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The case for writing it down

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Three reasons to turn to pen and paper for capturing a burst of creative thoughts or a list of to-dos:

1.  Working with word-processing software often leads us to fidget with margins or font size before we’ve even written a word. Plus, auto-cor­­rect and spellcheck can slow you down.

2.  The act of hand-shaping letters activates a bigger area of your brain and “working memory,” says Virginia Berninger, professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington.

3.  Paper serves as a better reminder. Leave a to-do list where you’ll see it, and where you can easily update it.

Bonus benefit: A handwritten list of to-dos is less likely to go undone. Jenny Englert, an engineer at Xerox who’s currently doing research on the future of work, says that having to update and rewrite a handwritten list of to-dos is enough to make her tackle the tasks right then and there.

— Adapted from “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Phone: A Case for Writing Things Out,” Kevin Purdy, Fast Company.

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