How to Improve Your Memory

If you want to remember something, write it down. Using your hand to write on paper rather than on your phone or another device will help you remember. 

Write to Remember

Results from a study in Japan done by The University of Tokyo and NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting suggest that using paper rather than a phone, tablet or computer, helps you to remember what you’ve written. 

How to improve your memory

The scientists conducting the research say the relationship between the hand and brain, the complex movements made by your hand lens themselves to greater brain activity. This in turn leads to a better recall than what is found when using digital means of writing.

In other words, the next time you need to remember someone’s phone number or something else you don’t want to forget, reach for a pen and paper and write it down!

Become a Fast Note Taker 

The study out of Japan also reported that someone using pen and paper was 25 faster than when they used a digital device.  

How to improve your memory.

Professor Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, a neuroscientist at the University of Tokyo explains “Paper is more advanced and useful compared to electronic documents because paper contains more on-of-a-kind information for stronger memory recall. Our take-home message is to use paper notebooks for information we need to learn or memorize.”

How the Study was Done

Forty-eight volunteers read a conversation between two people. The conversation consisted of discussions about class times, due dates for assignments and appointments. The volunteers, between the ages of 18-29, were divided into three groups based on a variety of criteria including

After listening to the conversation, the volunteers used one of three ways to record information heard during the discussion.

How to improve your memory.

The researchers then gave the volunteers a break while at the same time completing a task. This break was actually designed to distract the volunteers from thinking about the schedules. They were then asked a series of questions. Some simple, and some complex, all about the information discussed regarding the calendars. While answering the questions, the volunteers were inside an MRI machine which monitors blood flow around the brain.


What the Researchers Discovered

Results of the study showed that the volunteers who used the paper datebooks were considerably quicker at filling in the calendars and scored higher on simple test questions. 

In the end, those who used the paper datebooks were much quicker at filling in the calendars and scored better on the simple test questions. Plus, it took them 11 minutes to fill in the calendar while tablet users took 14 minutes and smartphone users took about 16 minutes.

Even More Importantly

The biggest disparity took place in the brain activation data. The volunteers who used paper had more brain activity in the following areas:

In other words, using a pen and paper create more meaningful spatial details that can be recalled more easily in the mind’s eye.

Saki explained “Digital tools have uniform scrolling up and down and standardized arrangement of text and picture size, like on a webpage. But if you remember a physical textbook printed on paper, you can close your eyes and visualize the photo one-third of the way down on the left-side page, as well as the notes you added in the bottom margin.


Improving Digital Note-Taking

Thankfully for lovers of digital technology, you can mimic the benefits of pen and paper note-taking with a digital surface. Consider drawing arrows, create virtual sticky notes, and highlight your notes 

Researchers say there are ways you can mimic the benefits of note-taking on paper with a digital surface. Highlighting, drawing arrows, circling and adding virtual sticky notes are a few ways to increase special enrichment.

Creativity Also Increases

How to improve your memory.

Sakai goes on to explain “It is reasonable that one’s creativity will likely become more fruitful if prior knowledge is stored with stronger learning and more precisely retrieved from memory. For art, composing music, or other creative works, I would emphasize the use of paper instead of digital methods.” 

Here is a video that explains how writing something down will improve your recall.

Let us at Paper Papier help you to improve your memory, boost your creativity and possibly ace that exam!