the electricity bill” to “plan dad’s birthday party” and “finish the client presentation,” we humans have hundreds of different things on our minds at any given moment. Writing things down is an easy yet effective way to be productive and deal with day-to-day overwhelm. Follow in the steps of today’s industry giants and reap the benefits of having visible reminders, clear thought processes, emotional stability, and even a grateful heart simply by using an old-fashioned pen and paper.

1. Writing Makes You Smarter

In a world where everything can be digitized, researchers have found that people who write things down with pen and paper are more successful in many areas of life. Writing things down by hand can be more beneficial when learning and processing new information.

A 2014 study found that students who use laptops for note-taking don’t learn as well as students who take notes by hand. In three different experiments, researchers found that students who use laptops can note down more words, but they process information more shallowly. Meanwhile, students who took notes by hand wrote fewer words but processed the information more thoroughly and efficiently.

It’s one thing to have goals, hopes, and dreams, but it’s another to have them written down. If they’re written down, they’re real and require your attention to make them true. Plus, once they’re written down, you can expand on them and make them more specific to become a reality. So now we know the statistics, let’s look at why writing goals down improves your chance of success so drastically.

When you write down your goals, you create a physical copy of your thought process. Thoughts and ideas can be vague and formless, changing over time, while words are linear and limited. Writing them down will help capture what you want to achieve, as paper can’t be affected by memory.

2. Writing Improves Overall Productivity

Writing things down is so beneficial, not just to your productivity but also to your brain. Getting everything down on paper and out of your head feels so good and can lead to success, but why is that? We’re about to tell you why.

Thanks to technology, the days of hand cramps, inky fingers, and lousy handwriting are gone. It’s easy to take photos or type notes using your phone. Although digital note-taking can be helpful in some ways, the handwriting process is superior in many ways, as it can improve your memory, decision-making, and thinking patterns.

Let’s explore the powerful benefits of writing things down. Writing things down helps improve focus and attention span by allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand without distractions or trying to remember everything in your head.

Technology can also be distracting as switching between your social media and entertainment apps while doing important work is so easy. This affects your efficiency, as your brain runs different programs for each task. When writing by hand, pen and paper are the only elements you deal with.

3. It Unburdens Our Working Memory

Writing things down frees up space in your working memory. Instead of trying to remember everything you need to do, you can write it down and not worry about forgetting important tasks or ideas. When you were at school, you no doubt took copious notes during class. Why? Because it helped with recall. But why does it help so much?

What writing does for your brain is that it helps strengthen your memory. Aside from writing down thoughts and ideas, writing down things essentially records your progress in life. If you stick to any writing activity over time, you’ll create an extensive record of your growth. Think of it as an unofficial memoir of your life. You can compare your current self to what you were some time ago.

4. To Keep a Record of the Past

Think about all the times we write things down:

  • Creative words in a blog post, article, book, or even a poem
  • A thought on a greeting card
  • Monthly or yearly goal sheets
  • Appointments and phone numbers
  • Grocery lists
  • Bible study notes
  • Idea journals

Writing things down, from the sporadic middle-of-the-night thoughts to a daily reflection, provides relief. The relief you get from releasing everything you’re containing in your head is like a weight lifting off your shoulders. That’s only one of many benefits of writing things down.

5. It Makes the Complex Simple

One huge benefit to writing things down is the ability to clarify. Clarity helps people become successful because they can clarify their goals, priorities, and intentions. Writing things down creates a safe space to talk with yourself about hopes and dreams, and slowly, deep desires are revealed.

6. It Reinforces Commitment

Writing things down makes you more motivated. It’s one thing to have goals, hopes, and dreams, but it’s another to have them written down. If they’re written down, they’re real and require your attention to make them true. Plus, once they’re written down, you can expand on them and make them more specific to become a reality.

Writing things down

The Power of Writing Things Down for Productivity and Focus

Writing things down is the key to focused action. When you write things down, you can focus on one thing at a time without getting overwhelmed by everything else in your system and your head. Writing Things Down Clears Your Mind. Writing things down is so beneficial, not just to your productivity but also to your brain. Getting everything down on paper and out of your head feels so good and can lead to success, but why is that? We’re about to tell you why.

7. Writing Things Down Makes You More Focused

When you write things down, you can focus on one thing at a time without getting overwhelmed by everything else in your system and your head. The act of writing things down engages parts of the brain that enable more analytical and conceptual thinking compared to just thoughts alone. It helps process and develop ideas further.

8. Writing Things Down Helps Clarify

Writing things down creates a safe space to talk with yourself about hopes and dreams, and slowly, deep desires are revealed. One huge benefit to writing things down is the ability to clarify. Clarity helps people become successful because they can clarify their goals, priorities, and intentions.

9. Writing Things Down Encourages Daily Progress

Writing things down daily, whether goals, to-do lists, or reflections, encourages consistent progress. It helps track your accomplishments over time. Whether it’s your loved ones, accomplishments, learnings, situations, or prized possessions, regularly writing down what you’re grateful for helps you connect with everything you deem important. As an antidote to a “more is more” mentality, doing so will motivate you to keep going and be mindful of what you already have instead of what you have yet to accomplish or attain.

