Researchers Are Finding That Pen and Paper Are Still The Best Way To Stay Organized With Goal Setting

Despite the fact that our world is increasingly becoming digital, it seems as if we have to accept the reality that we are not just going to forget about pen and paper planning yet. There is something special with writing notes on paper rather than typing into a computer or using a digital app on a smartphone. Paper notebooks make us more conscious of the ideas we would like to capture from the back of our minds than digital devices do. With pen and paper, you can make an abstract idea tangible. This is something many people would be surprised to learn. Why would pen and paper make us more creative than using digital gadgets that were supposed to make all the difference? Perhaps we must learn when to put our laptops and smartphones aside and trust the old fashioned way of taking notes.


Our digital lives were supposed to be more organized because we us many smart gadgets, but that is not always the case. We have learned to trust the search feature in software so much to an extent we don’t care where we create and store files. Some are stored in the PCs, laptops, usb drives, phones and even on the cloud so that we can access them from anywhere. But when we are not careful enough, we easily end up with our documents and all kinds of digital files scattered everywhere or even lost. It takes a lot of mental power to keep everything stored across various digital devices properly organized. The small notes we take and store in various devices can be numerous, but even the most important of these are easily lost after forgetting where we stored them or if the gadgets malfunction or are lost. But a notebook is very personal and we often keep it close. It never goes out of fashion like most of the gadgets. We keep upgrading to the latest gadgets and sometimes forgetting to move our old data.

In one research involving 100 university students, a lecture was given with 50 students taking notes with pen and paper while the rest used their laptops. After the lecture, a comprehension test was given to find out which group would score better. The results confirmed that the group of students using pen and paper to take notes on average scored far much better than their counterparts. That may sound unbelievable to many people especially those who have long ditched pen and paper. But not many people have actually stopped writing on paper, but they still use it alongside their gadgets. Even when we think our lives are completely digital, we may still not quickly understand why we still have pens and notebooks around us. Businesses that sell dayplanners haven’t recorded a drop in sales at all. That because the customers buying their products are still the same people buying the latest tech gadgets. For many people, the pen and paper not only takes complexity out of notes taking but also their most creative processes. Scribbling on paper first before working on a laptop seems to be the most logical thing to do for most people. Phones and similar gadgets are often not allowed in some serious meetings but only pen and paper to maximize attention.


Jeffrey Moore

I'm a happy person with mediocre dance moves. Based in San Diego, United States

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