The benefits of writing with pen and paper

Here at On The Rocks, we are big fans of writing with pen and Rockbooks. Not much to your surprise, we assume. However, what might surprise you is the amount of research done on the benefits of writing as compared to typing a text on a computer or electronic device. And even more, the findings.

Let us enlighten you on the benefits of writing with pen and paper, sharing is caring!

Train your brain

The act of writing is a highly complex motorical exercise. Not only are you moving your hand to write, and thus your brain is directing your hand. At the same time your brain and muscles are remembering and recalling the letters you write. Plus, you have to come up with the words you want to write. So the areas in the brain responsible for thinking, language, memory and muscle movement are activated all at the same time! Now if you compare that to the act of typing, you don’t have to remember how to write a letter, or how to put it on paper. It’s way less difficult for your brain thus generates less brain activity. There even are suggestions that it might be beneficial for the elderly to continue writing on paper as they grow older, to train the brain.

An emotional connection

Everybody’s handwriting is different. It’s a very intimate thing, when you come to think of it. You are the only one handwriting in your exact way. Not to forget, that handwriting also can reflect emotions. Now in digital writing, that emotion is replaced by emoticons, by bold and italic letters. But none of those can replace the way you write letters directly inserting emotion in them. By making them a bit more frivolous, bigger or smaller in a sentence, curly or straight strokes. What’s also missing from most digital texts, are the corrections and creative process of adjusting a text. To keep this visible can show what the author was thinking at the time of writing, what he deemed not correctly displaying his emotions or thoughts. Thus giving you a much closer connection with the writing, because you get a small insight into his thinking and the nuances he intentionally made to the text.

Remembering better

Note taking with a pen and paper instead of a computer, helps you better digest and remember the information you were listening to. Since it is not possible to literally write down a whole lecture for example, you have to immediately rephrase the information into your own words and filter out only the crucial parts. When you are taking notes on a computer, it is way easier to almost literally type down what you’ve just heard. After a lot of research on this topic, the message seems clear for students and other people wanting to remember lectures et cetera: write your notes with pen and paper.

Prevent from online distraction

Another benefit which is clear I think for anyone, is the lack of online distractions when you are not using a digital device. There can be complete silence surrounding you. The only thing you need are your own thoughts, pen and paper. You can see this also as an exercise for true introspection. No need for input from the outside world. Status updates. E-mails. Different fonts. Music. It’s just you. Only thinking of it makes us relax.

These were the benefits of writing with pen and paper. If you have any additional comments, please feel free to share!