Writing versus Typing

Self-development and many self-awareness processes rely on journaling, even Richard Branson is an advocate of journaling!

When it comes to journaling, the daily or regular recording of thoughts, feelings, occurrences and experiences, like keeping a diary, the very act of doing so can have a massive beneficial effect on your stress levels. Journaling can help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings and increase your self-awareness – the fact that it is recorded on paper means that you have a snapshot in time, that you can revisit and observe how you may have changed over time. However you decide to record your thoughts and feelings, advice indicates that you should write rather than type.

This was detailed in the research document “The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note taking.” By Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2014).

The suggestion that while both can record facts, the conceptual understanding when working on a laptop is more limited, therefore limiting conceptual thoughts and processes necessary for planning or a self-development journey.

This is further evidenced by studies into the reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS is a system of cells in the brainstem, affecting behavioural responsiveness among other things.

In the well acclaimed book, ‘Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want and Getting It ‘, (2001) author Henriette Klauser says “ Writing triggers the RAS, which in turn sends a signal to the cerebral cortex: ‘Wake up! Pay attention! Don’t miss this detail!’

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but if you are really committed to journaling and to get the most out of it, then we advise that you write it down!

“The secret of good writing is telling the truth” Gordon Lish