Note taking has a lot of advantages and one of them is helping you remember better. In a recent study conducted by Mueller and Oppenheimer, it was found out that people remember their lectures better when they write down their notes instead of typing them.
Typing with lightning speed doesn’t necessarily equate to understanding. Whereas with note-taking, people pay attention better to what’s being said, leading to better comprehension.
The very act of writing itself helps you remember, literally. Writing stimulates certain cells in the base of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). According to author Henriette Anne Klauser, in her book Write It Down, Make It Happen, “Writing triggers the RAS, which in turn sends a signal to the cerebral cortex: ‘Wake up! Pay attention! Don’t miss this detail!’
The most important RAS function is the control of your consciousness, especially its ability in helping you prioritize and focus your attention on something, which the physical act of writing does. You are actively engaging your brain in learning and remembering in the process.
Aside from remembering better, writing also helps you to clarify your thoughts, learn foreign words more effectively and map out your goals more clearly.
Of course, writing or typing for that matter to remember things depends on your personal taste and experience. Although laptops are prevalent in schools and office settings, the traditional approach to taking down notes to help you remember better still seems to beat typing words in your devices.