Kelly Simmerman, Author

How I Boost My Brain Power with the Mighty Pen

I know, I know you don’t have time to handwrite notes, especially if you’re sitting in a classroom or a meeting, or you are at a workshop. There are also many apps you could download to help take notes. That’s what I thought, as well, until I was in Sommelier school a few years ago.

I was to take a test on French and Italian wine regions and their informing grapes. I got this, I thought. I had paid attention, taken notes in class on my laptop, and reviewed them before the test. Makes sense, right?

I bombed the test. And no amount of sniffing and swirling could help me.

So I researched how to retain new information, and this is what I found.

There are many claims that the pen is mightier than the keyboard.

Clicking across a keyboard enables you to jot down more material. Still, you’re more likely to remember those notes if you handwrite them, according to research from the National Library of Medicine.

The study suggests that we base the mastery of handwriting on the involvement of a network of brain structures whose involvement and inter-connection are specific to writing alphabet characters. We build this network on the joint learning of writing and reading.

Turns out, your memory of handwritten words ties to the movements required to make each letter. This might be what helps the memory of what we’ve written hang around in our brains a bit longer.

Meanwhile, pressing buttons on a keyboard activates fewer areas of the brain, so we forget what we’ve typed. Most of us have memorized the keyboard and don’t need to use much eye-hand coordination. You are also only using fine motor skills as you type, unlike holding a pen and looking down at what you are writing.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash
“Your brain craves patterns and searches for them endlessly.” — Thomas B. Czerner Physician and Author

If you were born in the 1980s or sooner, you don’t remember a time without computers or…

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