10. Writing Things Down Enables a Higher Level of Thinking

The act of writing things down engages parts of the brain that enable more analytical and conceptual thinking compared to just thoughts alone. It helps process and develop ideas further. Writing things down is an easy yet effective way to be productive and deal with day-to-day overwhelm. Follow in the steps of today’s industry giants and reap the benefits of having visible reminders, clear thought processes, emotional stability, and even a grateful heart simply by using an old-fashioned pen and paper.

How Handwriting on Paper Boosts Brain Activity and Memory

Writing words down increases connectivity linked to memory and learning between different brain areas, but the same is not true when things are typed out on a computer. Let’s explore how handwriting on paper boosts brain activity and memory.

11. Writing by Hand Creates Stronger Reading Comprehension

Writing words down increases connectivity linked to memory and learning between different brain areas, but the same is not true when things are typed out on a computer.

Writing words down increases connectivity linked to memory and learning between different areas of the brain, with the same not being true when things are typed out on a computer. #

— New Scientist (@newscientist) May 1, 2023

Writing by hand creates muscle memory and tactile feedback that typing doesn’t provide, leading to stronger information recall later on. The brain connects the feeling of writing and the information being recorded.

12. Unique and Complex Information in Analog Methods Gives the Brain More Details to Trigger Memory

Handwritten notes often include drawings, diagrams, symbols and spatial relationships on the page. These unique, complex elements give the brain more cues to latch onto and trigger memories than uniform, linear typed text. Writing things down by hand can be more beneficial when learning and processing new information.

The Benefits of Keeping a Journal or Diary

Keeping a journal or diary is a great way to reap the benefits of writing things down. Let’s explore the benefits of keeping a journal or diary. The power of writing captures ideas, even the fun, whimsical ones. These inklings often fade away quickly unless netted in words. Aside from writing down thoughts and ideas, writing down things essentially records your progress in life. If you stick to any writing activity over time, you’ll record your growth extensively. Think of it as an unofficial memoir of your life. You can compare your current self to what you were some time ago.

Journaling Helps You Recognize and Process Your Emotions

Journaling provides an outlet to express and examine your thoughts and feelings. Putting emotions into words has a therapeutic effect and helps manage stress, anxiety, and depression. It increases self-awareness. Writing things down, from the sporadic middle-of-the-night thoughts to a daily reflection, provides relief. The relief you get from releasing everything you’re containing in your head is like a weight lifting off your shoulders. That’s only one of many benefits of writing things down.

Journaling Develops Your Sense of Gratitude

Keeping a gratitude journal where you write down things you’re thankful for daily trains your brain to look for the positive. It boosts mood, optimism, and life satisfaction. Whether it’s your loved ones, accomplishments, learnings, situations, or prized possessions, writing down what you’re grateful for regularly helps you connect with everything you deem important. As an antidote to a “more is more” mentality, doing so will motivate you to keep going and be mindful of what you already have instead of what you have yet to accomplish or attain.

Writing Things Down vs. Digital Note-Taking: Which is Better?

Thanks to technology, the days of hand cramps, inky fingers, and lousy handwriting are gone. It’s easy to take photos or type notes using your phone. Although digital note-taking can be helpful in some ways, the handwriting process is superior in many ways, as it can improve your memory, decision-making, and thinking patterns. Let’s explore the differences between writing things down and digital note-taking.

Paper Notebooks Are Better for Information You Need to Learn or Memorize

Writing words down increases connectivity linked to memory and learning between different areas of the brain, with the same not being true when things are typed out on a computer.

Writing words down increases connectivity linked to memory and learning between different areas of the brain, with the same not being true when things are typed out on a computer.

New Scientist

Handwriting activates more brain areas involved in language, memory, and motor skills than typing. Typing notes may be faster but doesn’t create the same cognitive engagement and retention. A 2014 study found that students who use laptops for note-taking don’t learn as well as students who take notes by hand. In three different experiments, researchers found that students who use laptops can note down more words, but they process information more shallowly. Meanwhile, students who took notes by hand wrote fewer words but processed the information more thoroughly and efficiently.

Digital Devices Can Lead to Information Overload and Distraction

While digital notes are searchable and portable and can include multimedia, digital devices also enable distractions like notifications, web browsing, and social media that can derail focus. Paper notes minimize information overload. Technology can also be distracting, as switching between your social media and entertainment apps while doing important work is so easy. This affects your efficiency, as your brain runs different programs for each task. When writing by hand, pen and paper are the only elements you deal with.

 
Key Thought: 

Writing things down boosts memory, sharpens focus, and simplifies complex ideas. It turns fleeting thoughts into concrete actions, making goals more attainable. Plus, it’s a stress-buster that clears your mind for better creativity and problem-solving.

Conclusion

Think about this – grabbing a pen and sketching out thoughts could be the simplest yet most profound step toward changing up your life. Imagine cleaning up mental clutter, honing in on key targets, and reaching those milestones effortlessly. It’s not just about remembering things but about processing your thoughts and emotions and creating a tangible record of your journey.

So grab a pen and paper, and start writing. Keep a journal where dreams take shape on paper alongside fears that whisper in the dark; scribble down those lightbulb moments and stories from days lived fully. Write down what you’re grateful for, what you’ve learned, and what you want to achieve. And watch as the magic of writing things down unfolds before your eyes.

You’ve got the control right in your grasp. Just grab a pen and let the words flow out. Trust me, your future self will thank you for it.

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