Today’s Solutions: May 17, 2022

With the ubiquity of computers and laptops in modern times, it can be easy to forget that there was once a time where everything was written by hand. And while word-processing computers have certainly made writing faster and more efficient, there are some special psychological benefits we miss out on when we don’t write by hand.

With that in mind, here are some key ways your mind benefits when you write by hand.

Improves memory: A number of studies have come to the same conclusion that writing by hand can improve your brain’s memory. In 2014, for example, researchers compared students who took notes by hand with those who took notes on laptops. What they found was that students using laptops tended to write down what the professor said word for word whereas those taking notes by hand were more likely to analyze the professor’s words for important content and process information better by “reframing it in their own words.”

Another study from 2017 discovered that regions of the brain associated with learning are more active when people complete tasks by hand rather than a keyboard. At a time where our brains consume so much information every day, writing by hand offers a chance to remember the things that are most important to us.

Forces us to slow down: According to neuroscientist Claudia Aguirre, we write more thoughtfully when we write by hand. That’s because writing by hand forces us to slow down and take more time to pour over thoughts. This is both the beauty and the pain of writing by hand, especially since we desire everything to work quickly nowadays.

“Recent neuroscientific research has uncovered a distinct neural pathway that is only activated when we physically draw out our letters,” said Aguirre. “And this pathway, etched deep with practice, is linked to our overall success in learning and memory.” When we type on a keyboard, those same pathways aren’t opened up the same way.

Extra benefits of handwritten work: For Aytekin Tank, the founder of a popular online form builder called Jotform, writing out her thoughts in the morning allows her to empty her mind and gives her a truly fresh start to the day. She also advocates writing by hand when planning for the week. Sure, you can use all sorts of organizational apps, but pen and paper remain the best. It’s simple, and you’ll be more likely to remember what you wrote down.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Europe may launch plan requiring solar panels on all public buildings by 2025

Countries are speeding up efforts to transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources, not just for the sake of the climate, but also to build independence from Russian petroleum. Germany accelerated its own schedule to ... Read More

Breakthrough method that rescues lithium from wastewater

Electric vehicles are the future of transport. Electric vehicle sales increase year after year and, in 2019, accounted for 2.6 percent of global car sales. Electric vehicles are an essential change to be made for ... Read More

Algae powered a basic computer for over six months

Sometimes it can be pretty difficult to imagine our highly technological society coexisting with the natural world. A lot of the time, we seem to live our lives entirely online, in this realm not only ... Read More

Adding blueberries to your diet could help stave off dementia

From slowing cognitive decline to accelerating chronic wound healing, blueberries can have many surprising health benefits. Now, scientists at the University of Cincinnati have uncovered that adding blueberries to your daily diet in middle age ... Read More

An X-ray explosion of a white dwarf star captured for the first time

Everything comes to an end, even stars! When these burning balls of hydrogen and helium use up all their fuel they shrink to white dwarfs. In some rare cases, these dead stars can flare back ... Read More

A species of East African jumping spider targets recently fed mosquitoes

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so the saying goes. As it turns out, this applies to humans and the natural world as well. Mosquitoes are the prime movers of malaria around the ... Read More