You’ve probably heard the advice to “write things down” in order to remember them better. But why does this strategy work?

Why writing things down helps you remember

When you jot down a thought or feeling, it helps to solidify the idea in your mind. Taking the time to write something can also make it easier for your brain to process and store it since you’re putting focus on the activity. It also gives our brains an opportunity to slow down the memory input, thus allowing us the chance for improved retention.

Does writing things down help you to make decisions?

Writing allows you to focus on the task at hand and organise your thoughts in a systematic way. You can map out advantages and disadvantages, weigh options and take into account recent developments or events. Having everything written down also gives you a tangible record of your thought process which can be helpful when it comes to looking back on how you arrived at your decision. Writing can also help identify any potential roadblocks or open up alternative options and perspectives which may have been overlooked otherwise.

Is writing in pretty pens more effective?

It may come as a surprise, but using pretty pens can also be helpful in improving your memory. When writing with colourful and interesting pens, it creates an enjoyable activity that actually helps to stimulate the brain further. Studies have shown that when taking notes by hand, people are likely to remember more information if they use aesthetically pleasing materials such as coloured pens, markers or highlighters. Writing with attractive materials can also improve concentration and focus—making it easier to take in and store information in the mind.

The benefits of writing things down

Writing things down has countless benefits – from improving your ability to remember events and ideas to helping you stay organised. Studies have even shown that putting your thoughts into words can help improve critical thinking skills.  

 

If you want to remember something, write it down. It’s really that simple.