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5 reasons why you should not give up on writing by hand

4th March 2022

With digital proliferation being more prevalent than ever before, and online classes becoming more of a norm than the exception, it’s important for us to recognize the different ways in which writing by hand and typing impact our brain’s ability to process information. The ubiquitous keyboard affords us speed and versatility that has become impossible to do without. However, this doesn’t mean that writing something by hand doesn't have any benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the mental(and physical) benefits of long-form writing and note-taking: 

Writing by hand helps you organize your thoughts 

Along with meditation, music, sound, art and movement, writing helps us tap into the unconscious parts of our minds. According to renowned therapist Natalie Rogers, the process of writing down thoughts on paper helps reduce their severity. The grammar and style of writing become secondary to the fact that writing allows those of us who are holding a pen and notebook to articulate, express, let go and release.

Writing by hand improves memory, especially for students

Several kinds of research showed that writing by hand improves your memory. Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer found that students who took notes manually by hand performed better on conceptual questions than students who took notes on their laptops.

Writing by hand unleashes creativity

According to a study performed at Indiana University, the mere act of writing by hand unleashes creativity not easily accessed in any other way. High-tech magnetic resonance imaging has shown that low-tech writing by hand increases neural activity in certain sections of the brain, similar to meditation.

Writing by hand combats learning disabilities in children

Learning disabilities like dyslexia, commonly characterized by reading and comprehension difficulties, can be combated by writing by hand. Deborah Spear, an academic therapist, told The Washington Post that cursive writing is an integral part of her work with students who have dyslexia. “Because all letters in cursive start on a baseline, and because the pen moves fluidly from left to right, cursive is easier to learn for dyslexic students who have trouble forming words correctly.”

Writing by hand slows mental ageing

A study published in neurology.org suggests writing letters and reading books can help protect the brain in old age. According to the report,. "Neither education nor early life cognitive activity were associated with the age at which a person developed dementia. Research suggests that the link between cognitive activity and the age at which a person developed dementia is mainly driven by the activities you do later in life." (source)

Long-form note-taking by hand might seem like a tedious and time-consuming alternative when compared to banging out your thoughts on a keyboard, it comes with several benefits. Manual note-taking helps you learn better and taps into a creative part of your brain that cannot be accessed otherwise. Writing by hand also helps you remember and grasp concepts better as it taps into your ‘body memory’. Don’t give up on writing just yet, get yourself a Rescript notebook and write away while also keeping your carbon footprint low. 

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