Don’t throw away your desktop calendar: The benefits of handwriting events and tasks.
Even with hundreds of available apps to help organize your life, a paper desktop calendar may be just what you need to stay on top of your work schedule. Desktop calendar are thriving in the digital age. Furthermore, desktop calendars may even be gaining some ground.
Why are people sticking with or rediscovering paper? This is because there’s still no tool better than a paper planner. Scheduling with pen and paper even offers some advantages over digital calendars. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of analog scheduling and discover tips to improve your desktop calendar.
The brain-hand connection.
Typing and handwriting may seem similar, but our brains handle the two activities differently. Because handwriting requires you to make sequential strokes to form each letter, it activates large regions of the brain involved in thinking, language, and working memory. The same is not true for typing a letter on a keyboard.
In one study, pre-literate children were split into groups and taught how to draw letters by hand, trace letters, or type letters on a keyboard. Later they looked at the same letters while their brains were scanned in a functional MRI machine. Networks of the brain known to support successful reading activated in the students who’d written the letters, but not in the students who’d typed or traced.
What does this research on the brain-hand connection mean for your desktop calendar? You may remember your appointments better if you write them down on paper rather than typing them.
You could even think of jotting down tasks and appointments as exercise for your brain. One of the advantages of moving away from the keyboard and doing something that requires greater flexibility in how we use our hands is that it also requires greater flexibility in how we use our brains.
A desktop calendar also provides a place to doodle. Scribbling idly may seem like a waste of time, but it’s a powerful way to improve concentration during boring tasks. In one study, people who were randomly assigned to doodle during an intentionally dull phone call remembered 29 percent more of the information transmitted on the call afterward. Doodling also quickly calms the mind, and most people find it enjoyable.